Pope lacks Social skills
New Queen West hotspot the Social (see club spotlight, page 74) hosted the official after-party for the MIA and LCD Soundsystem gig across town last Saturday, and featured MIA collaborator (and special friend) Diplo DJing hiphop, dancehall reggae and cheeseball classics for the capacity crowd.
Like more and more touring DJs, he made good use of a laptop/turntable interface to access a hard drive full of tunes. Party was pretty crazy, and if you looked closely you may have caught an occasional glimpse of MIA lurking in the dark.
Strangest moment of the night came when I felt someone use my shoulder to vault down the stairs and realized that the patron - seconds earlier seen sprawled across the ground of the smoking porch - was Tyler Pope , the bass player from LCD Soundsystem, last seen chugging a large bottle of whiskey onstage across town. The bouncers didn't find it as funny, though, and despite my best efforts to calm Pope down - he was yelling gibberish by then - it was obvious that in his current state he wasn't going to get back into his own afterparty.
Other odd scenes included seeing minimal techno scenesters bobbing their heads to mainstream hiphop cheese, and John Kong kicking himself for not booking the event himself at Supermarket .
Last Friday at Stones Place 's monthly indie rock dance party Pet Sounds , local one man band I Am Robot and Proud (aka Shaw-Han Liem ) played his delicate instrumental electro-pop soul using the stripped-down set-up of a single keyboard, a drum machine and a laptop running a basic tracker program. It's not party music, but it's very pretty and much more emotionally engaging than the typical twee glitch pop act.
There was no patter between songs; in fact, most of the time there wasn't any space between songs. Stage presence was limited to I Am Robot's occasional grimaces of what we assumed was pleasure as he noodled away at the keys.
As his gear becomes more streamlined and less improvised, the glitchy IDM elements are fading in favour of a more jazz-based sound. He loves his electric piano tones, and also made good use of some organ sounds for a Jimmy-Smith-jamming-over-Nintendo-funk effect.
Despite the occasional references to the softer sides of house and techno, this isn't really dance-floor music, so it was a good idea to put him onstage pretty early as the crowd was starting to fill the place and settle in.
Mandy in half
Up-and-coming German electro-house duo MANDY were down to a single guy on Sunday night at Footwork . Patrick Bodmer hit the stage while Philipp Jung was still sick after a gig in Mexico a couple days before. Few people in the crowd were concerned, though. We still got our fix of raw, edgy synth funk, mixed cleanly but without much flash.
MANDY expertly walk the fine line between strange experimental house and fun, funky electro/acid excursions. You hear bits of disco's weirder moments right beside some of minimal techno's bouncier tracks. Be sure to watch out for their next trip to town.