After Mark E had warmed us up (we all needed it as it was a particularly cold night), it was time for Simian Mobile Disco to play to a very packed room, uncomfortably so in fact. The whole evening had been curated by SMD and Wang so there had been acts under both of the railway arches all night.
SMD confidently take to the stage which is cluttered with equipement, including what looks like an enormous hard drive that Jas Shaw manipulates noises from throughout the entire 1 and a half hour set. All tension that has previously been in the room vanishes within an instant as all eyes are fixated on the maverick electronic duo.
The pair blend new songs with SMD classics yet the new songs go down just as well as the old ones, ‘Put Your Hands Together’, ‘Cerulean’ and ‘Seraphim’ being particular favourites, the latter of which is actually one the songs played in the climax of the set and one of my favourite moments of the whole evening. Perhaps it’s the catchy house inspired vocal repetition of “Why can’t you be, where I want you to be?” or the driving handclaps or the bending electronic riff; maybe all three? The audience are clearly already familiar with Unpatterns which was released earlier this year – an encouraging sign given it is by far the best Wichita release of this year (and there’s been some pretty cracking ones) as well as one of the best albums of this year. It’s a shame that electronic music always seems to fall short of Mercury nomination as it could have snatched the prize easily if so.
One cannot help but be ridiculously impressed by how hard the two producers work to make the sounds they do as well as the severe mixing of genres which takes place within their music. There are influences of all elements of electronic music in their songs in a way that puts TEED to shame. Tonight they proved that they are definitely the true British masters of electronic music. Let’s hope they carry on doing it and churn out more material soon!
Another act with a release that seemed to not really get enough mainstream recognition is Lone with his album Galaxy Garden: a bassy electronic album which still manages to have fragility to it in the same way that Flying Lotus’ records are delicate whilst also being very different in style. Lone takes to the stage after SMD and performs a stunning set (helped by the very great sound quality in the venue as opposed to the last place I saw him in) which showcases his skillful technique of interweaving powerful synth loops and samples with a club friendly amount of bass. All in all SMD / Wang managed to put on a superb night. Go them!
Words: Katie Wilkinson
This was originally posted on The 405. Read it here.