Daedelus @ Luminaire 17/02/07

I’ve never know a venue get as much love as The Luminaire. Hardly a day passes without a dj, punter, or musician raving about the facilities, the sound or just how “frightfully nice” the people running it are. The support act tonight continued the “Luminaire love in”, with The Shadow Orchestra’s harpist Kat Arney bigging them up on Myspace for “Cheap food! Comfy sofas! So much tea I felt sick! Free beer! Great sound! Seriously, if you’re in a band, try and get a gig there. It’s a refreshing change from what is sadly the norm for smallish London venues.” Anyway Luminaire advert over, its certainly all those things, but most importantly its got a bloody MASSIVE glitter ball above the stage! 🙂

Shadow Orchestra

A typically chilled start to a Luminaire evening finds me sat on a step pint in hand, a foot from where the excellent Shadow Orchestra are playing. Chris Bangs is the leading force of the group simultaneously playing Cello, and Macbook, with superb backing by a drummer, violin player and harpist. Their music’s a joyous mix of classical, pop melodies, found sounds, and inventive rhythms – part chill out, part electronica. One track “Seafront Arcade” samples ancient amusement arcade machines, but the bleeps, and karate chop sound effects are gorgeously intertwined with strings, and a looping electronic riff (extra points if anyone knows the game???Street Fighter?).

New tune “Dark and Sweet” received a first airing, and the debut album sounded if anything better than it does on CD, with the orchestration louder in the mix so cello, violin, and especially the subtle picked harp sounds from the beautiful Kat Arney much more to the fore. Even a momentary laptop crash meant we got to hear the delights of a reboots worth of acoustic Shadow Orchestra.
Check out their website for constantly updated free stuff, possibly a recording of the gig, and of course to buy their album.

The Shadow Orchestra

Website / Myspace

Listen:

Shadow Orchestra – Seafront Arcade” (MP3)

Shadow Orchestra – Spring 2005 (livemix)” (MP3)

Visit their website for two more free tracks.

Buy: The self titled debut LP for £11 / Download from itunes or emusic (who are much cheaper and DRM free)

Main act Daedelus creates some of the finest hand crafted electronica around, and is not a man afraid to take risks collaborating with everyone from Busdriver through to on his forthcoming Ninjatune LP, Sa-Ra, and Australia’s Enfa(?) (due May/June). Tonight however is a rare chance to see the man in the UK and very much solo… he arrived on stage apologising for being totally jet-lagged having just stepped of the plane.

Daedelus

Dressed in a white formal morning suit with tails, and sporting impressive sideburns his live show is a minimal affair consisting of Daedelus himself, laptop, and a wonderful light flashing controller gadget known as the Monome. Developed by his friend Brian Crabtree, the Monome is essentially a means to give live control over sampled sounds, and patterns via a huge bank of programmable buttons (which all light-up). Daedelus uses a prototype Monome 100h, of which only 2 exist. Its all very impressive, and stood behind the machine in full tails, lights flashing like crazy, Daedelus resembles some kind of 21st century bingo caller!
Which brings us punningly onto house. It was a very upbeat set, with dnb and acidy type sounds dominating, one particular dancer up the front did his best to enhance the rave style sounds with some serious acid house style dancing. Daedelus got most of the crowd moving but this guy (who by the wonders of the internet I’ve discovered is called Tom) single-handedly gave me flash backs to the second summer of love… give him a boiler suit and a mask and it could be an Altern8 reunion (NB: Im just jealous!). Daedelus encouraging him by throwing in huge samples of a long forgotten old rave track called “Maggies Last Party” (by V.i.m – sampling Maggie Thatcher saying “lets have a party, acid party“).

Monome Info: Website

Sales pitch: The monome 40h is a reconfigurable grid of sixty-four backlit buttons. Buttons can be configured as toggles, radio groupings, sliders, or organized into more sophisticated systems to monitor and trigger sample playback positions, stream 1-bit video, interact with dynamic physical models, and play games.

Monome 40h in action (Youtube / Quicktime)

More cool video’s of it in action plus MP3’s

Daedelus using his Monome (Youtube)

There were no pauses between tracks, well deliberate ones anyway – Daedelus also suffered a laptop crash, and didn’t have a Harpist to bail him out – instead each song blended into another. He said he was trying out quite alot of new stuff, but the crowd seemed to love it all.

The genius that is “Like Clockwork Springs” received possibly the best reception as its big buzzing fuzz riff emerged from the mix to reveal its own chaotic mixture of elements seemingly fighting each other for sonic supremacy. Over it all Daedelus play acted above the lights of his Monome, like a conjurer about to perform his next trick he rubbed his hands together, looked puzzled or adjusted his cuffs (checking for rabbits?) before his fingers darted over the buttons tripping off the next array of dizzying samples and loops.
This is a man at the top of his game, every track fizzing with ideas, and inspiration. The internet bloggers and forums also sang their approval: “One of the best live electronic gigs ever” enthused Luzian on last.fm, “truly majestic” raved Kat on her myspace, while K on Daedelus’s page cryptically added “fantastic gig! Yeah it did sound like sleepy kitten, nervous bunny and shinny hippo.” Personally nervous bunnies aside while it was a superb gig, and I’ll be returning next time he plays these shores, it would have to be approximately 4000% times better to get near to my own best live electronic gig: Kraftwerk, but that’s one hell of a hard marker to beat.

Daedelus

Ninjatune Daedelus / Mush Daedelus / Myspace

Listen:

Daedelus – Like Clockwork Springs” (MP3)

Busdriver, Radioinactive with Daedelus – Carl Weather” (MP3)

Daedelus – Bright Stars” (MP3)

Daedelus – Live on Radio 1 Rob Da Bank 18/02/07” (MP3)

Daedelus Live @ The Percussion Lab – a free hour long set available here – plus loads of other electronic goodies.

Vim – Maggies Last Party” (MP3) – very cheesy and dated… it was dated at the time.

Buy:

Daedelus “Denies The Day’s Demise” LP and back catalogue from Amazon, Ninjatune, or Mush.

Watch:

Daedelus – “Sundown” (iPod Video download)

Daedelus – “Just Briefly” (iPod Video download)

Daedelus @ The Luminaire (16/02/07) Flickr set