w/ Nogenki, Sound Market, and KC Mackey
The “DreamSim 64” tour came to Platypus on Manchester in The Grove, offering up an evening of retro EDM with a postmodern aesthetic, featuring a mix of NY- and STL-based DJs.
This was my first time at Platypus; at first, I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place. The venue is a bar with a kitchen and a “psychedelic junk culture” aesthetic. I saw many murals of heroic and sci-fi themed platypuses, along with ducks and beavers (the parents of platypuses, obviously). As it turned out, the stage was behind a curtain, next to the kitchen. I certainly didn’t mind the smell of roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and I had to try some after the show ended.
“Psychedelic-junk culture” is also a good descriptor for the music played at Platypus. The four featured artists that had different aesthetics, but they complemented each other well. Local DJs Sound Market and KC Mackey were up first. Sound Market played a set of soothing vapor and chillwave, which Mackey followed with hard-hitting acid techno and drum & bass. She ended the set by discussing her work with social justice-oriented nonprofits, advocating for the rights of the incarcerated and for racial equality. I respected her for pausing the party to talk about serious issues.
For most of the evening, I hung out at the merch table with Vaperror (Jeff Cardinal) and Nogenki. Both DJs hail from New York and they’ve performed together many times. They’re also friendly, down-to-earth dudes with interesting opinions about music, video games and anime. Their music is best described as vaporwave and future funk—two sample-based genres of EDM with a retro ‘80s aesthetic and copious anime references. Dressed in a Neon Genesis Evangelion sweater, Nogenki quite literally wore his influences on his sleeve.
Vaperror, the best-known of the night’s entertainers, was given the prized third timeslot. His set contained some dreamy, atmospheric numbers and some hi-BPM footwork. The dancefloor was full and every body was in motion. Surreal visuals, provided by visual artist “Freaky Steve,” played on a projector screen to the right and a heap of flickering CRT TVs in front of the stage. “I loved the crowd, it was intimate and dedicated to dancing,” said Jasnaam Singh of Creve Coeur, MO. “The music was at times hypnotic and then ‘boppy’.The stage design was super dope and absolutely in theme with the Vaporwave concept. Nothing like hearing some old school, happy hardcore tracks while a VHS tape of Sailor Moon plays.”
NOGENKI played us out while I chatted with Cardinal over roasted brussels sprouts. We exchanged Nintendo Switch friend codes and agreed we should all do this again. | Rob Von Nordheim