Ever since the laptop became a viable tool for electronic musicians to create whole albums, there’s been a conflict between the complexities in the productions and its recreation live.
There’s the cliche of the show that looks like a dude checking his emails, or sometimes a pile of session musicians are roped in to beef up the loops and dilute the whole thing with stupid rock posturing. Flying Lotus’s latest tour may feature him on a laptop with a band in tow, but it’s as far from the cheeseball Groove Armada/Basement Jaxx school as you can get.
The LA producer’s latest album You’re Dead! is another bold tangent from an artist who’s cleared the decks for each of his five albums — which veer between glitchy hip-hop, widescreen psychedelia and the furthest outskirts of dub. You’re Dead! is a head-first dive into free-ranging jazz, with nods to Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and his great aunt Alice Coltrane.
Hancock also appears on keys to give an added heft to the album, along with rappers Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and FlyLo’s own alias Captain Murphy. It’s billed as a full AV show with a live band, so we’re guessing it’ll be seasoned jazz session players and FlyLo on laptop and controllers, leaning heavily on You’re Dead!
And with the audio taken care of, the visual aspect seals the deal. Anyone who saw him at Forbidden Fruit last year will have a general idea of the live set-up, with FlyLo in bug-eyed goggles encased in a hi-def cube with 3D projected visuals searing the eyeballs.
Vicar Street will fill up early on too, to catch Seattle hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces (above), just a few months after their own headline show at Twisted Pepper. Palaceer Lazaro and Tendai Maraire’s cerebral hip-hop is the perfect complement to FlyLo’s mind maps, with their loose sci-fi and Egyptology themes hanging off glittery freewheeling electronics. And with Brainfeeder DJ Kutmah the chosen selector, you may as well make a full night of it.
ED RUSH, Turk’s Head, Dublin, tonight.
Drum & bass legend Ed Rush is the type of DJ the Twisted Pepper usually snares for a night in their basement, so fair play to the Turk’s Head for bringing him across the Liffey for a change. Since the mid-90s, Rush — often teaming up with tag team partner Optical — has pushed the boat out with his dark and caustic productions with a heavy dose of the fear. It’ll be packed over two floors, with SCM DJs in support and Absys Records playing jungle and Ragga.
CO-PRESENT: Blooms, Laura Sheeran & Kobina, The Twisted Pepper, Dublin, tomorrow.
Here’s another impeccably curated gig by the Co-Present on radiomade.ie, who continue to showcase the best in leftfield Irish music with their regular gigs. Blooms produce woozy broken pop and R&B, with their second EP on hand at the Twisted Pepper tomorrow. Laura Sheeran (right) is continuing her dark electronica route with a solo performance and light show, as part of her audio-visual Spellbook project that’s unfolding throughout the year. Kobina will be rounding things off with some hazy minor key R&B with stunning visuals.
Encore!!! presents Shut Up And Play The Hits, The Sugar Club, Dublin, tomorrow.
It looks like the Encore!!! crew won’t be running out of classic concert films for Fridays in a hurry. Next up is LCD Soundsystem’s farewell blow-out at Madison Square Garden, as James Murphy laid to rest one of the most influential bands of the last 20 years in a whirl of pogos, cowbell and sweaty white shirts. The movie’s at 10pm, with an after-party that’ll surely be full of DFA classics, dark disco and half the acts name-checked in Losing My Edge.
NEIL LANDSTRUMM, Cyprus Avenue, Cork, tomorrow.
Some 20 years in the business of shaking up electronic music, Sottish experimentalist Neil Landstrumm lands in Cork for a live show. Expect clanking metallic productions, disorientating changes in tempo and bass that’ll be repeating on you well into Sunday.
Adrian Crowley, Unitarian Church, Dublin, tomorrow.
You’re probably sick of gigs being described as ‘intimate’, but the Unitarian Church really fits the bill. Adrian Crowley’s Some Blue Morning was one of the Irish albums of last year, and its widescreen vistas and poetic interludes will keep the faithful entranced. Expect other choice cuts from his six other albums, tailored for the faithful in the pews.
WILL BUTLER, Whelan’s, Dublin, tomorrow.
Will Butler is better known as the biggest live-wire in Arcade Fire — a band who aren’t known for standing still for any length of time. Compared with Arcade Fire’s arena-slaying anthems, Butler’s debut album Policy is a rough and ragged take on bluesy garage rock, post-punk and synthpop, just as happy to bang out a two-chord guitar riff as a new wave synth line.
ICEAGE (midnight show) The Workman’s Club, Dublin, Thursday.
Danish post-hardcore act Iceage were only about 17 when they dropped their debut LP New Brigade in 2011 — a 25-minute blast of shattered punk with a heavy dose of Black Flag, Husker Du and Liars. Third album Plowing Into The Field Of Love takes the foot off the distortion pedal slightly with some Fugazi-style bass-led paths, but expect all their live songs to be counted in with four overhead drumstick whacks and a ball of noise.
Original version in Irish Daily Star