Mylo @ Bang Gang, Moulin Rouge, Friday 26th November 2004

Posted by walking rek on Nov 27, 2004 in dancing rek, my ears are expensive

Myles �Mylo� Macinnes and his album Destroy Rock & Roll are pretty damn famous right now in Australia. So if you are into a bit of ye olde Retro Clash, then chances are you were at one of his gigs last week. Being a little partial to the odd bootleg myself, I was interested to hear what the fuss about Mylo was really about.

For starters the venue struck me as an unusual choice. Tickets sold out well before the nite suggesting that either Mylo really was some intergalactic pop star or that the venue was less then enormous. In this case, the club was definitely swingin the sweaty side of cozy and Mylo was the definitive flavour of the month. The place was packed with pushy glamour types checking each other out and hogging the bathroom whilst the show girls taking drink orders were rushed off their bustled butts. It was apparent early on that this gig was gonna be at full capacity with an uncomfortable number of punters struggling for space around the edges.

Mylo was greeted with an uproarious cheer as the already maxxed out dance floor swelled with 80�s babies posing against his backdrop of pastel pop. Mylo is not famed for his skills as deck technician, but his track selection was a retrospective mix of memorable golden oldies and questionable gambles; highlights for me included Technosonic, Womack & Womack and AC/DC. The music waxed and waned, unlike the crowd who relished every savage cross fade; some punters bordered on insane, particularly whenever Mylo dropped one of the tracks off his album. Despite enjoying himself immensely (he was having it large, dolled up in a t-shirt that will spawn a thousand versions �Mother F@#$ker�s Gonna Droppa The Pinger�) Mylo managed to squeeze an amazing amount of material into his performance; his 2 hour set seemed to go forever. Whilst Mylo certainly proved a hit with the crowd, I found the music a little two dimensional, with no real direction in mood.

The latter part of evening was a messy mash-up of Bang Gang DJ Ajax and friends. Their densely compact sets teased and taunted the audience with indie bootlegs and crafty workings of Franz Ferdinand, Guns�n�Roses, Blur and Scissor Sisters. The nite lacked a lot of groove or soul but the DJ�s kept surprising me with their eclectic selections: I hung about purely to hear what was up next despite the plastic element of the crowd getting increasingly nasty.

In many ways, Mylo rocked the �Rouge. His legions of fans will no doubt be champin at the bit for his sets at Good Vibrations in 2005. I am curious to see how he will perform with his band in a live context and look forward to Dropping the Pressure with a friendlier crowd.


Urthboy and Chasm @ Hopetoun, Fri 12th Nov 2004

Posted by walking rek on Nov 12, 2004 in dancing rek, my ears are expensive

Australian Hip Hop. It seems to be all about the lyrics. The message is clearly one of a disillusioned youth grumpy with our nations political agenda. These word beat artists are clever enough to weave a coherent and logical argument, but is the social consciousness of Australian MC’s forgetting the other vital elements of hip-hop music…bounce and groove?

Tonight we gathered round at the Hopetoun to support some familiar faces and give props to the new. I was disappointed that Hermitude did not appear on the set-list and then suffered another devastating blow with the announcement that the beer taps were offline all night. This wasn’t on the flyer! The acoustics at the Hoey are notorious for being tricky but on this occasion the room sounded just right despite some boorish mic technique early on in the evening.

We caught the tail end of the Living Dead Dudes who didn’t really do much besides bellow along to some gloomy loops. I sincerely hope their earlier numbers were more polished because there is not much worse then an MC who bumbles loudly and incoherently through lyrics. The assembly of punters seemed stunned into silence and paralysis throughout this display and a few snuck out to escape the din.

The Awakenings Crew out of Melbourne delivered some enthusiastic stage antics and a handful of witticisms in what turned out to be a two part set spread out over the night. MC’s Hykoo and Mantra managed their mics with practiced ease and played around with some call and response vocal arrangements that worked well. DJ El Gasto accompanied the duo with some crafty scratching but it took the audience a while to warm up, and even then we had to be bribed with the promise of free merchandise. The high light of this set was the Ode to the Middy, an (almost) improvised ditty backed up by the bounciest ragga groove all night.

The host of the night Scott Burns dropped in to say hi and had a burst on the mic with “Hip Hop Slash R and B” a light hearted exploration of a serious issue. He introduced Chasm, DJ and producer, who provided the back beats for the rest of the night. The musical colours varied between dark and brooding, heavy orchestral tones that seemed a little too melodramatic to me: there were a few moments of rubber groove that demanded attention, but for the most part the lyricists had the lime light.

Urthboy was the act most people were waiting for. This MC earned his stripes with The Herd and delivered more of his signature catalystic verse tonite. Urthboy’s mission seems to be to educate his audience through themes of politics: his eloquent attacks on the status quo touched on many burning issues of Australian society today. His audience lapped it up, nodding in agreement: there could be no doubt that these kids are the well informed minority of hip-hop culture in this country – I bet every one of them voiced their vote on Election Day. This was a heartening sight, and gives me hope for our future. The set was intellectual and opinionated with plenty of food for thought, but lacked any real interesting musical elements. I wonder if the music had been as well thought through as the message then perhaps the important voice of Urthboy and his contemporaries would reach a wider audience.

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