It’s hard to stand out in the electronic music scene these days. With countless acts both signed and unsigned putting out music on the daily it is hard to draw and keep a following. However, if you have been closely following the electronic acts of the five years, the names XXYYXX and Chrome Sparks have likely crossed your path more than once, and its also quite likely that their music has made you stop what stop in your tracks to listen.
XXYYXX & Chrome Sparks both made their respective returns to Minneapolis in The Exchange & Alibi Lounge, with DJ sets that featured their hits and their takes on other big tracks in the music game today. The Exchange itself is a venue that is designed for more intimate shows, which played perfectly into their music. Fans were inches from the stand all night with only a pane of glass providing the separation. Though it did not stop many who tried to their best to interact with the artists during their set.
The night started with Shrimpnose & Su Na playing DJ sets for the first half of the night. Su Na’s set, in particular, drew heavily on hip-hop influences all across the genre. Eventually, Chrome Sparks took the stage and began his DJ set. His music drew on music both new an old, as well as remixes of popular tracks. Most will know him by his smash hit in 2013 “Marijuana” which was a viral track all across the internet on Youtube, Soundcloud, and reddit. Naturally, when he started to play it, the crowd went wild.
Next up was XXYYXX, pronounced X-X-Y-Y-X-X (a vocal exercise according to the artist himself, Marcel Everett) Hailing from Orlando, Florida. XXYYXX gained prominence in the music scene with his viral song/video “About You” in 2012. If you remember the music video, it featured a downtempo track, set to girls smoking in slow-mo and eventually in masks. Rather unsettling, it gained the attention of music fans all across the genre. Marcel himself is currently only 22 years old, and released his first proper album at just 17 years old and is looking to release a new album in the near future.
His set featured most of his work since his discography is still fairly small. Songs like “Good Enough,” “Fields,” “Red,” “Dmt” & his new single “I Don’t” riled up the crowd with every beat. The set bathed in a deep red throughout a vast majority of the night. For anyone who is a big fan of XXYYXX, which was a vast majority of the crowd, it was an absolute pleasure of a night. Tracks that have only been heard through headphones and speakers were finally able heard in their live iterations. For many, it was their first time ever seeing him, with this being one of his first headlining tours.
For anyone who is a fan of downtempo production, XXYYXX & Chrome Sparks are a must see, especially in a venue designed for intimate shows like The Exchange. The next time either of these artists returns to Twin Cities, they are a must-see.