The horn and drums duo shone at the New Orleans edition of Diplo's Mad Decent Block Party.

big gigantic photo by chelsea dunn
Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic, by Chelsea Dunn

[Updated] “WE LOVE NEW ORLEANS!” Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic screamed at the Mad Decent Block Party last Friday, and all the audience could do was roar back. The feeling was mutual. Though A$AP Ferg got mosh pits raging and girls twerking, and RL Grime unleashed his signature 808-infused trap sounds, Big Gigantic stole the show. After releasing an EP five months ago to little fanfare, they were the act I’d expected the least out of. However, they easily came up with the best daytime set as they made their saxophone-fueled dance music feel live and impulsive as Jeremy Salken tore into his drum set and Lalli controlled the mixer and played saxophone. Lalli couldn't stop declaring his love for New Orleans and his fans, and Salken stood up a number of times to point over his drum set at the ecstatic masses before him. 

 Big Gigantic followed UZ, a well-established name in the trap music scene, and in his hands, trap sounded like a fad. The hype behind the genre originally lay in its novelty--hip-hop percussion and Dirty South 808s meet EDM. Interest is waning though, and after UZ's tenth bass drop I could see why. The whole set sounded like a single song on repeat. Such is the way with EDM. There was dubstep, then moombahton, then trap, and now deep house. Each genre has certain artists who establish themselves as kings of the bubble but rapidly fall from grace as audiences flock to the next big thing. The current rise of deep house is evident in Spinnin’ Records’ dedication of to specific branch for the genre and the rise of Viceroy and radio favorite Disclosure. 

UZ photo by Chelsea DunnUZ, by Chelsea Dunn

Big Gigantic has removed itself from this cycle and explores new sounds. Its music can be enjoyed in any state of mind, unlike trap which seems to require drug and alcohol asistance. Unfortunately, the spike in EDM’s mainstream popularity has drawn more and more people who go to festivals and other electronic music events to do drugs first and listen to music second, which has made the distinction matter. By living outside the current 'big' genre of dance music, Big Gigantic may limit its chance at stardom, but it also has a better chance at longevity. 

ASAP Ferg by Chelsea DunnA$AP Ferg, by Chelsea Dunn

ASAP Ferg by Chelsea DunnA$AP Ferg, by Chelsea Dunn

dillon francis photo by chelsea dunnDillon Francis, by Chelsea Dunn


Updated 9:06 p.m.

The spelling of Big Gigantic member Dominic Lalli's was incorrect in the initial post. The spelling has been corrected in the current text.