REVIEW | Nosaj Thing at U Street Music Hall

For the past 10 years, Nosaj Thing (aka Jason Chung), has quietly released an excellent body of work that incorporates elements of hip-hop, downtempo electronica, glitch, and bass music. To date, he has produced three critically acclaimed electronic albums, high quality remixes for the likes of HEALTH, The xx, Flying Lotus and Little Dragon, in addition to productions for rappers Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and Kid Cudi. Touring behind his latest EP, No Reality, he graced the decks at U Street Music Hall this past Thursday in Washington, D.C. for an energetic DJ set with support from Sami.

The night started off with a warm up set from D.C. resident and 1432 R Records founder, Sami. He got the crowd dancing with a blend of mostly house tunes as the club filled to about half capacity for the headlining act. Recently, Nosaj Thing has been doing a series of live A/V shows with visual artist Daito Manabe, but this was not one of those gigs.

His DJ set included some of his newest cuts from Fated and No Reality, weaved seamlessly with hip-hop tracks by artists such as Danny Brown and Kanye West, with the latter’s track, “Waves,” evoking an uproarious crowd response. He also played songs from across the genre spectrum, including grime productions from Mssingno, the electronic-pop hybrid of Jessy Lanza, and high powered footwork from the late DJ Rashad. At one point he dropped a fantastic remix of D.C. native Kelela’s hit, “Rewind,” that had the enthusiastic crowd singing along.

The ease with which Nosaj Thing transitioned from one style to the next kept things feeling seamless the entire night. The incredibly powerful and finely tuned sound system inside U Street Music Hall made it an especially visceral experience hearing his selections live.  He played for a little over 90 minutes and the crowd did not stop getting down.

Whether it be a live A/V show or a DJ set, Nosaj Thing brings his A-game. If you are a fan of electronic music at all, you owe it to yourself to check him out.

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