Tiring of the same old sounds at the same old places? Saturday's 100% Silk showcase at new Stokey venue Birthdays promises to offer plenty of fresh ideas.
100% Silk emerged last year as an offshoot from Not Not Fun, the famed LA label so instrumental in bringing artists like Sun Araw, Ducktails and Peaking Lights to our attention. While some of the same influences crop up — dub, drone and noise elements all feature — this new class are attempting to shape these elements into danceable forms, inspired as much by house, techno and 90s r'n'b. While this is a strikingly unpolished take on dance music, there is an exciting frontier element at work here - as artists from innately experimental backgrounds craft music fit for the dancefloor. Dark, throbbing and very 2012, come down to see what all the fuss is about.
LA Vampires is the project of label head, and ex-Pocahaunted member, Amanda Brown. The name of the band fits perfectly, highlighting the project's straddling of the Los Angeles underground and clubland's nocturnal sounds. On her records and a number of low budget youtube videos, Amanda also takes influence from the pop music of the 80s, but refracted until the pre-set beats warp and the colours smudge. Her collaborations with Matrix Metals and orperatic goth nymph Zola Jesus are testament to the lure of her darkened lair.
In the bands Black Eyes, Sex Worker and Mi Ami, Daniel Martin-McCormick has been carving an idiosyncratic path through experimental music for the last decade. While his early work was heavily indebted to punk and hardcore, with Ital he makes a sharp u-turn, taking his DIY principles and applying them to a lo-fi version of sensual house and r'n'b. Take his label-baiting track "Doesn't Matter (If You Love Him)", which plays with samples from both Lady Gaga and Whitney Houston, dunking the divas into a molasses-slow dubby house groove. That this track opened an album released by dance institution Planet Mu shows Martin-McCormick succeeding once more in applying his talents to infiltrate a new sound.
Maria Minerva sees things out, an Estonian-born London-based chanteuse for the internet age. With her day-glo videos and online culture influences, fans of James Ferraro's pop-cultural-overload aesthetic will find parallels here. Wrapped up in Maria's ethereal vocals her music, like the rest of her labelmates, straddles the fine line between high-brow ideals and pop thrills.
100% Silk Showcase at Birthdays, N16 8BJ, Saturday 9th June. Tickets £10 adv available online.
Image used with permission from the artist.