the art of yoga teaches a young jedi about the discipline of flexibility and balance. but what’s this got to do with the hip-hop portion of the Pantiero festival on a friday night? well, it’s this yogic combination that comes to mind when watching the legendary Cut Chemist in action.
it’s been said that the Jurassic 5 are not the same since his departure, and now i can see why. formidible from all directions – the breadth of music he dips into and dexterously samples, the energy levels that rise from the decks, the composure and humour with which he battles the wind, the lack of ego and statesman-like attitude (he’s graciously recording parts of the Dilated Peoples show after his set).
to top it off, he calls for sound clips from members of the audience for the finale – and turns this into a live freestyle workout. rip-roaringly clever.
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french? swedish? who cares.
there’s a grizzled crazy-throat on lead guitar, with the power to turn flamenco into driving country music. in contrast, the drummer has that poster-boy appeal and there’s a doctor on the bongos who ever so judiciously injects wafts of horn in and out of a few numbers.
my ignorance means little in the long-run as Herman DÃ¼ne know who they are and what they’re up to. the lead singer’s high Southern twang is akin to that of Willie Nelson, so i’m told by the Learned One. the sharp, biting, self-deprecating lyrical content sit them neatly in some post-Radiohead hillbilly hinterland. somewhere i can happily hang out.
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“open book” seemed to be plastered all over the radio a year ago. and quite rightly so – the riff was one of the catchiest of the summer. their dead-pan delivery and lyrics for the common man could frame The Rakes as a modern-day Pulp.
unfortunately, on the strength of this concert, this is where the similarity ends. it’s odd how a band can only hit gold one time, whereas the rest of their oeuvre leaves you picking your fingers and wondering what to wear tomorrow. boys with guitars drone on in the background.
that said, lead singer Alan Donohoe oozes an odd angular energy, replete with cat-like strokes, but it’s not enough to carry the an otherwise unambitious performance.
the riffs tease at that song, but apart from ‘Animals’ and ’22 Grand Job’,Â they leave the pogoists near the stage looking like they’re just waiting in jaunty expectation.
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the latest installment of the cannes summer beach parties featured some pretty upbeat drum and bass courtesy of DJ Fresh.
they pushed the bass out and i have to say that some of the more synth-laden numbers seemed to me as much euro pop as drum and bass, but there were some real gems in here. especially when they went back to the old skool.
the spit-out chanting kept the heat up, although they could have done with speaking a bit more french, especially when exhorting the crowd into getting their hands up in the air.
i’m still trying to figure out the sound on these recordings, so as always expect something a bit rough around the edges.
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so, summer’s arrived and cannes has finally woken up. there’s nights galore these days. pantiero, palais de cannes and the vastly improved plages electroniques. last year the idea was there but something was lacking in the execution. the beach party was missing the thump of the sound system and the visuals were little more than a bunch of bleary images on a sheet behind the dj.
this year things are a bit different. we spent the first hour or so on the vantage point on the promenade. the layered techno clear and loud, even from a distance. and for the visuals they’ve put good use to the carbuncle that is the palais de cannes. massive ethereal images pulsate to the beat. and as the night progressed, that beat got more wild and varied. at one point smooth building trance. at the next house music deep and dirty a la the chicago sound.
all in all quite a night. the french showing that it’s not just the spanish that know how to throw a good beach party. although they could take one tip from the spanish – keep going to the early hours and let things get warped, twisted and exciting.
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