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SXSW 2011: Night Slugs on the Move with Deadboy, Egyptrixx and Kingdom

March 18, 2011 |  9:03 am

Though it has made inroads in recent years, SXSW remains a heavily indie rock-centric festival. It's the sort of place where you can overhear people speaking about Dinosaur Jr. as if they were T-Rex.

But while rap music has become a major element of the festival in recent years (along with a growing international contingent), electronic music remains somewhat of a fringe element. So credit London's Night Slugs label for forking over the money to bring Kingdom, Deadboy and Egyptrixx to play the Beauty Bar on Wednesday night. Granted, Kingdom now reps LA, but the other two offered a chance to see some of dubstep's most esteemed new talents.

Unfortunately, the crowd and venue never matched the intensity and furor that their music demands. Though a die-hard contingent lingered around Beauty Bar for much of the night, Egyptrixx found the dance floor cleared by the final third of his set. Norway's Casiotone were playing inside, and while I was sufficiently impressed by their poor man's LCD Soundsytem electro-rock, they weren't coming close to Egyptrixx. Even if you come in, tight and unstretched as though you've been in traction for six months, by the sixth song, Egyptrixx will having you doing the loose-as-a-goose dance as if you were Lil Boosie. It's embarassing but worthwhile.

Running through a delirious neck-snapping set of house, jungle and dubstep, the Night Slugs nabob had a guy in front of me wearing a Texas Rangers hat, olive khakis and plaid shirt, losing his mind as though he had never heard sounds like that before (which he probably hadn't). The label proved why it's one of the best in dubstep right now. The name might be inaccurate, though; they could make even the most sluggish souls dance like dervishes.

-- Jeff Weiss