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May 7, 2007

Nathan Fake [Live] @ Chinese Laundry : 28.04.2007

Filed under: Clubbing & Gigs,Music — decoded_ @ 6:09 pm

Nathan Fake [Live] @ Chinese Laundry : 28.04.2007

Nathan Fake [Live] @ Chinese Laundry : 28.04.2007
Photo by: a_N_t from ITM

So I ended up deciding to go see Nathan Fake [Live] at Chinese Laundry, and forget Inxec at Beware The Cat @ Yu. I believe the BTC people are the same people who took over Pulseradio.

The night didn’t start well for me with public transport problems delaying getting into the city, followed by being held up in a queue for ages outside Chinese Laundry waiting to pay to get in. Not because it was full, or trying to appear popular, but because… get this, not enough people from the guest list had arrived and been checked off yet, as informed by the bouncer. WTF! Don’t clubs/venues prefer paying customers?

So, by the time I got in I wasn’t in the best of moods. Actually I think I was pre warmed up for the annoyed bad mood I usually end up with after spending time packed against ‘that’ crowd in Chinese Laundry. If you’ve been there you’ll know what I mean, it’s the reason so many friends refuse to go there anymore regardless of who is playing.

I was prepared for what to expect musically from a Nathan Fake live set having downloaded and listened to a recent one a few weeks prior.

The live Nathan Fake experience is a very glitched up, digitally manipulated, continually evolving one; full of twists and turns, sonic contrasts, stops and starts, tempo changes and rapid shifts of intensity, all with that trademark Nathan Fake fuzzy, melodic beauty running though it. The chaos is held together with layers of electronic ambience/noise, and abstract, synthetic, melodic sequences morphing between tracks.

During his live set you rarely get the chance to latch onto anything repetitive, beats and dance floor moments come and go, and never seem to sustain for long. “Was that music for people with A.D.D?” I heard someone comment afterwards.

I’m a fan of his music, especially his single releases, however the versions Nathan Fake performs live now have mutated far from their released versions. It’s like he’s never stopped developing/remixing them, then he further digitally manipulates them during live performance. He loves that beat-repeat effect.

I’m not sure, but I think I may have heard versions/elements of his tracks ‘Grandfathered’, ‘The Sky Was Pink’, ‘Dinamo’ and his remix of Remy’s ‘Scrambled’, along with lots of unknown, unfamiliar, new? material.

I was surprised when he got a lot harder and more intense than I was expecting with a brutal, banging version of his formula 303 and 909 acid-techno track ‘Undoing The Laces’, which was probably the best part of his set, some great intensity.

He ended his set with my favourite Nathan Fake track ‘Outhouse’, however it was stripped apart, live-remixed, with each element manipulated and messed with for ages, until finally everything was brought together, but then minutes later it was all over, finishing up with some abrasive, speaker destroying, digital audio/noise. I guess he’s ‘over’ that track now.

There seemed to be a lot of Nathan Fake fans amongst the 150-200 or so people crammed into the hot and sweaty cave, lots of cheers and frantic jumping about. Being right at the back near the entrance to the cave all night, I got good laughs seeing the ‘cave tourists’ entering, attempting to ‘get down’ on the dance floor, becoming confused by the musical chaos and then doing a quick exit back to the other room/s, all within a minute.

Mark Dynamix played prior, he played some good minimal/tech tracks, but also a lot of generic MOS style electro-house stuff that didn’t do much for me. It was all a bit too full on for what I’d consider a ‘warm-up’ set too, but the dance-floor loved it, and you can’t fault his mixing/track flow.

I stayed to hear a few tracks mixed up from UK’s Audiojack who followed. I got to hear that great Ito & Star ‘Sudoko Kid’ track. The cave emptied almost as soon as Nathan Fake finished. I agreed with what Wowky said at the time, how strange that was, as Audiojack were playing much more accessible and dance floor friendly music than Nathan Fake did.

Anyway, I’m happy I got to experience a live Nathan Fake set, but once is enough I think. It felt too self indulgent, too far into the ‘glitching everything up because you can’ side of live laptop performance for me, which kind of spoilt his music for me. I’ll stick to the recorded versions. Yeah, I’m difficult to please. I think Alex Smoke does a much better job of performing his music live, keeping it close to the released versions sounds/arrangements, whilst also satisfying his own desires to manipulate things live in clever ways.

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