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Monday, July 16, 2007

Electro Pastoral

posted by on July 16 at 14:46 PM


The Field and (presumably Rex the) Dog

The Field, Copy, Let’s Go Outside @ Broken Disco, Chop Suey

Could there be a more idyllic progression of names than Let’s Go Outside and the Field? Copy doesn’t really fit, nor does Kooky Scientist, and in fact the sounds of Let’s Go Outside ramped up from austere blips to relentless thump over the course of his set, so it’s not like all was tranquil. But the Field’s live set lived up to both his own tranquil moniker and that of his slow burning album From Here We Go Sublime.

But first, Copy. Copy, Marcus Libman to his mom, sounded incredible on the sound system in the “makeout lounge” back bar of Chop Suey. Rocking laptop and keytar (and, as usual repping his little bro’s band Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head via t-shirt), Copy kept a thick crowd dancing even thought the body heat was totally overpowering Chop Suey’s AC. Copy’s songs are all super tight, moving from one hook to another over classic drum machine programming, more or less mimicking the length and structure of pop songs (three or four minutes, recognizable “verses” and “choruses”). He even plays with gaps between his songs for applause rather than mixing from one to the other. He’s a lot like Seattle’s lo-fi party electronics monster Truckasauras—he’s also an old friend of theirs—and members of that band were in attendance and up front for his set. Apparently, Copy was too much for the system, though, because Let’s Go Outside’s second set suffered from some unfortunate sound issues.

In the main room, on the “Idol” stage, the Field’s Axel Willner was precisely recreating the cool synth washes and subdued pulse of his stellar album. Too precisely, maybe. The only complaint I heard about his set was that it hewed to close to his recorded work, that there was too little improvisation or variation. This was true, although if the crowd felt that Willner wasn’t working hard enough up there, it certainly didn’t show in their sweaty, physical enthusiasm for his set. One inspired deviation from his album was his interpolation of the giddy chorus from Annie’s indie pop gem “Heartbeat” during a particularly climactic moment. Another great moment came straight from the record, though: the static short-out in the middle of one song, a happy accident of Willner’s live recording style, still somehow felt surprising when it ripped through the sound at Chop Suey, stunning the crowd with a moment of silence before diving back into the icy mix. Also, I forget who was trying to convince me that trance was ready for a comeback—it’s a terrifying thought—but if more of the genre approached Willner’s grace with the stuff, I might agree with you.

I only caught the opening rhythms of Kooky Scientist (I had a very early train to catch), but they seemed to hint at some seriously caustic synths and beats to come. I wish I could’ve stuck around…

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The Field rules! Haven't danced like that in ages.

Posted by Matthew | July 16, 2007 4:17 PM

good night. once they get rid of the carpet in the front room and the guns and roses on the video projections, it'll be a great night.

Posted by jelky | July 16, 2007 4:32 PM

I forgot about that carpet! Yeah, dancing in the makeout lounge is kind of a drag with that carpet.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 16, 2007 4:41 PM

different highlights, but it was indeed a great night. copy killed it, but the most interesting act of the night for me was rebecca west, playing live under her red pony alias. apparently it was just her second live performance, but you can tell that the years of great djing have honed her sensibilities. it was intelligent, very danceable tech-house. even with the technical difficulties, i was thoroughly blown away. she's always been good, but that live set was truly next-level.

Posted by donte | July 16, 2007 5:19 PM

"trance ready for a comeback" ?

trance never left. the good stuff is always around, sometimes you just have to look harder. Nice that The Field is bringing wayward party people back into the fold.

Posted by Jamey | July 17, 2007 2:13 AM

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