Posted March 18, 2013 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment

DJ VenusX Tops Off International Womyn’s Week at Evergreen

New York City deejay Venus X’s performance at Evergreen concluded International Womyn’s Week on Friday, March 8. A group of 20 to 30 TESC students danced winter quarter out of their systems during the hour-long set. Jazmin Venus “Venus X” Soto’s appearance at Evergreen follows on the tail of a year of incredible successes for the artist, and, as attendees witnessed, well-deserved hype.

During 2012, a New York Times feature an article hailing her “laptop-free” methods and another hailing her contributions to the city’s art and fashion scenes She also appeared in the official video for ASAP Rocky’s “Peso.”

Soto exemplified her own dark urban style, layering popular rap vocals, world music instrumentals, and electronic variations between fuzz and clarity over a vast heavy landscape of bass-cracked urban cement. Unlike the people on the dance floor, many clearly dressed to “get down,” I walked into Library 4300 under a thick blanket of delirium and exhaustion.

Soto’s elaborate spin style immediately reached through my mind’s under-caffeinated veneer. Her custom mixture of sound sources had me nodding my head to an alteration of a Nicki Minaj song, though I usually feel adamantly unimpressed with Minaj’s music.

The first half of the event was filled with female MC vocals and calculated beat, bass and synth transitions. The set peaked with the first two and a half minutes of Kendrick Lamar’s high-intensity track “m.A.A.d. city” at its midpoint. This nod to the West Coast spiked the room’s atmosphere with enough energy to dance through most of the 7PM hour.

Latin, Arabic, and Eastern rhythms peaked out behind a central American hip-hop theme and eventually surrounded and seemingly engulfed it before a final lyrical rap outro. Venus X avoids predictability without neglecting an audience’s need to follow a recognizable progression. She uses pop music as one of many devices to connect with an audience without relying on it to compensate for her own creativity.

By Cassandra Johnson-Villalobos