Prefuse's drums kick
Walked through the doors of Lee's Palace Sunday and was surprised to see abstract glitch-hop producer Prefuse 73 (aka Scott Herren ) already onstage, accompanied by a DJ and a drummer ( John Herndon , on loan from Tortoise ). You can usually count on performances starting late, and it's almost unheard of for a show to go on ahead of schedule. Considering that Prefuse 73 operates on the more experimental side of electronic music, the show drew a substantial crowd, split fairly evenly between indie rock types and techno fans. The crowd applauded each piece loudly, but there was very little movement - not even much head-bobbing.
That probably didn't bother Prefuse much, since he's more interested in paying tribute to 70s experimental jazz than rocking the dance floor. The live drums changed the sound quite a bit, adding more personality than you find in his recorded work. It also gave you something to look at - Herren and the DJ spent most of their time staring down at their equipment.
Walking down King West approaching Brant Thursday night, you could hear an ominous rumble getting louder. As you rounded the corner, it became apparent that the thunder was actually massive bass pulses emanating from Roxy Blu , where Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman ) was pounding out his trademark twisted techno. Hawtin's been known over the years for requiring a substantial sound system, but this was ridiculous. The club's existing system had been augmented by two huge walls of speakers, and Hawtin had two smaller stacks just as monitors. Fortunately, he was feeling more funky than punishing. If he'd decided to play hard and scary, the experience would have been hard to take even for the most masochistic of us.
The DJ booth set-up was equally over the top, packed with brand new equipment (some not even on the market yet). In fact, the DJ set was a pretty close approximation of a live PA, as he had a sequencer and synth, a looping tool, the Final Scratch laptop/turntable interface and lots of effects.
Musically, Hawtin didn't disappoint, turning in one of his best local performances of the past few years.
Denise Benson and Andrew Allsgood 's Friday-night slot at Andy Poolhall allows them to explore the more upbeat sides of their record collections and distance themselves from the deep and jazzy sound of their previous weekly, Glide. Now you can expect to hear more electro and new-wave-influenced tracks, as well as some acid house, post-punk funk and even a bit of metal and rock.
If the Halloween edition was any indication, the move was a great idea. The club reached capacity relatively early (though it should be noted that there were a hell of a lot of people out in general Halloween night), and the dance floor was full and energetic all night.
Guests DMT and EeniMeenie each added a bit more 80s flavour to the night, dropping freestyle, classic hiphop and acid house.