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Memories That You Call (feat. Monsoonsiren)

Since the release of their 2014 album, ODESZA have grown into an omnipresent force in dance music appearing at nearly every major music festival and making their way across the globe on an extensive headlining tour. This year has been particularly pivotal for the Seattle duo—they’ve dropped several massive remixes, continued to expand their live set (including a full marching band at Lollapalooza) and launched the Foreign Family Collective. Through Foreign Fam, they’ve helped introduce like-minded artists such as Big Wild and Jai Wolf to larger audiences. As huge fans, the Ninja staff have had the pleasure of covering the Seattle duo’s upward trajectory and interviewing them a couple times along the way. 

In the last two years alone, the TMN writers have probably seen ODESZA a combined 20 times—my best guess for myself is 6. So, going into their show last week, I frankly wasn’t sure there was much more to see and, even if their performance hadn’t evolved, I would’ve admittedly left happy. Once again, though, ODESZA put together an awe-inspiring set fit for Bill Graham Auditorium’s grand stature. As the set began, members Harrison and Clayton emerged with their parallel MIDI and drum setup offering some words about their admiration for the SF crowd, who have shown out every time they’ve come to town. Musically, “Koto,” a gorgeous and low-key track, set the tone before the first high point hit with their remix of Sia’s “Big Girls Cry.” Granted a nearly 2-hour set, ODESZA was able to dig deep in their catalogue playing standouts from their oft-overlooked debut, Summer’s Gone, such as ”Above the Middle” all the way through the fan-favorite remixes of opener Hayden James’ “Something About You” and Zhu’s “Faded.”  DNP_9124One of the most notable additions to their set was the inclusion of additional musicians and instruments. During “Kusangi” and “We Were Young,” a guitarist emerged who contributed their respective gently-strummed melodies. At points, it created a calming vibe somewhat reminiscent of Tycho’s live sets that was quickly contrasted with ODESZA’s signature booming percussion. In addition to the guitarist who stood center stage there was a small horn section that appeared intermittently through out the set—yet another addition to further fill out their sound. At one point, Harrison even chimed in on the trombone which was an awesomely unexpected twist. “Memories That You Call,” which crept in during the last third of the set, remains a personal favorite with sonics so imposing they’re at risk to bust the walls of even the biggest venues.

Electronic shows at venues as large as Bill Graham tend to disappoint particularly in the case of DJs who’s sets feel best suited for more intimate club spaces. However, ODESZA’s organic and fully-live approach combined with the enormity of their sound could barely be contained by such a large venue–yet another testament to their deserving place atop dance music’s elite. Their yet-to-be-released, ground-shaking remix of Alex Adair’s “Make Me Feel Better,” with its massive horns, truly crescendoed that sentiment leaving us excited and hopeful for what 2016 has in store for ODESZA.


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