LIVE REVIEW: Duke Dumont (4/24/14)

Duke Dumont

If you’re into electronic music and haven’t heard of British producer Duke Dumont, it’s time to get yourself together. He may not be blasting on top-40 radio stations or have Rihanna on all of his tracks, but he’s making serious moves within the genre. In the UK, he’s had two #1 singles. This year, his track “Need U (100%)” was nominated for the “Best Dance Recording” Grammy, going up against the likes of Zedd, Kaskade, Calvin Harris, and Armin Van Buuren. You may have even seen him perform at Coachella. After all, he has been described as a revitalizing artist for reborn house and UK garage.

As a journalist who typically concentrates in rock music and comedy, I’ve been doing my best to step outside of my comfort zone. I mean this not in the sense of life experiences, but in a sense of writing style. Hell, two weeks ago I found myself petting Riff Raff’s dog in his dressing room.

I’m not too well-versed in the musical stylings and vernacular associated with EDM, therefore I tend to leave it to the experts to write about it. When I discuss a producer or DJ, I have some friends who give me the, “He has no idea what he’s talking about…” look. I’ve been to plenty of festivals, concerts, raves, whatever you want to call them, so I figured I’d check this out.


When I was asked to go cover Duke Dumont, I was a bit hesitant because I’d already had an interview lined up with Australian rock band Twelve Foot Ninja. We conducted the interview in the cold and windy Madison Square Park in New York City after I’d finished a long day at my advertising firm. I had to be at work the next morning at normal office hours and Duke wasn’t slated to take the stage in Brooklyn until after midnight, which ended up being 1:00 A.M.

I was excited to photograph the show as I’ve had a great time shooting the likes of Dada Life, 12th Planet, Dillon Francis, Bauuer and more in the past. EDM shows are a blast to shoot. Unfortunately, it turns out that Output, the year old Brooklyn club doesn’t allow photography of any kind whatsoever. As a member of the press it certainly did put a bad taste in my mouth, but I think I understand why. I can’t remember the last time I had such a good time in a club, especially knowing I’ll have to wake up for work the next day. Not having cell phones in your face was a luxury; I guess the club’s logic applies to professional photographers as well.

Dumont’s performance was fantastic. As someone who isn’t a regular listener to this type of music, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. When I heard Duke come on SiriusXM on the way to Brooklyn, I had a feeling it would be a good night. His crowd draw was interesting, and from what I hear is partially the overall style of Output itself. There was no neon clothing or an excess of “candy” bracelets. The only exception were two tools wearing matching Superman tanktops and the guy with his popped Burberry collar, but they were getting dirty looks as soon as they entered the room.

Duke logo

Dumont’s style is slow and steady; it isn’t in your face with flashing lights and overwhelming transitions. Vocals are few and far between, and often used as a tactful device for engaging the next part of his set.

At 2:41 in the morning Dumont could be seen swinging his headphones and showing no sign of slowing down. In the “Panther Room” next door, there was a smaller setup with a DJ and fireplace. The name for the room was adequate, considering the painting of two panthers fornicating on the wall.

The dynamic of the main room was unique, with quality and well-managed sound. The stage had a grandiose appearance without losing the level of intimacy affiliated with the local club.

Dumont has Recently signed on to Astralwerks and you can expect a full length record coming out later this year.

Check out one of his tracks below.

Review by: Derek Scancarelli

Derek Scancarelli

Derek Scancarelli is a feature writer, interviewer, videographer, photographer, radio-er and more. In 2015, he received his MA in Journalism in New York City. In addition to Under The Gun Review, Derek has worked with Noisey (VICE), Alternative Press, New Noise Magazine and many more. He also pushes some buttons at SiriusXM.

Comedian Jim Norton once called him a serial killer on national radio. Enjoy the internet with him on Twitter.
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