>Review:RBMA at the Royal Festival Hall

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On Friday I went to see CARL CRAIGFRANCESCO TRISTANOMORITZ VON OSWALD,MATMOSBUGGE WESSELTOFTHENRIK SCHWARZ at the Roayal Festival Hall as part of the Red Bull Music Academy series of events. These are not a collection of musicians I knew loads about, but I like Wessletoft’s version of the Man with the Red Face with Laurent Garnier, and I also like Carl Craig, so I thought I’d give it a try. Thankfully, this top collection of electronic musicians supplied a evening of great music, and had enough Mac book pros to fund research for the next generation of iPads.

The  evening started off slow, Wesseltoft and Schwarz being a little bit too ‘arts for arts’ sake in my opinion. Then they kicked on with two very danceable tracks held together by strong beats and a tight structure. When these two tracks gained momentum they really lifted the place. Throughout the visuals were beautiful, but I couldn’t always tell the relevance they had to the music.

Matmos’ contribution to the evening was short but effective. An overindulgent intro was soon forgotten with more strong beats and  vibrant keyboard work. Again some pretty nice visuals were going on. Their tracks were more danceable than before but had enough subtlety to be interesting too. For 2 guys, Matmos created a lot of noise, in a good way.

The highlight of the evening was the multi-talented combination of Carl Craig and company. They performed just one half an hour track that developed slowly and built cleverly. There were various peaks in which the atmosphere was magnificent. The manipulation of a live alto sax was technically sound, but I found it a bit too loud in the mix and as a result overbearing. Although the track never truly lifted off, despite threatening to multiple times, I was hooked. Interesting although random visuals (a distorting 3D man anyone?) provided another good focal point.

A good old dance in the Clore Ballroom (tunes supplied by DJ SPRINKLES & ANDRAS FOX) provided the perfect ending to a very interesting and enjoyable evening that further fuelled my personal interest in combining electronics and live instrumentation. I will certainly be checking out the artists that I saw.

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