Aside from hip-hop, no genre has grown more in the past ten years than electronic music. House, trance, EDM and synthwave are just a few of the genres that are growing in the internet age. One genre that made a resurgence is synthwave, with artists such as Perturbator, Carpenter Brut, GosT, and Dance With The Dead at the forefront of this movement. On September 28th. my friends and I decided to go to NYC to catch Perturbator along with Das mörtal and Protector 101. While I enjoyed the headlining act, the opening acts left a little to be desired.
The set opened up with Protector 101. He had fantastic charisma and was great with getting the crowd involved. Unfortunately, his set had a lot more bass than I think the world ever needs. There were some points in his set that I physically had to step out because the bass was just too much. I don’t know if it had to do with his mixing, or if it was the venue, but the bass was absolutely cranked.
When Das mörtal took the stage, I got very excited. I had been listening to his release, Always Loved for weeks leading up to the show. His setlist had significantly much less bass than Protector 101, but he would still crank it for a couple bars. The crowd seemed into this content, especially the visuals he had. His setlist was around half an hour, around the same length as Protector 101.n Das mörtal’ mixing was a lot more balanced, and the overall music was enjoyable.
After he had gotten off the stage, I noticed the venue had started to fill up. One thing I noticed was that there were A LOT of metalheads at this show. Anywhere you turned, you’d be greeted with jean jackets with Slayer patches and guys wearing KMFDM T-shirts. This was eye-opening to me, because I didn’t know how well Perturbator was received by the metal community.
After around fifteen minutes, the lights when down and the set had begun. In this moment, when the opening sounds to Neo Tokyo, Perturbator’s opening song off his 2016 album Uncanny Valley, were audible, it was as if a switch went off in half the crowd. A mosh pit had begun, and throughout the entire show, would get more and more ravenous. Despite the pit, that I am not personally a fan of in that particular venue, they only increased the hype of the show.
All of the music Perturbator performed was from his 2014 album Dangerous Days and his 2016 release of Uncanny Valley. Songs like “Perturbator’s Theme”, “Diabolus Ex Machina”, and “Sexualizer” set the crowd off. Perturbator’s segues and transitions were absolutely flawless and his interaction with the crowd was top-notch. His live mixing was very well executed and his light show was a catastrophic beauty.
As mentioned before, his fan-base primarily consisted of metal heads surprisingly enough. It wasn’t until halfway through the set until I realized how ‘metal’ Perturbator’s music sounds. Sure, he uses the synths that gained a lot of traction in the 80’s in addition to boom-y drums, but his breakdowns are rooted in metal. Blast beats, consistent 16th note bass drum measures and chugging were all evident in his music. I love metal, so there was no issue, but was an interesting observation non the less.
Overall, the show was great! I can’t personally say I enjoyed Protector 101’s setlist, but that doesn’t mean I would say it was bad. More that it personally wasn’t my taste, it’d be more suited for bassheads. Das mörtal was a great act, but I do wish he played more material from Always Loved. His visuals were excellent, and I’d definitely recommend seeing him. Perturbator’s show was just at another level. From his light show, to visuals, transitions and overall crowd interaction, he was stellar. He played all of his hits as well as some deep cuts to satiate both his average fanbase and his cult followers. I’d love to see another show with him, bonus points if he toured with Carpenter Brut! You can check out Perturbator’s music here, Das mörtal ‘s stuff here, and Protector 101 here