Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Adventures of Plastic Cowboys in London and Amsterdam

Righto, so i've been a busy young man for the last month or so to the point where i haven't even managed to sleep at home for that whole period. Nice.

Part of the reason for this was my last minute trip out to ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) which has rapidly become one of the most important conferences for dance music in the world. Go Amsterdam. I left, after about an hours sleep straight off the back of October's Voodoo, for Heathrow at about five am and crawled into the hotel by lunchtime. A quick change and it was straight out to the conference where i met many wonderful and interesting characters and old friends of my sister's. Fun afternoon. The evening was spent in a pub around the corner from the hotel hammering in a lot of port and a few beers before heading to Melkveg (a club), where we caught a bit of Tommie Sunshine slamming out Fake Blood's "Mars" before heading up to the balcony for Crookers' set. It turns out, Crookers are amazing. AMAZING. I've never seen anything like the set they played. The floor was filled with about one thousand crazy dutch people going seven shades of ba shit to to set that was filled with banger after banger after banger after... well, you get the idea. By the time the Soulwax mix of MGMT drops, the balcony is bouncing and feels like it like it wants to come away from the wall, and everyone is leaning out so far, arms aloft, it looks as though we may end up in the crowd even if the balcony did stay attached to it fastenings.

The Proxy's "Raven" builds to a peak and not log after their remix of Kid Cudi's "Day N' Night" drops in and it was as though the mix was built for that specific moment in time, it never has, and never will, sound anything like it did at that moment ever again. As the set closes, we come to realise that Digitalism have no hope of competing with such a set so we leave to go and catch a touch of... something i've completely forgotten. no doubt they were famous and great though.

Oh yes, and we went to see Richie Hawtin and Justin Martin play a show in a small K-Swiss store. Bizarre. Free drinks was a bonues though, and half the people there thinking i was Richie Hawtin, despite the abundance of magazines with his face on littered around most of central Amsterdam at this point. Again, bizarre.

So, that was an exciting little trip which took a few days holed up in Cambridge to recover from. Thanks to those who know who they are.

Then i was ill for a good solid week. That sucked. A lot. But i got better in time to go and see Invasion, Rolo Tomassi and Fucked Up at the Barfly i Camden last Thursday. And,as usual, all three bands were awesome.

Invasion hammer out their set of groove infused, sludgy psychedelic Thrash. I think i can definitely hear an Iron Monkey influence in a part that is simply labeled "Riff" and i'm pretty happy. You don't get much better than Iron Monkey.

Rolo Tomassi do their thing with, perhaps a little less than, their usual panache as guitarist Joe trips and lands in a mess of cables and drums within thirty seconds of their opening track. Film Noir and Cirque De Funk are still my favourite songs of the set (due to a noticeably absent "Curby") though one can not deny the prowess of the new material. A special band to be watched as they continue to grow and amaze over the years.

What can I say about Fucked Up that hasn't been said. After their twelve hour set in NYC the other week (including performing Ramones' tracks with Moby an Descendants' tracks with Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, i kid you not)they are back in the UK and give a typical showcase, though h=i finally see blood from Pink Eyes' head and hear the backing harmonies on "David Comes To Life", goody! And there's never anything quite like getting so up close and personal with an incredibly hairy, overweight bald man. Oh no.

And for a little bit of music for this post, i'm going to start with Youth Attack's mix of Digitalism's Taken Away. So good Erol's jammed it on his personal playlist already. Go Youth Attack. We love you.

Digitalism - Taken Away (Youth Attack Remix)

And then some Juri Hulkkonen who i'm rather digging at the moment. Quite deep house and techy, whilst kind of feeling rooted in electro at the same time. I'm confused, but i like it.

Kid Cudi - Day N' Night (Juri Hulkkonen Remix)

The Presets - This Boy's In Love (Juri Hulkkonen Remix)

And Finally, Lillica Libertine, Nottingham's favourite son, has a new project he is wokin on with a friend under the name of Hotline. It's still very much electro, but from a very different angle to his previous works. It's much more funky and much less like the aural equivalent of getting glass in you eyes.

Hercules And Love Affair - Blind (Hotline remix)

Have fun,



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