The excitement was palpable in the streets of Downtown Los Angeles last Friday night. Our golden boys of hockey, the LA Kings had just secured the second Stanley Cup title in just three years and as people spilled out of Staples Center, they piled into the clubs and bars lining the downtown streets. An LA native himself, Gary Richards aka DESTRUCTO took to Twitter to congratulate his hometown team and invite all of his fans to come celebrate with him at Exchange LA.
One of LA’s most unique club settings, Exchange is housed inside the walls of the original LA Stock Exchange. Elegant marble beams and grand staircases are decorated with dim, colorful light. When you walk in, you can feel the reverberation before you can hear it. A couple twisting hallways, a funky old elevator ride and BOOM. Sound, light, smoke and screens assault your senses from every angle. A mischievous smile creeps across your face as you walk into the chaos.
It goes without saying that Gary Richards is one of the most important figures in electronic music today. Getting his start in the 90’s underground scene in LA, Rick Rubin singled Richards out to take over the electronic music at Def American Recordings. One thing lead to another and in 2007, Richards founded HARD. (Yes, like HARD Summer/HARD Day of the Dead/Holy Ship! ). Their events consistently boast some of of the most eclectic and cutting-edge artists in the electronic game.
On this electric Friday evening, Richards proved once again that he is 100% worthy of the clout he carries in the EDM industry. Not only is he a genre-shaping visionary, he is a tremendously talented producer in his own right. As he took the stage to a slow, thugged-out beat, the hometown crowd went wild. With many friends and familiar faces in the crowd, the atmosphere felt more like a house party than an urban club—at one point Richards stopped his set to say “Oh, what up Jay!!! Happy Birthday dude!”
He played some feel-good remixes of crowd favorites like Drake’s “Started From The Bottom”—each remix showcasing the heavyweight style of DESTRUCTO. He also played his newest club-ready track “Party Down” featuring YG (LA’s most recent pretty-boy/hoodlum). Richards manages to balance heavy, dubby sound in a way that doesn’t weigh the party down. It stays dynamic and exciting. Certified party music that everybody can get down to, regardless of their pretentious taste in electronic music.
As we left the club, cheers could still be heard echoing down the streets of DTLA. It was the perfect way to celebrate a momentous night in our city: hometown pride, feel-good music and most of all, a reminder that if you stay driven and nurture your talent, you can do just about anything you want to. Everybody started somewhere. Where will you begin?