Since its founding in 2011, Los Angeles party series and record label Body High—created by Sam Griesemer (aka Samo Sound Boy) and Jerome Potter (aka. Jerome LOL) who together make up the group DJ Dodger Stadium—have crafted a sound that is simple, raw, and organic. As a label, Body High has released over twenty-one albums, EPs and singles from the likes of DJ Sliink, Todd Edwards, and Floyd Campbell. Its sound seems influenced by a plethora of genres including Baltimore Club, Acid House, and Dub. Demonstrating a serious appreciation for its home city, Body High kicked off one of the biggest weekends in LA on Friday night by throwing a FYF Kick-off Party, featuring performances by Joaquin Bartra, Jerome Lol, Samo Sound Boy and the one of the forefathers of UK garage, Todd Edwards. This party would not only play a roll in the lead-up to the festival, but also to the performance of DJDS at FYF on Saturday.
Making our way inside the lobby of The Standard Hotel, I witnessed two anxious young men trying to talk their way onto the elevator that brings you directly to the roof. No such luck for them as we took their place on the elevator and made our way up to the show. The red astro turf that envelops the spacious rooftop of The Standard was welcoming sight, as was the colossal, all encompassing rooftop view of DTLA. These factors give The Standard considerable character, especially at night.
Talk of the FYF lineup was a hot topic of conversation—it established a common ground and created a buzzing social atmosphere that was welcoming and intimate from the very start. The night started off with Joaquin Bartra and Jerome LOL on the decks. Straying from the usual bare-boned and energetic sound that Body High is known for, Bartra and Jerome read the crowd beautifully, and began to consistently built their sets with smooth accuracy. The Body High crew's delivery was on point, demonstrating excellent teamwork by crafting an intoxicating and unbroken vibe that consistently accelerated as the night went on. Samo Sound Boy was able to capitalize on this vibe immediately, and by the time Samo was in full swing, the crowd was thoroughly warmed up and anxious for more.
Samo started off slow before hitting the crowd with the club mix of Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You,” before careening into the Four Tet's "For These Times." It was from there that the he managed to align the crowd with the Body High sound with tracks from his latest album, Begging Please, and emphatically blasting the latest single from DJ Dodger Stadium—resulting in immediate roars of satisfaction from the many loyal DJDS fans scattered throughout the crowd.
After a break from the floor, we returned to find that Todd Edwards had stepped up to the plate. The well-versed veteran of the scene was all confidence and smiles, delivering a wildfire of inoculable rhythm that spread throughout the venue. His mastery of his own chopped vocals shined true in his various personal edits and original productions dropped during the performance, refusing to slow down at any point for the rest of the night.
By the time the show was over, I was cashed. I had to get home quickly to rest up for the next day. Drifting off to sleep, the contagious rhythm of the night still rattled around in my head.
Fast forward 12 hours later and I am at FYF day one. Hot as can be and running late, I hurried to the festival and prayed for quick lines. The whole affair was spread out, confusing, and disorderly. I eventually made my way into the arena where DJ Dodger Stadium had already began its set. Despite being shielded from the sun, the arena offered no sanctuary from the blazing heat. The crowd was large, but the Arena floor provided sufficient room for everyone to move freely. Once I made my way to the front, I was lucky enough to find a wide-eyed flower child coated in sparkling paint, shuffling to the music and occasionally taking the time to use her hand held fan to cool me off.
The appearance of the crowd could not have been more different from the night before, but both groups expressed the same enthusiasm for the music coming from Jerome LOL and Samo Sound Boy. With only 45 minutes to play, DJDS broke out of the gate immediately playing nothing but its own original productions.
The duo delivered a set that was consistent and full of spirit. Pockets of the crowd had no problem exerting all of their energy during the set, but a large majority was mindful that going all out this early on in the day may be detrimental to their festival experience. With fifteen minutes left in their set, "You Don’t Have to Be Alone" got the entire crowd on the same page. For its closing track, DJDS played “Love Songs” off the Friend of Mine LP. The long-winded, repetitive vocal sample hoisted the crowd up and the duo timed the eventual deliverance of bass superbly and with pulverizing effect.
While many acts resonated with me over the weekend, it was the Body High blowout that brought me the most joy. These producers bring a level of spirit and freshness to their performances that is both animated and naturally uplifting. Body High has a true appreciation for its city and I am positive they will continue to represent and mesmerize Los Angeles for many years to come.
You can catch the Body High crew in LA tonight at The Getty between 6-9 p.m. for a Video Installation & DJ Set. Body High is working the event alongside Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt from the band Yacht, who have recently launched a new App named “5 Every Day” which unearths obscure events that are happening all over Los Angeles. You can learn more about the event here.