The shift may be gradual, but big-name musical acts are beginning to be more mindful about the involvement of visualists, closer in their collaboration, and quicker to credit the visual artists. And well they should: adding powerful visuals to a set and promoting the visual artists involved is now a terrific way to promote the musical act, too.

One example: DJ Sasha, the Ableton-based DJ and electronic artist, has a terrific-looking LED-based show that accompanies him, the work of Picnic Electronic (the visualist, not the Montreal outdoor party) and Immersive. Details from Sasha:

The V_rtek show has been meticulously produced by Sasha and visual artists, Picnic Electronic (Alexis, Baillat & Fils] and Immersive (formerly the Pixel Addicts), and is a huge LED masterpiece that syncs with every intricate sound in Sasha’s set. He wanted to create a unique and totally spellbinding visual and sonic assault on the senses and has been developing this show over the last 8 months. The first of these shows was unveiled at Big Day Out in Australia earlier this year and can be seen here However those at Glastonbury on Friday will witness a much bigger, more expanded and more visually and sonically intricate show which has now been named the V_rtek Show. However those at Glastonbury on Friday will witness a much bigger, more expanded and more visually and sonically intricate show which has now been named the V_rtek Show.

To me, oversize LED walls still lack the range of expression and detail that projectors can provide, but they can make up for that in sheer impact. And the show is nicely done; I can imagine it fits perfectly with Sasha’s live sets.

Check out more of the videos on Sasha’s YouTube channel:

  • Another great use of LED screens was the last two Nine Inch Nails tours. They had full screens behind the band and a lower resolution "see – through" screen that would sometimes be lowered in front of the band. The screen programming was highly interactive. One song had a screen noise field projected on the front screen which had sensors on it so when Trent walked up closer to it the noise would pull back away and reveal him. Another time a drum machine rhythm grid was projected and a crew member walks up and live programs the intro beats for the song by "pushing" the buttons. In another a crew member erases parts of the front screen to reveal the band by painting on it with a flashlight. Very cool stuff. The DVD video "Another version of the truth" shows most of it though of course the impact is much greater in person. These walls were Huge too. Though the resolution of the LAD screes is lower than that of projection there is the power of projected light vs. reflective light at work here.

  • Peter –

    This looks cool – and the visual work on Richie Hawtin's latest Plastikman tour look insane.

    I'd like to see sequencers incorporating more media-sequencing features to bring advanced audiovisual performances into the range of more performers.

  • Hahaha:

    "still lack the range of expression and detail…"


    "I can imagine it fits perfectly with Sasha’s live sets."

  • Didn't like any of it. Very amatuerish and obviously direction has come from Sasha and not a visualist. Minimalism I like. But this just didn't grab me.

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  • Veiss

    Haha. The two above comments are pretty much exactly what I was thinking as I watched the videos and read the article. First paragraph, nice.

  • too scripted and not really a natural flow and live expression…

  • Fiichaa

    Club Essential(riga, latvia) is running LED screens exactly like there for 4 or more years now. 🙂 looks like someone saw and just copied 🙂

  • I echo the above statements.

    also, that NIN stuff is just insane. I'm not sure anyone has topped that yet.

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  • Saw/Heard & Experienced Sasha's set in Boiler Room @ Big Day Out in Auckland. Awesome sonic & visual feast!
    Would be cool to know more about the set up that was used for the visuals….

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