Venetian Snares / Mu-ziq / Tim Exile / Chevron

  • Brighton
  • United Kingdom
  • Concorde 2
  • 2006-06-06

The marketing-dream prophecy that the world would end on 06/06/06, or at least serve up some spawn of Satan for mankind to battle, provided the perfect excuse for Planet Mu heavyweights to unleash an unrelenting barrage of gabba on Brighton, providing its sinners with a fiendish night of hellish fun. This was not for the feint-hearted as the robe-wearing electronic music artists did their best to bosh dancers into submission.

Following an effective warm up from an unspecified cloaked DJ was Chevron, a relative newcomer compared with the veterans on the bill. His glitchy sounds and beefy breaks were broken up by some decidely rave-esque melodies and more down tempo beats to provide a varied opening act. When you mix up jungle, gabba and breakcore with other aspects of dance genres you might expect it all to become rather confusing. Not so for Chevron, when he asks “Are you ready for the hardcore?” you know it will be served up with lashings of carefully tended side orders that may seem to contradict each other, but are perfectly blended together in his hands. Indeed, his measure approach could not have been more opposed to Tim Exile’s wild antics on this so-called cursed night.

He drew back his cloak to reveal an electonic effects controller in the shape of a strap-on penis.

Stepping up to his equipment donning some form of mask over his forehead and top-half of his nose you could tell Tim Exile was really in the mode for trying to scare us tonight. If sampling Whigfield and Britney to go with his usually schizophrenic approach to pummelling out seemingly random sounds in an improvised fashion wasn’t enough, he had also brought along a new toy to play with. Jumping back from his laptop and onto a table on the stage he drew back his cloak to reveal an electonic effects controller in the shape of a strap-on penis. Yes, it looked like he had been in some form of accident with an arcade machine as he gripped the flashing members and screamed Satanic cries into his microphone with various distorted effects. Was he delirious? Perhaps. Was he amusing? Very. But while this was the highlight of the night in terms of sheer shock and wow factor, Tim overplayed the act slightly, never turning his attention to the music fully. Instead he seemed to lose interest in providing coherence to his cut and paste attitude to loops and effects in favour of hammering that glowing beast between his legs. I guess that is hardly surprising for a man who performed naked at a Valentine’s night this year — still, the crowd lapped up his wild antics. Perhaps its a Brighton thing. But anyway, for me it was more than a little tiring and I was glad when Mu-ziq came to the stage.

Mu-ziq’s initial approach calmed the by now energetic crowd as he brought a dreamy soundscape coupled with some deliciously beefy beats to the room. It was easy to get lost in his sweet melodies before the bass kicked back in, yet he proved he was no soft touch when the full-on gabba invaded his music to riotous delight from the dancefloor. However, nothing could quite prepare us for what Aaron Funk, aka Venetian Snares, was about to produce with a dj set backed up by what seemed like a neverending supply of cans of beer.

He combined the most ferocious acid and blistering beats with the most memorable haunting strings to a raptuous audience.

Something of a towering menace to reptitive dance music, Aaron’s height and long, blond hair would give your average raver a bit of a scare in the plastic dj-world and his music would probably kill them stone dead. Launching into a mash-up of his classical album Rossz Csillag Alatt Szuletett (Planet Mu, 2005), he combined the most ferocious acid and blistering beats with the most memorable haunting strings to a raptuous audience. Seemingly random flicks of volume controls and the cross fader, he was in his element. As his dj set went on it became ever more inaccessible to all but the hardcore mass that turned up at Concorde 2 this evening to see a breakcore master at work. A powerhouse display that was followed by a meek wave to the crowd to say goodbye — I bet he’s a softy at heart.

With my ears ringing and a feeling that if Satan had risen tonight, a vicious Venetian Snares beating would have scared him off, Scotch Egg made a surprise appearance. Game Boy set to the most uplifting 8-bit computer sounds possible, he threw on a deliciously high-speed thumping bassline and screamed down the microphone. Unfortuntely I had to leave before Shitmat came on stage, but there can be little doubt he would not want to have ended the party with anything less than a dancefloor bombshell of a set. The world may not have ended, perhaps, although a night with these Mu artists made me wonder if this would be a fitting soundtrack for it. Twisted, dirty, hellish — yet marvellous at the same time. Just tell Tim to leave the strap-on at home next time.

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