Pygmalion Weekender ft Prosumer + Legowelt & more, Dublin, Tonight & tomorrow.
Pygmalion is going an extra few yards with bookings recently, gaining on more established techno haunts like District 8 and Opium Rooms. The Paranoid London show after Beatyard was the talk of the town, and it also helps that District 8 is dormant for the summer.
There’s a serious weekender going on tonight and tomorrow, with Panorama Bar Berlin resident Prosumer kicking things off with a vinyl run-through of the last 30 years of house music, from raw, jackin’ Chicago records to current rarities.
Dutch producer Danny Wolfers (pictured) has about 20 aliases, but Legowelt is his most acclaimed, and you’re guaranteed sci-fi electro and analogue techno in the same ball park as I-F or the addictive fluid synth sounds of Drexciya and The Other People Place etc.
FATBOY SLIM, Belsonic, Titanic, Belfast, tomorrow
There was a funny video of Fatboy Slim at Cafe Mambo in Ibiza doing the rounds on Facebook last week, jumping out of the DJ booth, jumping into the crowd whooping like it’s his first rave.
In among all the happy face and wow emojis half the comments were along the lines of: “And he doesn’t even take drugs anymore lol!”
It’s true, at 53 Norman Cook may be straight after years of, ahem, accessorising, but it hasn’t knocked his daft party spirit.
This Belsonic gig won’t have the same buzz as Cook playing a relatively small club for house music fans in Ibiza, but he’ll be there jumping around and fist-pumping in a daft shirt for sure.
His festival shows are shameless box-tickers for the hits – Praise You, Eat Sleep, Rave, Repeat, Star 69, even Seven Nation Army, if he’s not sick of it after the Euros.
Still, if you’re out to dance to a load of familiar tunes, a Fatboy DJ set is as obliging as dance music in a field gets.
Sydney duo Flight Facilities are a solid support act too, with a collection of poppy electronica and breezy house behind them. They did a fine WTF cover of Modjo’s Lady at last year’s Body & Soul too, so hopefully that’s still in the setlist.
Berlin producer and DJ Alex Ridha could easily have been sucked into the electro-house vortex that eventually morphed into tops-aff stag do EDM. His debut album was even called Oi Oi!
That record was just as subtle as drop-after-drop EDM, with grating, over-filtered riffs, and everything on the sound board in the red. But it still had a bit of an edge over the rest of the pack following the Ed Banger sound.
2009’s Power was another one built for fist-pumping in festival tents, but Out of the Black added a bit of glitchy old school electro, twisted hip-hop and acid into the mix, and new one May Day has plenty of techno — which never goes out of fashion.
Support DeFeKT aka Irish producer Matthew Flanagan can be even more nasty, with his live sets flitting between the kind of hard-wired electro and techno that keeps Dave Clarke awake at night.
THE DAMNED, The Academy, Dublin, tonight
I think we’ve gotta stop bitching about punk bands still doing the rounds decades after the fact, as very few quit while they were ahead anyway, apart from mid-tier acts like X-Ray Spex and The Adverts. Even The Clash stumbled on for a few years too long before calling it a day in 1986.
The Damned are marking their 40th anniversary, and they found 6,000 nostalgic punks to celebrate the birthday at the Royal Albert Hall, one of Britain’s most iconic ‘establishment’ venues.
Still, The Damned, despite the name, were always one of the jolliest of the early punk acts – not too political or snottily nihilistic.
With founding members Captain Sensible and David Vanian still present and correct, there’s at least a direct line to classics like Neat Neat Neat and New Rose, and witty art-punk off Machine Gun Etiquette.
Roger Doyle, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, Tomorrow, FREE
Roger Doyle is Ireland’s most acclaimed electroacoustic composer, with a handle of “Godfather of Irish Electronica” that’s been following him for decades.
With over 20 albums including operas, soundtracks, experimental electronic pieces, Fairlight synth compositions and solo piano performances, Doyle has one of the richest canons in modern composition.
This is even before you touch on Babel, his magnum opus in the truest sense – a six-hour, five-disc “compositional structure” or “virtual architecture”, with three discs corresponding to separate rooms in the tower, and two discs representing the tower’s radio station.
This free concert is a rare chance to see him perform piano works in progress along with his own electronic backing track, as well as pieces from his soundtrack to Bob Quinn’s film Budawanny, the Gate Theatre’s production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome and pieces from his brilliant album Time Machine, composed around personal answering machine messages from the 1980s.
MARCEL DETTMANN, Shine @ The Limelight, Belfast, Sunday
Marcel Dettmann last played Ireland at Subject’s 8th birthday at Dublin’s Tivoli — and spent the end of his set crowdsurfing to I-F’s Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass. It was funny off-the-cuff moment and a bit of a side-step from his assumed guise as purveyor of banging techno.
Back this time in Belfast on a Sunday (the North showing off with a bank holiday this weekend), the Berlin resident is over to sprinkle some brutalist Berghain dust over Shine at the Limelight — heavy but spacey, dubby techno with plenty of melodic nods to his Detroit heroes.
Speaking of crowdsurfing, local hero Phil Kieran is on the bill, and he also did the stage-diving honours at Belfast’s AVA festival this summer.
- Originally published in Irish Star