The gentleman currently known as Alfred Darlington might just love Wales even more than it loves him. Obsessed with the country, in particular the Snowdonian landscape, since “four or five years old”, he recently suggested, his last appearance in Cardiff gave back plenty with a storming midnight set at Clwb and an informal demo/lecture on his use of the Monome as a live mixing and creative tool. That was for Swn 2009, so his return in support of new album Bespoke (Ninja Tune) is a long overdue one. The ever-dapper Californian deals in a broad range of electronic styles across his storied back catalogue, from the exotica-tinged hip-hop beats of Exquisite Corpse through the more urgent dancefloor patterns of Love To Make Music To to the downtempo psychedelia of last year’s Righteous Fists of Harmony EP. On record it fits somewhere between the abstraction of sometime collaborator Prefuse 73 and the louche cool of Gonzales. This relentless, sunny experimentalism steps up several gears live, building expertly into a rolling, accessible techno monster. Essential stuff.
Excellent support for these two gigs too, in the form of a couple of downtempo beatmakers from Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder stable who are both, it must be said, strongly reminiscent of classic Mo’ Wax-era heads. Nothing wrong with that either. LA’s Jennifer Lee, AKA TOKiMONSTA, layers woozy, stuttering beats with dog-eared fragments of piano and slowed-up vocal samples with familiar-sounding but impressive results. It’s a real shame that TEEBS doesn’t follow her and Daedelus from the Thekla to Cardiff, if indeed the listings are accurate; his Ardour album is a treat, bumping seriously weighty bass against hazy music-box melodies. Whether you opt for the full bill in Bristol or a Friday night at close quarters in CAI, this one should be sweaty, satisfying, danceable fun.
THURSDAY 10TH MARCH
The Grove, Bristol
Tickets £10 advance
0845 413 4444
Bristol Ticket Shop
Chrome Kids present DAEDELUS/TOKiMONSTA
Cardiff Arts Institute
March 11, 2011
10pm – 4am : £4.00 all night
“He’s the best. He’s so talented.” Flying Lotus on Daedelus
“LA resident, dandyism enthusiast and international globe-trotting man of mystery.
His music is a squelchy mash-up of beautiful sounds and beats that’ll keep your head nodding for weeks. He is both the most modest and humble yet massively exciting sample-basher you’ll witness. See him live and it takes you to another dimension.” Huw Stephens
If you’ve never heard of LA’s underground music god, Daedelus, it’s pretty tricky to know where to start. Undoubtedly the Godfather of the West Coat experimental Hip-hop scene, as both an influence and mentor for acts such as Flying Lotus and as a producer, who as well as his instrumental outings, has worked with various rappers such as MF Doom, Busdriver, Abstract Rude, Subtitle and Mike Ladd.
This forward thinking, multi instrumentalist’s music goes far deeper than just one scene however, and it is impossible to put any of his albums for top independent labels such as Ninja Tune, Big Dada, Soul Jazz, Stones Throw, Alpha Pup, Brainfeeder and Warp into any one category. A true visionary with an inventor’s mind and a jazz musician’s soul, it is an absolute pleasure to have him here at Cardiff Arts Institute. We also know he’s looking forwards to playing the Welsh capital again and has a long rooted love for the country, naming one of his albums ‘Of Snowdonia’ and even telling his classmates in school he was from Wales…and why not indeed?
“Our favorite Los Angeles-based Victorian gentleman” XLR8R