squarepusher and wagon christ: a review

Wow, what a great show :)

Vibert played a nice long set with no break… just a bit over two hours I think. I arrived just as he started. I’m pretty familiar with much of his released work, so I was delighted to hear lots of original mixes and sequences. Some of the stuff was unlike anything I’d ever heard, such as very interesting sequencing of vocal phonemes, set to classical arpegios… occasionally with heavy downbeats underneath – very engaging :) I always dig the classical / jazz infusion.

His demeanor was relaxed throughout, and it looked like his main tool was a 12″ powerbook. I think he had some sort of manual controller / button box or something, but I didn’t get a look at it. Anybody who rolls a j and smokes it during his set gets props in my book :)

He also mixed a lot of key squarepusher tracks, including two of my personal favs (red hot car and schizm #2 – had an awesomely long lead in into schizm #2, but it’s one of those that you can feel coming from a mile away :), along with a great variety of other things… there were some extremely great retro sounding 8 bit sections; there was even a brief period of 60s sci-fi movie sound-track feel (eg. Barbarella)… I was pretty blown away :)

Then squarepusher came on. I expected just a dj set, so I was very pleased when the bass came out. Apparently, I was greatly mistaken regarding which parts of his music are sequenced and which parts are played on his bass. From a tonal perspective, much of what he plays sounds like a synth due to the effects he’s running the bass through; but add to that that he’s an *amazing* bass player, and you get extremely precise 16th note runs even with the very fast tempos that he’s pushing – I was pretty floored. Really fast, aggressive breaks and insane but almost robotically precise bass playing plus effects is an amazing combination.

There were some brief audio problems which puncuated the set; a few dudes scurring around with flashlights looking concerned. Tom was very appologetic, and seemed like a pretty nice guy. He kept saying hello to the crowd and giving thumbs up and such throughout the evening; more than any other act I’ve seen.

About half past 1 or so, he stepped off briefly, then came back and played some more. The encore was mostly solo bass stuff; I was totally ecstatic when he dropped into Chameleon, a jazz standard from Maynard Furgeson with a very characteristic bass hook. He played it close to the original tempo, which is somewhat slow (as it’s a funk chart)… comes in with a measure or two of the hook, then it’s 32nd note insanity all around it, back to the first part of the hook, then blast off again into improvisation… even though it only lasted a few minutes, it was the best cover of Chamelon I’ve heard. Lights came up, but he kept going… eventually they just turned him off, heh…

Two great acts in one night :) I sorta wish I’d gone to the afterparty, but I was hot and tired, plus I didn’t want to be too wiped out for the upcoming travel (I leave in about an hour).

That is all :)

About dre

I like all kinds of food.
This entry was posted in lj. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to squarepusher and wagon christ: a review

Leave a Reply