Electrowerkz is a venue steeped in London clubland history – not just as home to long running goth night ‘Slimelight’ but a whole host of other grubby nocturnal goings on over the years. Although some of the club has undergone a recent refurb, tonight’s gig is in the dingy upstairs room. Bits of gaffer tape peel from the ceiling, deflated balloons hang forlornly from bits of string, the whole place is barely lit by the glow of UV and the system is certainly not a Funktion One. Posters on the toilet walls peddle bands like ‘Grendel’ and ‘Angelspit’...there is a wash basin but no tap. Years of sordid partying cake the pitch black walls whilst scaffold structures seem to keep the place upright...
Lukid kicks off proceedings with a set that’s darkly cavernous and restrained in style - inhabiting a similar organic space to Actress whose label, Werk, releases Lukid’s new album in October. Weaving from 4/4 to staccato kick drum work outs awash with obscure melodies, Lukid’s set holds back the temptation to properly let loose and remains intangibly distant and otherworldly throughout. Check out the link below for a free download from his up and coming album ‘Lonely at The Top’.
Sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Norfolk’, Nathan Fake quickly plugs in his laptop and sets to work in a now packed out club. Much of Fake’s music pays homage to his home county in the East of England – a place that has produced musicians as diverse as Luke Abbott, Beth Orton, and EZ Rollers.
His production style is idiosyncratic of electronic genres from far flung counties in the UK and comparisons to Aphex Twin are inevitable and, in my mind, completely justified. He also paints a similar feeling of futuristic nostalgia that label mates Luke Abbott and James Holden tend to inhabit. This live set and new album ‘Steam Days’ positively reek of a hazy analogue richness lovingly crafted from memories of a Norfolk childhood. Oblique melodies snake around techno driven club friendly beats whilst obscure modulations tamper with the sounds. Cute edits, tweaks and twists distract and prevent any linear direction whilst admirable control avoids over egging these effects in the live environment.
There’s plenty to occupy mind, body and soul throughout the hour long set – ‘Steam Days’ is a cracking release and sounds great in the live environment. The only unfortunate is the 11pm curfew so the set is performed early. Without wishing to diminish the attractions of a dingy Electrowerkz, I can’t help but wish I was listening to this under the Norfolk stars at 3am on a warm summer night....
Steam Days is out now on Border Community here.
For Lukid free download head here: http://www.werkdiscs.com/lukid/
Review by Andy Gillham