It was unusual to step foot under the Coalition arches to be welcomed by a mere handful of onlookers… This was an evening that was dedicated to French-Electro; diverging a sentiment of style, exclusivity and debonair. The sparse crowd gathered to one man behind two Mac’s and some decks. His stage name was Mondkopf, with a facade of concentration he was able to construct sounds that were bass heavy and evocative of judgement day.
Reproducing electro sounds of what can only be described as apocalyptic; it was an experience just watching this technological wizard at work. This music however is not capable of producing dance moves, more about skilfully capturing it’s fans via awe and marvel. The matter of the fact being that even the most famous DJ’s and producers are deep down computer nerds; composing technical and electronic poetry via their fingertips. The skill and knowledge that it takes to produce a commendable track is an expertise of complete admiration.
With enough bass to play trickery with your balance, Mondkopf was complimented with simplistic and frenetic backing visuals, creating hypnotic-like illusions that drew the small crowd to surround the decks in a perfect semi-circle formation.
After being blasted for the best part of an hour with exceptionally heavy, electro-beats, an intermission DJ helped smooth the transition between the support DJ to the headline act. As he started spinning electro-house, the crowd began to swell up triumphantly… With an uncanny resemblance to fellow French DJ Fake Blood, this guy had it going on.
Setting up in the dark, the silhouette of 4 synths and a drum kit began to form. Synthesizers of course being the vital organs of all things electro. With an early stage time of 21:15, Pierre-Alexandre Busson and his entourage drifted onto the stage and into position; with one hand placed on the mic and the other nonchalantly sucking from a cigarette.
Yuksek stood motionless as the gentle swirl of smoke circulated up into the air and softly rested upon the brick-laid arches. Opening with ‘Always on the run’ an instant buzz radiated across the room. It was pleasing to see a full band set up as it highlighted the variable skills of Pierre-Alexandre Busson not only as a DJ and producer, but as a musician and a sturdy vocalist too. Reminiscent of a mod-rock party of the 1960’s, there was a distinct retro feel about the evening.
As the three piece played out their set, what was particularly striking was the beautiful, yet seemingly feisty female drummer. Wearing a baggy Yuksek t-shirt that must have been five sizes too big, her impressive afro oozed elements of chic…
What was most surprising however was how they managed to transcribe their music to suit so many alternate genres. Including smooth transitions from the electro sounds of Soulwax, to harmonic sounds of The Beach Boys, to pop, to rock, to disco… The entire set was mind-blowing, a real delight for the ears. Closing the set with their most famous hit ‘Tonight’, it was an absolute pleasure to witness some of the French kings (and queens) of electro at work; what was particularly satisfying however, was the ability to watch at such close proximity…
Brighton Coalition, Thursday 17th November 2011
Words by Thea Wise