Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Kentaro at Cargo

Last week my mate Mark and I went to see DJ Kentaro play at Cargo. If you've ever been to Cargo (Old Street, London) you'll know that in addtion to the stage/dance floor area and bar, there's also a restaurant. Seeing as we were 2 hours early (we thought it would be packed) we decded to grab a bite to eat. Big mistake. We sat at a table with drinks (we bought at the bar) and menus for a good 45 minutes going completely unnoticed by the one waitress working that night. Eventually she came up and said "hi guys, did you want to order food?". We said yes, she nodded, and then walked off - not reappearing for a further 10 minutes. When she finally took our order, the food took about 5 minutes to appear. Microwave job. Some places are just too cool for school.

Anyway, the point is while sitting there, we could here the supporting act through the resataurant speakers. They sounded terrible - like a bloke yelling generic meaningless hip-hop chants accompanied by a tin drum kit. He seemed really loud in comparison. So after quite a lot of moaning and finally getting to eat, we paid and went around to the stage area - dreading having to see this act performing.

To our surprise, the closer we got to the gig area, the better and better they sounded. As we got our hands stamped and stepped throgh the curtains and through the doorway we were greeted with this:

Awesome. I was blown away. These guys were fOnkay! I tried to forget how we slagged 'em off in the other room (not our fault Cargo has rubbish speakers in the restaurant) and while gutted that I'd missed the rest of their set, we did catch this track and an encore. Outstanding and so refreshing to see a brass section and one drummer, belt out some supreme funk and jazz. They're called the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and have their own blog too. Musically they are tight and standing there by the stage the vocals I heard earlier were actually well placed. I bought a couple of their CDs after they were done, also very good.

Having been floored by these talented players I was ready for the main event. Kentaro came on played a fantastic set, accompanied by some cool visuals, interspersed with live footage of his turntablism skizzils:

While Kentaro has impeccable taste in the records he plays, has mad scratching and mixing skills and his album Enter is seriously off the hook, an hour into his set I started to notice a little repetition in the effects and transitions he was doing. A few more tricks to broaden his repetoir would make this awesome act truly ouitstanding IMHO.

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