Bought the Gayngs début Relayted on a whim after hearing this track in the shop. Absolutely stunning. But that’s all I’ll say as I’ll be sticking a review up soon.
I first saw Hudson Mohawke at a Warp party in the chasmic underbelly of the World Financial Centre, New York. It was odd, partly owing to the fact that while Mr Hawke was attracting buzz in blighty for the glittering hip-hop production aesthetics on display for Butter, the yanks had yet to hear of the unassuming Glaswegian. The audience was less than attentive, gazing towards what they assumed was an interval DJ, inanimate for the duration of his set.
Tonight at the Factory a similar episode is unfolding. The venue is housing a sound that’s muddy, décor that’s more Matthew Kelly than Ben Kelly, a lighting technician more concerned with strobe over any other lighting, and an uninterested audience; tentative, and bamboozled by the poorly lit pair on stage, waiting for the student club night to begin.
Tonight, and throughout his Pegasus Rising tour, Olivier Daysoul accompanies Hud Mo. He’s an engaging MC who this evening adds flecks of NYC nuance, occasionally stirring the audience to shift beyond reserved bopping and the odd, “woop!” however his talents go largely unused, and he’s rendered fruitless for the majority of the evening.
The pair occasionally rallies a response. You’d be hard pressed to not find yourself grooving to Mohawke’s irresistible and dark bass lines that sit atop the aggressive and smooth rapping style that Daysoul brings to the table. Bright, deconstructed synth lines and erratic compositions are exactly what make his Warp signing apparent, and they’re in abundance. Tonight, tracks such as ‘ZooO00oO0m’ and ‘Fuse’ find the audience swaying, but you can’t help but feel as though the crowd are waiting for a main act, or a massive drop, or increased tempo. It’s not quite accessible, hardly facilitates dancing, but the flashes of luminosity in Mohawke’s songs work to add light where stage lighting fails. ‘Joy Fantastic’ and ‘I Just Decided’ find Olivier Daysoul at his most arresting, this being his moment to shine, obviously having gotten bored of pacing in the shadows. The wonky and hyperactive styling of ‘Gluetooth’, with its beats too massive for the confines of the Factory demonstrate moments of brilliance.
However tonight it’s simply not working. The lackadaisical Tuesday crowd is impatient, too sober, lacking in numbers, dare I say bored?
(Originally posted on High Voltage)
If you either don’t know, or can’t hear it in the razor-sharp and super crisp production, How To Destroy Angels is Trent Reznor’s new music toy, along with lady wife, and former West Indian Girl vocalist, Mariqueen Maandig.
While it may not be much of a departure from his style, I like how it’s essentially NIN with a gorgeous feminine slant. Maandig brings a sultry vocal to an overly moody and melancholy track. The EP is out this Summer.
The heat at the Ruby Lounge this evening has surely been cranked up to accommodate for our antipodean guests. Dressed like fine-young farm hands on a stage strewn with fairy lights and flowers, Angus and Julia Stone tonight have the uncanny ability of whisking the more attentive audience members atop lazy halcyon hay bales drenched in summer sun.
Tonight the brother-sister duo play a enchanting selection of tracks spanning their three albums. Some audience requests are obliged – the Angus working of ‘Hollywood’ is sublime – but elsewhere the pair are understandably keen to keep to a set that brims with feeling and a little sass. Songs such as ‘For You’, ‘Mango Tree’ and ‘Soldier’ demonstrate an ease that keeps the audience captivated. Julia’s vocal melodies cut an intoxicating, delicate, yet sharp line through a section of murmuring audience members. There’s an air of Joanna Newsom in her tone, albeit not quite as potent, and her motion is far more animated. While Angus remains steadfast, hardly wavering from his harmonies, his voice underlying and carrying layers of emotion in both primary and secondary roles. It’s the kind of harmonies you imagine a brother and sister would spend hours toiling over, and tonight they blend perfectly.
Vexing those of us who like to appreciate live music, there’s a couple of people here tonight that don’t seem bothered, ‘Wasted’ momentarily becomes their anthem during the encore. But I digress. There’s a few other hiccups along the way. A missed verse here, and while a stunted trumpet solo momentarily disrupts ‘Private Lawns’, the irresistible bass line retains a steady bop within the crowd. ‘Paper Aeroplane’, ‘Just a Boy’ and ‘And The Boys’ again find the audience swaying to the up-tempo moments in what is a predominantly a contemplative night. Bluesy and harmonica led ‘Stranger’ makes an appearance amongst a smattering of dodgy covers. Olivia Newton John’s, ‘One That I Want’, and no, the Corrs didn’t write ‘Dreams’.
The band end on ‘Santa Monica Dreams’, expertly capping off what is an enjoyable yet claustrophobic evening.