Last Saturday at Santos Party House, the Electric Beach party brand brought together two of dance music’s most buzzed about stars. Pierce Fulton and Audien, who barely look old enough to step foot in a nightclub, were bound to provide a stellar soundtrack for their adoring fans. On my way to Santos, whilst perusing through my Twitter feed, I noticed Pierce mentioned this would be his first ever back-to-back set. Both of these artists have genre-bending styles and don’t particularly subscribe to labels in the traditional sense, so in that regard I was anxious to see what the night would hold. Would Audien play euphoric trance or gritty electro? Would Pierce bust out some deep house? Maybe even something experimental?
Upon my arrival to the venue, the line outside stretched a great distance down the block — with an even larger concentration of people huddled around the entrance. With many people taking the previous weekend off to recover from the New Year’s festivities, this was the first real weekend out in 2013 for many and the eagerness to get to the dance floor was nothing if not apparent. Once I entered and got settled in around midnight, Audien appeared in the booth. The Connecticut native, Nate Rathburn, was celebrating his 21st birthday and if I’ve learned anything from following dance music as long as I have, it’s that DJs play exponentially better on their birthdays.
With support from the likes of Tiesto, Above & Beyond, and Ferry Corsten, it’s easy to figure out why Audien has risen the ranks so quickly. His production prowess is a hybrid of big-room house and uplifting, melodic trance. It seems to be a winning formula because when he dropped tracks like his own “Eventide” and recent release of “Wayfarer,” everyone’s hands were enthusiastically elevated into the air.
Audien – Eventide (Original Mix)
Audien – Wayfarer (Original Mix)
Thirty minutes into his set, Pierce Fulton appeared behind the decks and joined Audien for a back-to-back session. From the sound of Fulton’s podcasts and his wide assortment of diverse productions, I had no doubt that he could play to the trancier sound that Audien represents. Audien and Pierce showed their comfort and confidence behind the decks as the two young producers spun back-to-back through an eclectic collection of tracks. Audien’s blurring of house and trance combined with Pierce’s ear for the weird worked perfectly together to turn the dance floor into a mass of grinding bodies. Big room bombs like Antonio Giacca’s “Calm Down,” incited the crowd into a frenzy while go-to-party-starters like Tommy Trash’s “Ladi Dadi” remix proved it hasn’t lost any of its power over a dancefloor. Pierce surprised us when he went with the hard-hitting electro of Koan Sound’s remix of Kill the Noise’s “Deal With It,” drastically changing the energy in the room but never skipping a beat.
Antonio Giacca – Calm Down (Original Mix)
Kill The Noise – Deal With It (KOAN Sound Remix)
Steve Aoki feat. Wynter Gordon – Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Remix)
The Bottom Line
If you were at Santos Party House on Saturday, you witnessed what will sure to be a pair of DJs who will lead the wave of future superstars. Their DJ abilities match that of their production chops, and their aptitude in controlling a crowd is on-par with men twice their age. When the big-room craze grows dim, we’ll be able to rely on these well-rounded guys to keep their productions fresh and innovative.
Pierce Fulton playing unreleased track at Santos Party House.