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Buku Cruised Through the Fox Theatre with a High Energy Performance

Buku Cruised Through the Fox Theatre with a High Energy Performance

Kierstin Rounsefell

October 22nd, 2019

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Robert Balotsky, known to bass heads as Buku, is a Pittsburgh native that has been producing music since 2012. Having graduated with a degree in Music Technology, every one of Buku’s tracks is extremely intricate and layered. Since the start of his music career, he has garnered support from artists including Diplo, while collaborating with Bassnectar, G Jones, and more.

The bass-heavy, high-energy tracks produced by this electronic powerhouse have resulted in countless shows across North America. In addition to playing at various venues and clubs, he has also blessed the stages of internationally renowned music festivals. These include Lost Lands, Electric Forest, and Dancefestopia. Some of Buku’s most recognizable tracks include “Front To Back“, “Align“, and “Everything“.

On Thursday, September 17th, Buku brought his Cruisin’ USA Tour to the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. This intimate venue has a capacity of 500, with various levels on the floor. This way every attendee has room to dance and see the stage. A merchandise booth, restrooms, and the main bar are located in the first room. Meanwhile, the main room houses the stage and a smaller, satellite bar. For this show in particular, some special signs were up in the restrooms and around the venue by Buku’s team talking about consent, helping others, and being aware of your space. These were great reminders for everyone attending the show to remember that everyone was there for the same reason: sharing their love for music.

Yoko b2b Optix, FRQNCY and Esseks Open

Since Boulder is home to the University of Colorado Boulder, the venue that night was made up of a majority of college students. In fact, the first names on the lineup were CU Boulder students themselves. Yoko and Optix went B2B to get the energy going at the beginning of the night. These dubstep artists fed off of each other’s energy perfectly, and were able to mix a fun, interactive set.

Next up was FRQNCY, who is from Atlanta, Georgia. This experimental, deep house producer and DJ started off his set with tracks that were a lot slower. Immersive soundscapes filled with percussion and crunchy bass, and had the audience entranced for the first half of his performance, before he systematically brought the energy back up with dark, punchy drops.

Sam Eckstein, or Esseks, was the last artist to take the stage before Buku. This Brooklyn, New York-based producer also has a signature dark sound to his music. However, his is lighthearted and fun at the same time. Also releasing music since 2012, this bass artist has been able to release music on labels including Wakaan, Deadbeats, Subcarbon, and more, in addition to his own independent releases. Esseks played a much heavier bass set than the previous openers, and had the attention of the entire venue, which was now about three-quarters full.

Buku Takes the Stages

Finally, Buku made his way onto the stage at about 11:45 PM. His hour-and-a-half-long set was full of loud synths, complex and sophisticated percussion, and deep bass that traveled through the venue. He used the same table, CDJs, and multi-colored lights as the rest of the lineup, but as his set progressed, he added in intricately breathtaking lasers that changed colors and patterns throughout the night. One thing that stood out was that he didn’t use any LED displays for visuals, which let the audience really focus on him and his sound.

Another memorable part of the night was Buku’s stage presence. Not only was he moving around a lot and engaging with the audience, but he looked so genuinely happy to be up on stage. At almost every drop, he was smiling, singing, and looking out into the crowd. His positive energy was extremely contagious, and you could tell everyone was having a great time. Songs that had an especially good crowd reaction included old tracks like “Tip Toe“, tracks from his new EP including “Why Yeah“, and of course hits from other artists including “Griztronics” by GRiZ and Subtronics.

Overall, Buku’s Cruisin’ USA Tour was a ton of fun. From the various engaging sets, to the bright and colorful production, it could be seen that everyone in the venue was having a great time. For anyone out there that likes experimental deep bass music, this tour is one to see! Buku will be on the road until mid-December. To see if he’s touching down in a city near you, click here. In the meantime, you can listen to some of his releases below!

Photos by Alex Pacheco

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