As part of Brighton’s Digital Art festival, the Pavilion Theatre hosted a sold-out Sound Screen event that married live electronic music with visual artists. Despite the theatrical performance of Nordic Giants’ eccentric drummer, the focus was on one of Brighton’s most exciting up-and-coming producers: Adolescent.
The brain behind this smooth chillwave sound is Alex Parish and this gig was only his second ever, but it didn’t show. He was composed and confident on both keys and drums, playing tracks from his two EPs – a sound that has clearly been influenced by trip-hop artists like Portishead.
His downtempo style is layered with majestic textures and heart-tugging tones but the most interesting aspect of Adolescent’s music is the way it conjures up a narrative through sound alone. The videos tried to mirror the sounds but there didn’t appear to be much collaboration between the musicians and the video artists. Some of the videos were extremely abstract and others were made on-the-fly.
Opening track ‘Golden Halls Pt. 1’ set the mood and tone for anyone not familiar with Adolescent; its considered and poignant approach feeling totally unrushed. ‘TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy)’ also featured, which is Alex’s attempt at conveying the struggle of overcoming the seizure while his most complete track, ‘Hangshai’, is reflective of his rapid development as a producer. The tune is the final offering from his latest EP ‘Golden Halls’ which was heavily influenced by his travels through Asia.
The sound system at the Pavilion Theatre exaggerated the organic ambience that less capable speakers fail to project. Along with the subtle shimmering guitar-work of this three other band-members and the crisp production value that Alex is associated with, it marked a performance that was enjoyably ethereal. At the same time you know he has potential to be one of the most accomplished producers. There are probably a couple more EPs to come from Adolescent as he sharpens his craft but on the evidence of this gig, his debut LP could garner popularity very quickly.