e may be from Belgium but Alix Perez is taking over the bass scene in the United States. Not only does this dude act as an agreed upon intermediary between the matured European dnb scene and us uncultured Americans, but he also has heavy bass avant-garde side projects like Shades with Eprom and the newly featured Hellion with New Zealand's Headland (this one is more noise/ambient bass). Oh yeah and he started his own record label, you may know it as 1985. They have releases from artists like Calibre, Drone, Epoch, Eprom, Hijinx, Hyroglifics, Machinedrum, Monty, Spectrasoul, Tsuruda and many more.

His live sets have recently become something out of legend. He sold out a couple shows at Denver's Black Box last year and the fan videos looked completely "feral." There is a palatable energy in his live sets that create a form of hypnosis forcing you to get out of your own head and dance. Sometimes I wonder what the American bass scene will look in 20-30 years but I'd imagine it would be pretty close to an Alix Perez set.

I never was a huge drum and bass fan but I knew of Eprom. Shades was some of the darkest and thickest sound production I had ever encountered. It's like stepping into another world so I always remembered Alix Perez by his association with that project. Then I noticed how fast his shows would sell out at the Black Box. I was really trying to get a ticket but the multiple night run sold out in what felt like minutes. Catching an Alix Perez set became my white whale.

When I heard about his two night run hosted by NSW Presents at Chicago's Chop Shop, I knew it was my chance. Alix Perez received support for the weekend by a hard hitting lineup including: Hyroglifics, Hijinx, Wolf'D, Relativity Lounge and more. The entire lineup provided some good energy for the crowd but the screams reached their peak when Alix's headline slot approached. I even heard an affectionate fan scream out "I LOVE YOU ALIX" twice. All of this praise is well deserved and if you get the chance to see Alix Perez -- you should take it!

Photos by
Pedro Acosta