Coachella 2014: Cajmere delivers Chicago house in the Yuma Tent

Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic

It's a perennial theme, one that manifests itself throughout genre and era: the idea of getting lost in music.

Whether it's Pharrell imploring us to "Lose Yourself to Dance," Eric B. and Rakim's "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em" or the old-time standard "The Tennessee Waltz," the notion of vanishing inside the rhythms, of losing all sense of time and space and letting the proverbial troubles glide away, is something that draws many -- but not all -- festival goers to Coachella. Let's get lost.

Amid 80,000 or so people with competing agendas and strikingly different ideas about concert etiquette and acceptable social behavior, though, that's way easier said than done. Half these people don't even seem to understand how to get lost in music in a public setting, let alone appreciate that surrounding others might want to.

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Cajmere is best known for his other persona, Green Velvet (whose "La La Land" Fatboy Slim sampled during his set), but for this mix the artist born Curtis Jones dipped into his creates to offer early Chicago house music.

The Yuma tent served as an escape for many fans scared of or uninterested in the massive Sahara tent's offerings -- or escaping the dust storm. Tucked away on the far side of the pitch, the space, which debuted last year, has nearly doubled in size, and when Chicago DJ Cajmere filled it  with minimal, throbbing house tracks, it was easy to glide into a wormhole built by volume, big Roland 808 beats and strange, spooky sonic noise echoing through the tent.

It was mesmerizing, filled with the kind of space and subtlety that the kids banging to Zedd at the Sahara tent haven't seemed too interested in. Out there it was all beefy layers of pummeling noise. In here, it felt wide open -- and many disappeared inside the warm beats of house music. 


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