There are many electronic devices involved when attending a triple bill of truly original electronic musicians, some just as entertaining as the performers themselves. Three very different, but consistently mind bending Los Angeles based artists took to the stage with their favorite tools at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, armed with a beat and theme for every mood.
The opener was Jogger, a truly breathtaking duo consisting of Amir Yaghmai on guitar, violin and bass and Jonathan Larroquette on laptop. They started by bum rushing the crowd with washed out reverb riffs that tumbled into a Blade Runner theme. A Moog rush was was pushed into sequence with a rolling mumble of Morrissey–like vocal samples that then fell into a glitch whirlpool. For another number called “Nephicide,” a rainy synth trickled continuously under a death metal growl while helicopter beats took off and crashed into a pop bass and funk beat. The duo eased through a multitude of blended genres with an unclassifiable style.
Nosaj Thing brought his eerie, glitchy hip-hop out next and while hunched over a processor, digitally scratched through underwater bass beats paired with the muted squeeze of a church organ. Muddy handclaps clashed with a drawn out, spooky synth theme from a faraway film noir soundtrack. As the most atmospheric of the trio this evening, Nosaj Thing filled his set with a wash of night music, Casio thumps and smoky sounds that seemed to leak from the ether.
Daedelus did not disappoint. His melodic bed of whimsical samples seamlessly fused with chunky techno beats was a non-stop peak. Using an amazing instrument with 256 lit “buttons” called a Monome box (which he kept tilted towards the crowd so they could view the “light show”), he pounced on the controls like a mad composer. Buttons were plucked as a grid of squares chopped up, then parsed together pop percussion, French movie soundtrack dubs and a warm coat of strings.
As the crowd meandered towards the exit, the beat and beauty of this high art hybrid of left-field sounds were still echoing in their heads. Nearly every emotion capable of manifesting had just been covered electronically and rhythmically, with not one word spoken.