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Slander headlines loaded EDM lineup in Las Vegas

Updated February 7, 2019 - 3:25 pm

The bottle service has been bottled.

The judgmental doorman has been shown the door.

The DJ-producers, though, they’re still in the house.

This weekend, the electronic dance music faithful can hear the sounds of the club without actually going to the club when a loaded EDM lineup hits The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Tie off that velvet rope and get ready for the show with this primer on all five of the acts on Saturday’s bill:

Slander

Sounds like: Machine music with a heart, emotive and dreamy, with bursts of concussiveness as Slander’s laptops gently weep.

Their story: This ascendant L.A. duo’s moniker is a mashup of their names, S(cott) Land and (Derek) Ander(sen), and their sound is similarly hybridized between sonic blown kisses and concrete-hard drops. Because electronic dance music is so short on subgenres, Slander has coined yet another one — bringing the tally to around the same number as the population of Indonesia — in “heaven trap,” which, truth be told, does aptly capture Slander’s blend of bliss and bluster.

Track to check out: “Gud Vibrations.” The assembly line gets cranking at the C + C Music Factory once again as those ’90s dance music crossover stars get sampled in Slander’s hit collaboration with buddy Nghtmare.

Spag Heddy

Sounds like: Dubstep wubs and wobbles for days — or daze, rather, the condition Heddy’s bass bombardment seeks to elicit. Wear a helmet.

His story: Born in the Netherlands but residing in Spain, Spag Heddy (Mischa Reining) dubs his full-contact sound “tomato bass.” Why? No idea. But the fruit in question is kind of squishy, which is how craniums feel after prolonged exposure to Reining’s equally melodic and pummeling repertoire.

Track to check out: “Vegas.” Kind of obvious, isn’t it?

Svdden Death

Sounds like: Truth in advertising. Remember when your older brother used to sit on your chest and use your own arms to smack you upside the head while commanding you to stop hitting yourself? It’s kind of like that. But, you know, in song.

His story: Svdden Death (Danny Howland) hails from the Bay Area, one of the most fertile regions of the country for extreme metal and the former epicenter of the American thrash movement. Howland himself was once in metal bands, and you hear it in his sound, which comes at you with the duck-and-cover ferocity that hometown heroes Metallica did on “Kill ’Em All.” It’s not all bared teeth and bloody knuckles, though: Howland has a jazz background as well, and his discography is as musical as it is menacing.

Track to check out: “Take Ya Head Off.” Hits as hard as a Jean-Claude Van Damme kick in the crap-tacular ’90s action flick that Svdden Death shares his name with.

Oshi

Sounds like: Heavy on the hip-hop influences, with beats as outsize as this dude’s mop of juniper-bush-thick hair.

His story: Twenty-year-old London native Oshi (Joshua Brennan) earned Twitter love from Lorde as a teenager with his 2016 remix of Kali Uchis’ single “Ridin Round.” He’s since remixed music’s leading Justins: Timberlake and Bieber, showcasing an aptitude for balancing hip-hop grit with pop sheen, and vice versa.

Track to check out: Ekali, “Babylon (feat. Denzel Curry) Sober Rob & Oshi remix.” Oshi adds some chill to Curry’s overheated rhymes as he straight up hyperventilates on the mic.

Dustycloud

Sounds like: High-impact house both muscular and melodically refined. Yes, Virginia, there will be bass.

His story: From Paris with love of all things house comes Dustycloud (Tom Roy). Like fellow Frenchman and house prime mover Tchami, Roy hurls himself at the perceived bounds of the sound. He’s not reinventing the wheel, per se, but he is rolling said wheels through fresh terrain.

Track to check out: “Go Bang.” Goose your heart rate with some dance-floor amyl nitrate.

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

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