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Friday, December 4, 2009

What to Do Tonight: DJ Ill-Esha

Posted By on Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Vancouver’s DJ Ill-Esha has been singing and performing all her life, so when grunge exploded in the ’90s, it was only natural she wanted to be in a garage band. But she quickly discovered that the underground DJ scene was more receptive to her talents. “[I would] freestyle over my friends’ [DJ] sets,” she says. “I always feel like contributing to music when it moves me.” By 1998, MCing was no longer satisfying that desire, so she picked up some turntables and learned to DJ, often adding her vocals to the melodic drum’n’bass tunes she was mixing. She then started producing, working with Datcyde on his club hit “Social Skills” in 2001, which brought her into a worldwide spotlight. Over the past few years, she’s been exploring the half-tempo bass genres of dubstep and glitch-hop. “The great thing about dubstep is the amount of room between the beats,” she says. “Moving from [drum’n’bass] to producing dubstep is like moving from a bachelor apartment to a mansion.” Recent work includes “H.A.A.R.P.,” a collaboration with Dewey dB, and a remix of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” Both tracks sport buffeting basslines that wobble around like the ass-end of an elephant running a sprint — apparently she’s found something to fill all that extra space. Jocelyn Dee, Rob Riddum, Nox, Andre Leone and Lee provide support at 10 p.m. at Touch Supper Club (2710 Lorain Ave , 216.631.5200). Free before 10pm, $5 after. — Steve Boughton

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