Wading neck-deep among sweat-lodged Diplo fans never seemed so calm. It was almost surreal, given the blasts of bass and laser lights that engulfed the populace inside the main stage, dubbed Treble Frequency, at the height of San Bernardino’s Audiotistic electronic music festival this weekend. But in the grips of big beat Armageddon, the threat of being thrashed around like a rag doll was the last thing ruminating in the minds of fist-pumping fans.
As the sound raged, two bikini-clad women in fox-colored spirit animal hoodies ducked in the middle of the herd to absorb a swirl of neon lights on the fingertips of a fellow raver, unafraid of being trampled by anything except sensory overload. Aboveground, Diplo’s squinted eyes surveyed the crowd as he smirked and cranked up the dials.
At 10 p.m. Wednesday night, the line snaking around Bar Marmont was 50 people deep, each seething with jealousy every time the door would flap open and some starlet would come stumbling out. The lepidopteran-themed bar, home to countless scandalous affairs including, most recently, the LiLo-snubbing Ronson soiree, was hosting Diplo and Switch’s release party for “Major Lazer," the boiling pot of Caribbean that's given birth to new subgenres -- bandanna jah, dancehall spaz -- and everyone wanted inside.
The two DJs, who are best known for supplying M.I.A. with killer-cold backdrops on "Kala " (including, in Diplo's case, her mega-hit "Paper Planes"), set up behind a modest table in the bar's side chamber. They busted out with a tight, quick set culled from the new record that features the contributions of Santigold and dancehall DJ Vybz Kartel, to name a couple. Model-types in hooded dresses and the dudes who love them stomped on the tiled floor, spilling the tidal wave of free drinks that would not stop coming from the Marmont's obsequious bar staff.