XXYYXX live review

Local beat producer Lucianblomkamp does a sterling job getting the early crowd of young boys nodding heads appreciatively – no mean feat. The tracks veer from mellow and introspective to heavy and hip hop laden. In the middle, Rosebud Leach contributes excellent guest vocals on the hugely popular You & Me. Lucianblomkamp’s physical performance behind laptop and beatmaker shows off his obvious passion for the craft.

Just as Blomkamp starts warming up, he gives way to Edd Fisher. Fisher is well-prepared to take the reins for a perfectly paced, hour-long set. His mixing is mostly flawless, however he sometimes appears to up the tempo before the crowd is ready for it. Popular club hits from 50 Cent and Jeedo round out Fisher’s set before the curtains are drawn.

When it opens abruptly, smoke and blue lights recede to reveal Marcel Everrett (XXYYXX) in wrap-around ‘90s sunglasses and a varsity jumper. With that kind of entrance, there’s an expectation that he will deliver a set filled with mystery and flourish. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The producer starts out with some interesting strings touches and a smooth, sparse bassline. However, later in the set it’s hard to know which way he’s heading. He surges through beats, trap and fast-paced garage, interspersed with several other movements and influences. How these relate to his own recordings is not clear, but when XXYYXX does stick to the hits the crowd is with him all the way.

Towards the end, things go a bit awry as Everrett decides to open the lid on bedroom pop. In covering Lil B’s Praying For A Brick (for no apparent reason other than it’s his favourite right now), it’s as though we’ve walked in on a private moment as XXYYXX sings along and dances wildly. When he then pretends to take requests from the crowd, his banter is amusing but full of name-drops that feel like a series of 2013 hashtags (Miley, Flying Lotus, Drake).

These moments crystallise the inward-looking and image-fixated tendencies of the DIY electronic movement that XXYYXX is a part of. His skills are certainly there, however the live show lacks any ability to bring together his influences and create something distinctive. The result is an electronic ‘hall of mirrors’ that leaves you feeling disoriented and wondering where it all begins and ends.

 

This review was originally published by The Music magazine

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