Charlie Yin, better known as Giraffage, has come a long way from making beats in his UC Berkeley dormroom. He’s now an international touring artist with 2 albums, millions of soundcloud plays, and releases on Fool’s Gold and Dim Mak under his belt. In an era of cookie-cutter dance music, Giraffage is pushing the boundaries of creative sampling through a unique meld of synthpop, RnB, trap, and futurebass. It’s uncanny how his productions seamlessly incorporate Lil John-esque trap shouts and iphone ringtone sounds with lush chords and glittering arpeggios. What surprises and intrigues me the most about his music, however, is its versatility. The Giraffage sound is mellow enough to relax at home a la headphones and yet, as I discovered on a warm Friday night in Tempe, captivating enough to make a crowded venue bounce.
I’ll admit that when I first entered Shady Park on October 14th, where Giraffage was set to perform, I was a little confused. Half restaurant and half beer garden, Shady Park isn’t your typical high fashion, strobe-heavy clubbing experience. Yet, there was a certain charm about its open air feel and the eclectic crowd that it drew in which put me at ease.
Giraffage opened up the night with a superb mash up of ‘Tell Me’ and ‘My Boo’, the instantly recognizable “running man challenge” song which immediately set the energy in the venue off. He continued to sprinkle in some of his acclaimed remixes like R Kelly’s ‘Ignition Remix’ and ‘Better Off Alone’, based off the 1998 cult classic by Alice Deejay. While I was thoroughly enjoying these throwbacks and laughing out loud when Vengaboys’ ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’ came on, I couldn’t help but notice how vibrant and far from ordinary the visuals were. Bright images of ripped, Schwarzenegger-like pikachus were interspersed with dogs and low-fi anime. All part of Charlie’s unique style I guess, which seems to borrow heavily from various aspects of the internet age. Finally, as the night came to a close, Giraffage put on an encore performance of his dreamy and multifaceted ‘Someone to Call My Lover’ remix – a fitting finale to an evening of unforgettable music under the stars.
Photos courtesy of Aaron Soto, Relentless Beats, and Shady Park.