Saturday, March 06, 2004

Machine Drum @Ad Lib-5th March 2003 - we started the night in Pivo Pivo in Waterloo St., one of those beers from all round the world, at 7pm. which despite the high prices is where we stayed for the evening, but it was a good atmosphere and kept the beer enthusiasts happy. from there we turned the corner into hope st., got some munchies, hit the cash machines, and were into Ad Lib.

Ad Lib, it has to be said, is an odd venue for a gig, or a club for that matter. this was the first time i had been in, the same being the case for all but one of our five man team. apparently during the day it is an expensive little restaurant, with food that doesn't live up to those prices, i gather. the venue is laid out in the form of a bar at the front, long and narrow strip in front of the bar, with the body of the restaurant at the back. along one wall there are a number of booths, which are already occupied. along the other, there would presumably be other booths, but these have been taken apart, and lined up along the wall as one big bench. this leaves us the option of sitting here in a row, with the rest of the room now a kind of "dance floor". in the back corner a DJ booth sits, in which Machine Drum, support, and DJs are all set up. with a VJ on the table in front managing the projections on to one corner, that is pretty much out of sight of most of the hall.

the place seemed to fill up quite quickly, so that when it wasn't long before the support went on, there were already enough people milling about so that you could only rarely catch sight of his bobbing head and smug grin. his music is a considerable mix of IDM, cut up beats, and melodies, with moments that work quite well in a heard-it-before-but-pleasant fashion, while the rest of his set tends more towards the self-involved-wankathon. the DJ then went on, being greeted with a cheer as he played some apparently popular tunes. checking the flyer the music for this event was described as "glitch-hop", while not entirely sure what the full of definition of that might be, i am relatively certain it wasn't what was being played. regardless, whatever it was that was playing was pretty generic electronic pop, with cheesy vocals and the like, which was almost enough coupled with the support band for members of the team to make a bid for the exit. finding out when machine drum were actually going on i was able to talk them down, briefly.

unfortunately the start of his set was a little too beat heavy and directionless, blending in to everything that had gone before and not really boding well for his performance. so a track or so in, half the group left, while the rest of us stayed for about 45 minutes of his set. which on the whole was hit and miss, there were some cracking moments, where he coupled the beats with melodies and sampled vocals, capturing the spirit of some of his recorded work. but on the whole it never really hit the spot, and even though he probably didn't have much longer to go, it felt like it was time to make a move.

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