Minimal Effort is becoming a more pleasantly ironic name as time goes on. The guys behind Underrated presents and the weekly underground flex Clinic at Couture in Hollywood, have been quickly pushing the boundaries that they—and often the city—set for them for the last few years. After outgrowing the auspiciously-titled Legendary Park Plaza and the four-room Belasco theatre, they set sights on setting up an outdoor mini-festival on the periphery of downtown Los Angeles for Halloween. With three high production stages divided by an ample linger area packed by people decked in impressively audacious Halloween garb, Minimal Effort’s third major Fall party pushed the envelope again, and certainly looked like their establishing a blueprint for an inner city festival of-sorts in the coming years.
The lineup boasted an LA debut of Tiga’s new live setup, Steve Bug, TEED, Tensnake, and Thugfucker, and commenced at 4PM in the afternoon, a time by which many of the attendees hadn’t even figured out their costumes yet. By the time night fell, LA Center Studios, a location that is growing in prominence recently, boasted healthy crowds at all three stages.
After Kidnap Kid brought it over into the evening on the Garden Stage, TEED roused the crowd with some tasteful, cross-genre selections while dressed up as the Cookie Monster. Dropping Midland’s bittersweet lament “Final Credits”, which has been one of the biggest underground tracks of the summer, TEED worked in flashes of disco and twisted house cuts, delivered with the requisite energy and humor for a man dressed as the Cookie Monster.
Elsewhere, cat-obsessed tech house imprint Suara had taken over the side room, and hotly-anticipated riser Edu Imbernon was the big draw at that end of the event. Back outside, under the bridge and stray bits of 10 Freeway extremities, Poker Flat boss Steve Bug was a tad more subdued than we’ve come to expect. The German was bundling through some nondescript tech house when we were needing a bit of that deep awkward stuff, but when you’re drunkenly shambling your way around a multi-stage party you tend to give up on things a little too easily. NYC duo Thugfucker closed out The Bridge stage for the night and got us back in the groove after some bizarre electro muzak soundtracked Tiga’s live setup.
For anyone in the know, Tiga was the act not to sleep on. His cumbersome live setup had stalled the start of the Garden Stage, but once they kicked off and started working their way through the French-Canadian’s back catalogue, the vibe picked back up again. While Tiga’s impeccable underground reputation has been forged by deftly traversing an array of different sounds and genres, he was locked into a chunky, revved-up electro sound, hammering through a handful of live renditions from his recent album No Fantasy Required. His 2012 banger ‘Dancing”, which got the remix treatment big just about every major producer, hit hardest and was nice to hear how it translated live.
After Tiga brought the event to a close, the increasingly sloppy looking Halloween crowd start to filter out back into downtown Los Angeles, looking desperately for something to keep the night moving. But the fact that so few people would be getting into cars to the leave the party should be a signifier to the city that events like this can be safe and controlled if they allow them to be.
Following the successful Diversion block party earlier this month, it’s certainly encouraging to see more of LA’s abundant warehouse and industrial space being used to host cultural events and parties. Historically hostile to promoters looking to capitalize on the great weather and the scene’s insatiable appetite for a good rinse, there is the sense that things may be thawing and that we could start seeing more block parties and innovative multi stage/venue events popping up in the near future.
Stuck up around the event were posters for Minimal Effort’s New Year’s Eve show, which will feature Recondite, Simian Mobile Disco, and Stephan Bodzin in what might just be the most mouthwatering lineup to ever grace a countdown...We’ll be there.
Images via Christopher Soltis and Ram Twail