On Saturday, the final day of CMJ's 2013 Music Marathon, FADER Fort moved from its usual home in the Converse Rubber Tracks warehouse at 130 Hope Street in Brooklyn to the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan. Festival-goers were ushered into a glass atrium, where the afternoon's sets were to take place for the daytime party--the evening's after-party would move back to Brooklyn.
The day opened with a set by Empress Of, the electro-pop project of Lorely Rodriguez. Empress Of is more than a little reminiscent of another impressive, knob-twisting project that made an appearance at FADER Fort a few years ago: Grimes. Rodriguez's vocals are less ethereal than Claire Boucher's, and the songs are a little less hook-driven, but the comparison remains a salient one. Rodriguez is the latest in a string of musicians who, in their live sets, double as producers. Plus, she was a great sport about turnout--at 1:30, the crowd was small (Deerhunter had played a late FADER Fort set the night before, after all) but Rodriguez played like the room was packed.
Next up was SISU, the rock band of Sandra Vu (who is also the drummer in Dum Dum Girls). Vu, wearing enormous sunglasses, played a set of dark, brooding rock to the steadily growing crowd. The set drew from the band's latest LP, Blood Tears, out last month on Mono Prism. While the performance was fairly faithful to the band's recorded work, there were a few songs that didn't translate as well in a live setting. Part of what makes SISU musically interesting is their willingness to play around with dissonance, but this means that the sound at live shows needs to be pretty crisp. The atrium where SISU played, while beautiful, had a lot of hard surfaces that cost the mix some clarity, making the music occasionally muddy.
Korallreven DJed between the sets, spinning dreamy electronic music without much bass. Of particular note was the use of a sample from Sleep Over's "Romantic Streams," whose gorgeous arpeggiated synth the duo paired with muted rap.
FADER wrapped up its daytime party with sets by Calvin Love, SZA, and Travi$ Scott.