The urban-flavored electronic dance music extravaganza “Westside Love” returns to Mar Vista
By Michael Aushenker
Call it a collision of underground grooves when drum and bass, trance, trap, house and deep house collide on Friday night at The Good Hurt in Mar Vista.
Westside Love, a Valentine’s Day electronic dance music festival, features an array of deejays and producers from all over Los Angeles.
Co-host Eshil Omar, who hosted last year’s inaugural Valentine’s Day edition of Westside Love (an ongoing program GorillaMic’s Eric Spivak, a.ka. the rapper Spiv has staged all over Los Angeles), is no stranger to L.A.’s underground music scene. For the past six years, she has organized the bi-monthly dance party The Flyball, which long ago outgrew its Chinatown digs and now takes place in downtown L.A.’s warehouse district.
Spivak, a Mar Vista resident, ran through some of the eclectic line-up for this year’s event: Topping the bill is Von Kiss, a West Los Angeles deejay with strong roots in the gay and lesbian community and a familiar name throughout the electronic dance world. The eclectic Buena Park-based Kronika indulges in a mix of R&B, jazz and ‘90s hip-hop, while Culver City’s Aimy Price “produces her own music: future sound, house, drum and bass, underground hip hop and dubstep, some European influence,” Spivak said. Long Beach rap act the Natives will make its debut, and La Flaca Lee will deejay instrumental music.
Formerly part of a duo called Glass Cup, Price learned to play guitar, piano and the clarinet before switching over to the turntables after immersing herself in the early 2000s drum-and-bass club scene.
Come Friday night, she will play her own personal hybrid of bass, trap and sounds rooted in Chicago house music of the 1980s.
“It’s different. It doesn’t conform to the mainstream,” Price said of her sound, relating “mainstream” both to the Billboard charts and contemporary club music such as dubstep.
Likewise, parties run by Spivak and Omar “are always different. They’re great at reading the crowds and keeping things fluid,” she said.
Over his past seven years in the area, Spivak has been involved in the Venice Art Crawl and other local arts events.
“I’m always trying to make culture happen on the Westside,” he said.
Spivak said Westside Love is an opportunity to mount “an eclectic variety of music — the total opposite of what is on the radio,” including everything from “underground hip hop and psychedelic to punk, reggae, deep house, drum and bass. I want to cross-marinate and create a melting pot.”
Spivak also sees the Good Hurt as an ideal venue for planting his flag on “the holiday of love and heartbreak, or maybe a lot of consumerism.”
Omar — a Culver City native who raps as a kind of Grand Guignol “hip hop villain; a hater,” she said — will also be cooking homemade potato tacos and cupcakes to be served at the event.
“A lot of people aren’t exposed to [this kind of music], especially out here,” Omar said. “Everything is so clichéd on the Westside, it’s ridiculous. We want to bridge the gap between [downtown] L.A. and the Westside.”
For Omar and Spivak, Friday’s party is only the beginning for L.A.’s coastal communities.
“There is mad love on the Westside for music,” Omar said. “This is our one-year anniversary, and we’re hoping to continue it for years to come.”
Westside Love is 21+ and runs from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday at The Good Hurt, 12249 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista. Admission is $5 before 10 p.m. or $10 after, with free tacos and a beer coupon included. Call (310) 390-1076 or visit goodhurt.com.