This past Thursday brought a trio of DJs to the Bottom Lounge. Jim E-Stack started off the night performing to a few eager dancers who relished in the open space right in front of the stage. As fans filed in, the energy remained pretty chill as supporting act Jacques Greene brought slightly more lively beats. The catchier set garnered more head bobs from the crowd and a bit more dancing from the handful of seemingly intoxicated folks up front.
As the lights dimmed between sets, fans began cheering for Jason–“Nosaj” spelled backwards. The Los Angeles producer quietly took to the stage, setting up shop in a corner where he remained for most of his set. The stage visuals were set in a triangular orientation with Nosaj Thing’s dimly-lit gear, a bright box of lights at center stage, and a laser in another corner.
The live show was a perfect match for the LA native’s newest release “Parallels,” mostly down-tempo, moody, and largely chill with spurts of more upbeat color from guest vocalists. The dark setting, precisely illuminated drew a direct parallel to the album’s composition, delivering a carefully curated, slightly cerebral dream-like experience. His stage presence remained understated throughout his set with most of the crowd’s attention clinging to his beats while mesmerized by the spectacle created by the lasers and fog machine. Overall, his set was artistic and subtle, pretty much the antithesis of many mainstream DJ sets rife with aggressive audiovisual overstimulation.
Jason Chung, a Korean-American Los Angeles-based producer who goes by the name “Nosaj Thing,” has been crafting beats for over a decade. He has worked with Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar and remixed Flying Lotus and Radiohead. He first gained traction nearly ten years ago when Kid Cudi used Thing’s most famous track “Aquarium” on the track “Man on the Moon.”