GrasscutEdit this event
An iron shield might have been useful protection against the onslaught of Devil Man, led by Brighton breakcore peddler DJ Scotch Egg. The doom-dub project is impressive enough for its commitment to absolute noise, but 7.30pm felt a bit early for a set physical enough to make your eyes bleed.
Recent Ninja Tune signing and Brighton-based Grasscut offer a change of pace with their intricately formed electronica, embellished with live instruments. Pitched somewhere between the virtuosity of Matthew Herbert and the populism of Hot Chip, established screen composer Andrew Phillips creates a mysterious, unmistakably English landscape of sound.
There’s a lot to be said for The Man inspiring art, but it seems entirely plausible Antipop Consortium just couldn’t carry on under the watch of George W., about as anti-hip-hop a figure one could imagine. Their return may coincide neatly with Obama’s arrival on the scene, but it’s clear whatever the context Antipop are just as vital at this end of the decade.
A table buckling with gear dominates the stage, the Consortium’s four members standing around it like tinkering scientists, each offering ad-hoc ingredients to the potent solution. Looking a dead-ringer for The Wire’s Brother Mouzone in bowtie and spectacles, Beans’ prodigal talent is the most standout. Internal friction and “creative differences” appear laid to rest, and each distinct voice is far superior in tandem than solo efforts have demonstrated. Audio’s sound system delivers on Antipop’s pronounced verses and low-end beats, avoiding the murkiness that has beset DJ sets at the Brighton venue.
Antipop’s hard left-field brand of hip-hop always seemed a good idea, but sometimes lacked straight-up listen-ability. This time round the sparseness of sound has been filled out, the off-kilter electronics still there but jacked-up. The beats have enough brawn to stand alone, and the rapping sounds even better a cappella – a true measure of flair and a test in which better-known emcees might flounder.
- Antipop Consortium, Grasscut, Devil Man @ Audio, Brighton
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