by Michael Pfeiffer
Most people who know Mija are familiar with her as this tiny sprite that works magic behind the decks, mixing grooves from all the genres of dance music into wonderful sets that I’ve experienced myself at Movement and Electric Forest. However, Mija’s been up to a whole new spell lately, creating music as a singer and musician along with a backing band. She brought it all out to the Shelter, along with Hana and Foxy Panic and captivated her fans late Saturday night.
Doors opened later than usual after 10pm with Foxy Panic not beginning their set until after 11pm. However, Foxy Panic is late night music of the best kind with the two members sharing vocals playing atmospheric dance music with guitar and sparse electronic melodies. It was a sultry set that had a sense of foreboding from beginning to end.
Hana took the stage next and swerved quickly into a set of dynamic, electronic pop. She performed most of her songs at the front of the stage, dancing and singing her songs backed by the music on her laptop. It was a great set of songs as she has an exhilarating voice and really throws herself into the music. She closed with a remix of Grimes’ “We Appreciate Power” which she’s featured on.
Mija backed by a drummer and a multi-instrumentalist, took the stage well after midnight. Many DJs / producers have made the switch to playing pop music but I don’t think any of them have come close to the unique direction Mija has taken. With her new release, “Desert Trash,” Mija’s music is more like carnival pop with heavy bass. You sway with the music more than you dance to it. The title track, “Desert Trash,” Mija played acoustic guitar, on other songs she played keyboards and live mixed her vocals. Her songs have open space that gave her and the band a chance to jam and add some soulful elements. At the end of her set, what I came away with is an artist that has many talents that plays along to her own set of rules and I wouldn’t want it any other way.