Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Metronomy, Junior Boys, Kelley Polar, Prinzhorn Dance School at IndigO2


Eat Your Own Ears has taken over future spatial zeitgeist of a venue IndigO2 for a night of flailing arms and neon/neo-techery – and the damn fine soundsystem is a point to note for the cynical traditionalists out there. It’s shameful that the London masses haven’t been whipped into a sell-out, but hey ho, all the more room for dancing.

Opening is DFA’s Prinzhorn Dance School - take a lucky dip in the following melting pot for an accurate description of the by-product: fourth-rate Kills, static, lacklustre, asymmetrical, soulless, unvaried, incomprehensible, unmelodic, sack of shit. Nice try at the polar opposites of precocious and unaffected, then.

Restoring faith in humanity is Kelley Polar (pictured), who morphs pseudo-trippy loops into ‘70s funk on opener ‘A Feeling of The All Thing’ which is as much Autechre as it is Shostakovich. ‘Entropy Reigns (In the Celestial City)’ takes the disco superscriptions a step further and ‘Chrysanthemum’ gives little choice but to stare at the ceiling and wonder where all of these conflicting, intricate, breathy sounds are coming from. Theatrical falsetto punctuates driving beats, isolated timbres and detached, sporadic strings into a tumbling blend of verdant self-assertion. Not to mention Polar’s frankly creepy fixed gaze. This is the sound of an alternate universe, and dare we say innovation. Natch. Now go and buy the album.

Next up is Canadian ice-kings, Junior Boys, who unfortunately prove visually and aurally stagnant. Cuts from Last Exit and So This Is Goodbye fail to kick themselves onto the forefront of their own accord, and Jeremy Greenspan’s dancing on the fine line between aloof and a whisper drags the whole affair into stoicism. The jarring goes down a treat with the majority nonetheless, but for this writer, it feels oomph-less. Timbrally tense, lyrically inviting and well-enunciated on record, it may have been an off night but the overriding feeling is one of routine – even on finer moments like ‘Birthday’.

The night starts all over again when Devonshire whiz-kid Joseph Mount, a.k.a. Metronomy, takes to the stage. The live show is abstractly euphoric with synchronised salutes and the customary black t-shirt/£1 push-light ‘uniforms’. ‘Radio Ladio’ is the most pared down example of Metronomy’s bleepy goodness, which says it all really – clinical through headphones but never more involved in person. The in-between song banter’s as twee as the fans’ groundings, but it’s all superlative as the music is candidly muddled, developed and efficient. With Oscar Cash and Gabriel Lebbing on the periphery, it’s one of the most spectacular live shows going, chomping away at the doubters and luring them into the cataclysm of ‘My Heart Rate Rapid’ - a dizzy, fizzy take on four to the floor. All in all, it’s what Devo would sound like in the current clime wearing trousers three sizes too small. Sublime.

Prinzhorn Dance School - 3/10
Kelley Polar - 9/10
Junior Boys - 5/10
Metronomy - 9/10

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