REVIEW | RIZLAB PRESENTS JAMIE XX & QUAYOLA

Published on October 4th, 2011 | by Netti


Tonight Jamie XX is collaborating with Quayola, the respected motionographer, at The Classic Car Club in Shoreditch. It’s a sophisticated affair with a red carpet feel and I’m welcomed to a forecourt littered with trendy music heads. After briefly schmoozing outside beneath the club’s lit elevated cars, we’re ushered through a dark tunnel to a huge space with a stage that thrones Quayola and Jamie.

It all kicks off, I feel like I’m in an art gallery watching a live installation. I’m transfixed by spiraling snakes that contort on screens stretched across the walls, while a rigged system pounds out a slow electronic bass intro. My heart races as the suspense builds – it’s exciting. I’m entranced, lulled by weighty bass beats while staring at futuristic snakes that start munching rats, swallowing them whole while coiling down a rickety mine track.

It’s impressive but the visuals remain the same and the dramatic buildup refuses to climax. The art is hypnotising but it doesn’t progress. People are still staring – I’m confused – I’m not sure whether I’m in an art exhibition or a dead out rave. There’s an incredible performance going on but the hype seems so much about the art that the essence of the party is lost. Surely visuals are there to enhance the music? Jamie XX plays a wicked set building up gradually from atmospheric electronic bass music and journeying into thudding techno mix. Later when we push through beneath the green-lit beams he smashes out a garage mix. This is when the music’s the hottest but sadly the dancefloor’s empty. Seems a waste that such a respected DJ is playing to a spacey dancefloor. People are dancing and although the snakes are still curling away, they’ve lost their charm. Now the dancefloor’s dead the music ricochets. Earlier I was happy to excuse the acoustics, as it stole me back to an airport hanger in Barcelona but now its got that dead out disco feel. Despite this outside is buzzing– people sit and chat beneath posing cars and it seems like everyone’s having a good night. Maybe if there had been less art hype and more people, then the party would have gone off… I rate both these individuals highly as artists but somehow tonight it just hasn’t wowed me like I anticipated. It had all the components – a spectacular venue, top DJ, hyped visuals artist and all the accessories but there was nothing that really brought it all together – it could have done with a bit of classic car welding.

Yeti Out! X

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