LIVE REVIEW: Jessie Calistri

Silverlake Lounge  Los Angeles, CA

Contact: instagram.com/jessiecalistri

Web: soundcloud.com/jessiecalistri

Players: Jessie Calistri, DJ, producer

Material: The Silverlake (one word) Lounge in super-hip Silver Lake (two words), Los Angeles, is under relatively new ownership and the fresh blood has brought fresh air. The place had ceased to be a go-to spot, but all of that has changed. On a Friday night early in July, they hosted a free event called Buried Treasure featuring three local electronic musicians/DJs, who immediately followed a handful of live bands. That’s inspired; they get to market two entirely different events with different names that will attract different people, without needing to have backline changes after 10 p.m. Buried Treasure featured Ms. Ed, Gol Phase, and a thrilling artist called Jessie Calistri. Her 30(ish) minute set saw her proudly balance on the line between genres, exploring the intersection. So house, trance, techno and bass music blended into something genre-less and glorious.

Musicianship: Don’t make the classic mistake of thinking that electronic musicians “aren’t real musicians.” That’s dinosaur thinking and it’s beneath all of us. A great DJ and/or electronic producer not only needs a great ear but a deft touch, and Calistri has both. The set blends together like a symphonic piece, peaking when you think it can’t peak anymore. Calistri takes you on a journey and there are no weak moments.

Performance: Let’s be honest here—Calistri stands behind her board and does her thing. There’s little in the way of a show, because that’s not what she’s about. The Silverlake Lounge doesn’t have much in the way of lights, either, so we’re left with no choice but to watch Calistri (and the other acts on this bill) go about her business. Fortunately, we like to watch talented people being talented and she qualifies. Her hands glide across the board with expert precision, and there’s something hypnotic about that.

Summary: “Never married to one sound, she continuously explores the spaces between genres, while sharing the music of others on her platform,” Calistri says on her Soundcloud page, and that just about covers it. The artist has been in the game for a few years now, and she’s continually improving. But it’s her pride at not being pigeon-holed that makes her stand out. There may come a time when she wants to marry herself to a sub-genre but we hope not—her flexibility is her strength and long may that remain the case.