Killer Killa Kela
Human beatboxers have one of the most esoteric skill sets in music. Sure, everyone has tried making beats with their mouth, but to devote enough time to the craft that you become good enough to get paid for it requires a certain kind of person.
Fortunately, UK motor mouth Killa Kela is just such a character, and as the capacity crowd upstairs at El Mocambo found out last Saturday night, he's easily one of the best in the world.
Unless you've actually seen this one-man band perform, it's impossible to grasp just how mind-boggling his skills are. At first you're impressed with how well he imitates the scratching and cutting techniques of turntablist DJs, but then he launches into a full-on song, providing the bass line, beats, echo effects and actual singing squashed in there between the beats.
Kela had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the rest of the set, effortlessly getting them to sing along when his mouth couldn't do all the parts, and sending fists into the air whenever he quoted hiphop anthems.
Word is, after he finished his set for the Make It Funky party, he ended up at Footwork , where he stole the show with a surprise set at the Lee Coombs gig. The dude needs to put out a DVD - you can't believe he does this just with his mouth if you don't see it.
Don't expect to hear YMCA at Seventh Heaven , the new disco-themed night Jaime Sin and Will Munro started up last Saturday at El Amigo . Celebrating the off-centre elements of disco and pre-house, this night's more about stuff that never made it onto pop charts, much of it recorded between disco's "death" and the birth of house. El Amigo's karaoke-bar ambience weirdly makes sense for this party. The black light and strobe recall Munro's Peroxide parties at the now-defunct 56 Kensington. For their first night of what may become a monthly party, they drew a decent crowd of scenesters, queers and music nerds, which bodes well for their next edition.
Checked out another newish party Saturday - Lust For Kicks at 751 , recently changed from a monthly party to a weekly. This time, they had Vanessa of the band No Dynamics and Jeff from controller. controller DJing upstairs while resident DJs Dirty Originals rocked the basement. The tunes varied from hiphop to disco to rock, and the vibe is unpretentious and fun. Most of the dancing was concentrated downstairs, where it's louder, so if you look in the windows and it seems slow, don't assume the basement isn't full of asses shaking.