This past Friday at Webster Hall was the right way to kick off Valentine’s Day Weekend. Showcasing their talents was the bearded Branchez, and OG hop-hop producer Salva. Both bringing very different sides of trap to the table, these artists put on enticing, dance-inducing performances.
Let’s start with a little bit about Branchez; Brooklyn native Sam Kopelman has a passion for making serious, emotionally stimulating beats. Imagine shiny thick caramel pouring on a slab of onyx marble in slow motion, with a black panther relaxing by a fire on a Sunday counting diamonds– THAT’S kind of what Branchez is like. Heavily influenced by R&B, hip hop, jazz, and funk; Branchez’s signature sound is uplifting, smooth, and sexy.
This producer first caught my attention a couple of years ago with his insanely perfected edit of Rihanna’s “Stay”; which by the way, still never fails to put me in a mood. Since then, I’ve seen him perform a solid five times, and each time he throws down, effectively delivering positive vibes into his crowd. This past Friday was no different!
We arrived around 12:15, just in time for his set. Although the main floor was eerily empty (enough room to run laps), Branchez still brought the heat (as expected). He played a few classics like Back Room, Treat You Right, and the ever jazzy Shake (the first half of his set was pretty reminiscent of his 2013 Triple J Mix) – along with High You Are and Stay, and a handful of unfamiliar tracks. Everything was going quite smoothly, crowd hyped – hands up – swaying from side to side – when all of the sudden…Branchez dropped an unreleased, never before heard edit of I Remember by Deadmau5 (and Kaskade). Let me repeat that (in case you didn’t catch it, or just want to hear me say it again). BRANCHEZ PLAYED AN UNRELEASED/NEVER BEFORE HEARD, EDIT OF I REMEMBER BY THE GOD DAMN MAU5. (*Insert praying hands emoji*). Heavy breathing, heads spinning – once we all finally mustered the strength to get to our feet we had a chance to actually take in what was happening. His remix was smooth, masterful, and could be easily appreciated by anyone (Mau5 fanatic or not) — well done Mr. Kopelman.
And now on to the trap lord known as SALVA. Unfortunately I do not have a random, luxurious visual to go with Salva’s sound – but do not be mistaken, this LA based-producer brought the hype and the heavy just as hard as any professional OG would. As this night’s headliner, it was no surprise that a veteran producer like Salva played an extremely progressive and forward performance. Maybe a blessing in disguise – a smaller crowd gave the artist more leeway to mix a more experimental set; playing with doses of jersey club, along with his signature concentrated, ruthless style, and even some sprinklings of Miami bass. As assumed, Salva dropped his newest Boys Noize remix, Push Em Up, and the long awaited Old English (a crowd favorite, featuring A$AP Ferg, Young Thug, and Freddie Gibbs). As the night died down, the producer saw it fitting to play a handful old rap classics – some late 90s Jigga and tracks from Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ – what more could you ask for? An intimate setting for some late night jams with one of trap and hip-hops biggest producers – a great night indeed!
Check out some of the pics taken by fellow Daily Beat writer/photographer Derek Kademan below:
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