TABS Remixes Indie Pop and EDM Hits into Ass-Shaking Extravaganzas
In last week's issue of New Times, we profiled 10 new(ish) bands we expect to dominate Phoenix iPods and boomboxes this long, hot summer. We'll be focusing more deeply on those artists over the next couple of days on Up on the Sun.
Stevie Kixx The men behind TABS: Ben Andersen (left) and Eric Hoss.
See the entire list: 10 Phoenix Bands You Should Be Listening to This Summer
Eric Hoss and Ben Andersen would prefer it if crowds did more ass-shaking than fist-pumping or head-bobbing at their gigs. To that end, the Arizona EDM duo known as TABS fill their high-energy beatscapes and remixes with effusive grooves and infectious hooks.
"We get tons of fist-pumps at clubs but not tons of dance," Hoss says. "We've got that really high-energy sound down pat, but we also wanted to mix in that '80s, shake-your-ass kinda grooves. I mean, who doesn't like doing that? We're always trying to make things more dancier with our music."
While the pair haven't gotten as many clubgoers' moneymakers moving as they'd like, they've certainly been successful at building a buzz in the Valley scene for reworking songs by local favorites like Peachcake and Super Stereo, as well as props in the EDM blogosphere with their remixes of indie pop and electronica artists.
A writer for San Francisco-based blog Ambassador Beats, for instance, gushed about how TABS' reinvention of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" using pitch-shifting effects, original beats and instrumental elements, and tricking with the tempo created "a completely different vibe [that] make this a big winner."
They weren't the only ones showing the track some love, as New York club DJ Liquid Todd aired the track on an episode of his Sirius XM show "Boombox Radio." TABS' remix of Kaskade and Deadmau5's "Move for Me" that they produced in February also made it to No. 5 on Hype Machine's Top 50.
Jeffly Choi of New York City was one of many who dug the remix, stating on his Tumblr that TABS "[breathed] new life into an already classic dance track."
Hoss, who performs under the nickname Speedy Graffiti, says they're overwhelmed by all the kudos they've gotten.
"We've had lots of people freaking out about many of our mixes," he says. "You wouldn't believe how flattered that makes us feel."
Peachcake's Stefan Pruett says that TABS excels at transforming good music and making it better.
"They have an earnest capability to take a song from one place and bring it to another," he says. "And ultimately, whichever direction they choose to take it, you'll end up liking it."
To wit: TABS took the band's poppy track "You Matter" and dialed it up with house music verve.
"It has some twists which leave it effervescent," Pruett says. "They'll throw in a dubstep breakdown amid a sleek electro track, but not the kind of abrasiveness you're used to. Something more palatable to the ears, that flows with the song as opposed to [transforming] it entirely."
Hoss says that in addition to dope grooves, the duo typically infuse their indie pop remixes with the over-the-top aesthetic of main room house, which is similar in spirit to the electronica bombast of superstars Martin Solveig and Alesso.
"Our soul is in house, that four-on-the-floor, 130 BPM style, heavy on the kick drum, that just goes, 'Boom, boom, boom,'" he says. "We love that shit. It's our heartbeat. That's the music we decided on instead of the ever-growing dubstep or moombahton scenes."