There is a fine line between disinterest and ‘cool’, and whilst I think Jamie XX may be moping toward the latter he is almost certainly trying too hard. His dark mix of off-kilter beats, dubstep and ghostlike manipulated vocal samples are all very reminiscent of Burial. The crowd begin to warm up towards the end of the set but Jamie XX does not acknowledge this and at best looks nonchalant. I was in to it but for me this is music for bedrooms, late nights and headphones. 6.5
Kutmah is a stark and hyperactive contrast to his moody predecessor; the guy is a blur onstage, so preoccupied and focused that he sends a laptop tumbling from atop a monitor without even noticing. Kutmahs set is much more immediate and if the crowd were warm at the start they were well and truly cooked after a 90 minute collage of old school and contemporary hip hop cuts. Kutmahs choices are impeccable and highlights included Erykah Badu, Clipse, Easy E and the magnificent Dilla. 7
Steven Ellison, Flying Lotus or FlyLo takes the stage this evening wearing the kind of shit-eating grin that only the creator of one of this year’s most interesting and well regarded albums could get away with. I spent the week leading up to this gig pondering how the cosmic complexity of Cosmogramma might be replicated in a live environment, most intriguing given that this short UK trek was being billed as Flying Lotus with a live band. If I’m honest I was expecting to hear extended improvisations of Cosmogrammas more avant garde jazz oriented tracks. In actual fact what church goers got was a fairly standard DJ set complimented by live drums and keys, which served to increase the volume significantly and at times, in my opinion obscured the more subtle elements of the album tracks.
The emphasis tonight was very much on the beats and getting the crowd moving, not necessarily pandering to beard strokers but there was something here for everyone and all members of the audience had their asses kicked. Despite the traditional DJ nature of the set FlyLos’ signature murky beats and atmospheric melodies were present in abundance scattered liberally throughout the set. I was mildly disappointed by the lack of recognisable material, having listened to the last two LPs multiple, multiple times I would have to say that on only five or six occasions could I identify fully an album track. The set drew to a close with Radioheads Idioteque (a band who are to guitar music what FlyLo is becoming to Electronic music) and the simply monolithic encore ‘Do the Astral Plane’. Kill Your Co-Workers was notable by its absence but in truth it wouldn’t have slotted in, I got the impression that tonight was all about Ellison letting his hair down and having fun and he certainly seemed to succeed. 7.5