“A synthetic version of a controlled substance … produced with a slightly altered molecular structure to avoid having it classified as an illicit drug. Examples of DESIGNER DRUG: Ecstasy is a designer drug.” This definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster. Presenting, in this year’s Spring Fling lineup: DJ/production duo Designer Drugs.
Hailing from New York City’s Lower East Side, this electronic pair just might be the most hardcore act to hit Spring Fling in recent memory. Members Michael Vincent Patrick and Theodore Paul Nelson strive for musical diversity. This manifests itself in the large range of artists that Designer Drugs have remixed. One of the poppier renditions they have done is Mariah Carey’s “Lovin’ U Long Time,” which is sped up to create a true club anthem. This, along with a remix of Norwegian starlet Annie’s “Antonio,” presents the saccharine end of the Designer Drug spectrum. Listeners will find that these songs are wildly different from the bass-heavy mind-warp originals that Patrick and Nelson produced for their debut album, “Hardcore/Softcore.”
By all means, and certainly by the average Yalie’s more techno-shy standards, “Hardcore/Softcore” is more hardcore than it is softcore. Patrick explains the album’s ethos in an interview quoted on the duo’s website.
“I think we’re making music for the apocalypse,” he begins (as the interview informs us, only half-jokingly). “The state of society is at a place where people just don’t give a fuck and that’s what inspires our music.”
This mantra is a little far out for your standard Eli. Likewise, the sound of the new and improved, “darker” and “edgier” version of Designer Drugs might be a little removed from mainstream tastes. You might hear such sounds in some dark basement during an evening of Modern Love, or at one of the well-populated parties of 113 Howe, but it is unlikely that you will hear them elsewhere on campus.
A tribute to their hardcore side: on their website, the background features a video loop of a tattooed man who appears to be consuming alcohol. Another man spray-paints a black cross onto his upper body. Next to this is an icon linking to their record label’s Facebook page. The label is called “SEX CULT.”
Designer Drugs could do a great job of inducting Spring Flingers into the cult of electro. It all depends on the mood of the audience and the duo’s choice of songs. Their remixes should be approachable to anyone who enjoys electronic music, and are the safest bet for success. But their originals will pull in the more dedicated technicos — the veterans of Ultra and Electric Zoo. One remix that would be certain to meet with approval? Now that rapper Patrice “Pato” Wilson (of “Friday” fame) has unexpectedly dropped out of the Spring Fling afterparty, there will definitely be at least a few wayward souls looking for some musical gratification in the form of Rebecca Black’s viral YouTube tune. Hopefully Designer Drugs have more decency than that and will stick to pop singer Little Boots’ “Meddle” instead.