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A-Trak at Lavo NYC 11.17.11: 5 tracks, 3 recommendations

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Lavo’s New York outpost hasn’t been around long (we celebrated the club’s first birthday recently), but its Thursday night parties have already become the stuff of nightlife legend. Lavo has an unparalleled ability to bring in big EDM talent, and we’re grateful to have been there for acts such as ATB, Sidney Samson and Kaskade. Last Thursday, however, Lavo NY hosted an artist who defies genre classification: A-Trak.

We clearly weren’t alone in our excitement, as crowds lined up early and fought for spots near the booth. Club-goers waved foam fingers and oversized glowsticks as scantily clad dancers — some dressed up like disco balls — sprayed the crowd with loads of fog. Best of all, a guest showed up in a full wolf costume — oversized furry head and all. A-Trak loved it, and the wolf alternated between dancing in the booth and mingling with the crowd. The atmosphere was as wild as has come to be expected from a Lavo Thursday night. (We often don’t make it to work on Fridays.) Keep reading for more.

To be honest, it’s a daunting task to review an A-Trak show. A few things are certain: he’ll play lots of indie dance and disco, he’ll make a ton of live mash-ups, and it’ll be extremely difficult to keep up. All of that was definitely true last Thursday, as A-Trak cut no corners to deliver a fast-paced, incredibly diverse set with lots of surprises. He moved back and forth between current dance favorites (like Tommy Trash’s “Future Folk”) and hard hip-hop (such as “All The Way Turnt Up” and “Niggas in Paris,” our current favorite non-EDM song) with incredible speed and ease, throwing in a bunch of disco-era classics for good measure. Below, find five tracks you should know from his set, and three pointers from the DA editors.

Five tracks you need to know (and probably do)

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)

We know, we know: duh. No A-Trak show would be complete without this dance floor-smashing remix, and it was met with the enthusiasm it deserved: all hands in the air, sparklers, and a hell of a lot of fog.

2. The Rapture – How Deep Is Your Love (A-Trak Remix)

The piano/synth combo on this remix is irresistible, and while the track certainly isn’t a conventional dance song, it fit in perfectly with A-Trak’s ridiculously diverse set.

3. Cubic Zirconia – Take Me High (Bart B More Remix)

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We wrote not too long ago about Bart B More’s sexy Cubic Zirconia remix. “Take Me High” was released on A-Trak’s own Fool’s Gold label not long ago, and we loved its minimal vibe to offset the general craziness of  his set. Grab it for free on Annie Mac’s Soundcloud.

4. A-Trak & Laidback Luke – Shake It Down

“Shake It Down” has the kind of down-and-dirty bassline that remind us of “Big Bad Wolf” (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), and that totally rattles the floor at Lavo. We approve wholeheartedly.

5. Duck Sauce – Big Bad Wolf (Dada Life Remix)

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It was a given that A-Trak would play Duck Sauce’s latest, but we were curious how we would integrate it into his set. He started by playing the original and building it up into the Dada remix, which made the chopped-up howls and screechy synths all the more powerful when they dropped. Needless to say, the man in the wolf costume was loving this one.

Three recommendations

1. Watch this video.

A-Trak was just 15 years old when he won the prestigious DMC, ITF and Vestax DJ competitions, making him the youngest contender to ever win the trifecta of titles. And it’s easy to see why: his turntable skills are out of control. In the years since, his dexterity and creativity have only continued to grow (as has A-Trak himself). In an age of iPad DJ apps and CDJs, people just don’t spin like this anymore.

2. Download his Fool’s Gold Radio mixes.

A-Trak releases monthly promo mixes for his Fool’s Gold label, and they never fail to showcase both his ear for a good track and his mixing skills. Download them for free on his Soundcloud. While he does fewer transitions in these mixes and tries to let the songs speak for himselves, they still provide a good taste of what a live A-Trak set sounds like. And lastly, if you’ve never seen him live…

3. See an A-Trak show.

Plain and simple. Get close to the booth so you can see how it’s done. The man DJs like a god.

 Images by KirillWasHere.com

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