Villains come to campus

DJ duo Villains will headline an AB-sponsored dance party in Rangos Ballroom tomorrow at 9 p.m. that will also feature local mix artists Cutups and Keebs.

Villains, composed of artists Mad V and Koncept, hails from Los Angeles and specializes in ultra-dancey electronic club mixes. Gaining popularity in early 2007, they have quickly become hipster royalty in L.A.’s club scene, dubbed an “L.A. party machine” by Vice Records late last year.

Often compared with electro/club duo L.A. Riots, Villains caters to a similar crowd and collaborated with the Riots on a remix of Hot Chips’ “Ready for the Floor.” Their mix tapes, Vol.1 and Vol. 2: Second Offense, include remixes from artists like MSTRKRFT, SebastiAn, and Justice on tracks by Simian Mobile Disco, Buddy Akai, Bloc Party, Boys Noize, and Chromeo, among others.

Villains excels at taking high-energy, raw material to the next level. In addition to retooling epics like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Daft Punk’s “Around the World,” Villains also plays with newer fabrics, rolling out an explosive and critically well-received mix of New Young Pony Club’s already energetic 2007 hit “The Bomb.” In September, Villains’ official remix of Felli Fel’s “Get Buck In Here” featuring P. Diddy, Akon, Ludacris, and Lil Jon premiered on southern California’s biggest hip-hop station, and is now in regular rotation.

The duo is currently about halfway done with the writing and production of an original EP, tentatively titled Death Disco. According to agent David Swartz, the EP should be out before Christmas. In the middle of busy touring months, Villains hits Rangos after a short tour of the Southwest. After Pittsburgh, the duo will drop down to Mexico for a short tour before returning to the Midwest.

The dance party will also feature local DJ Cutups (a.k.a. Geoff Maddock) known for mashing different styles, from breakcore and IDM to industrial and punk. A veteran of the late ’90s rave scene, Maddock became a known quantity in Pittsburgh’s drum and bass circles, appearing frequently at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern before settling into his own niche in experimental electronic dance. A recent review in the City Paper raves that Cutups’ mixes include “everything from hands-in-the-air, sing-along party anthems to hard-hitting, stripped-down dub pounders.”

Also appearing, DJ Keebs is a collaborator with Cutups on Stackin’ Paper, an ongoing Pittsburgh party series (of which the Tuesday dance party is a part) centered around avant-garde electronic dance music. On their Stackin’ Paper website, the two state that their goal is to “promote FUN dance music that’s both accessible and pushing boundaries while not taking itself too seriously.”

Those who liked MSTRKRFT last Halloween will likely appreciate Villains and company, and, of course, there is no rule against coming in the same costume. Tickets for Villains are $5 at the door.