What So Not, originally a duo of Christopher Emerson and Harley Edward Streten, before Streten, aka Flume, departed in 2015, has become a mainstay of the Australian EDM scene. Performing at every festival the country has to offer, Emerson has now gone global, playing a set at Electric Daisy Carnival in Mexico. Having released the set on YouTube, listeners at home can not only hear his expert pacing and unique fusion of electronic genres, but also witness the visual spectacle of a What So Not show.
While the mix starts off slow to an unengaged crowd, that all changes when he throws in a remix of Toto’s ‘Africa’ to a burst of rousing applause. The set offers a wide variety of electronic styles after this. He moves from some long and drawn out trance tracks, to his more iconic trap songs, to a surprising amount of drum and bass music. Hit singles from his own discography ‘We Can Be Friends’ and ‘Be OK Again’ get a spin. As the set goes on, Emerson moves into more energetic and pop influenced songs to end on a high note.
The accompanying visuals completely subsume Emerson. A huge screen and light board engulf the tiny figure on the vast stage. The lights flash and scatter in beat with the music, with the screens shifting and morphing colours in psychedelic waves. He even starts to incorporate dancers, in Luchador attire, to fit Mexico’s distinct cultural tone. It is strange yet entrancing to see a female dancer, dressed a luchador, entrancing the audience with her slow dancing as Emerson blasts a remix of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘M.A.A.D City’. While the crowd can be a little flat, the set holds up for listening at home. On top of that, the camera work encapsulates the full extent of the visuals, with wide establishing shots showing the full stage and close-ups focusing on dancers and What So Not himself.