Chibuku with SBTRKT, Modeselektor & more
Saturday 4th May
East Village Arts Club
After a long winter hibernation, Chibuku has remerged in the city with the promise to keep standards high, in a venue that’s previously been named UK’s best underground club. There has been big changes to the old theatre, but East Village Arts Club have vowed to keep its promiscuous character and much loved interior that The Masque was well known for. In celebration of Chibuku’s return, SBTRKT, Modeselektor and Tensnake were welcomed to the city along with Chibuku resident James Rand, Autocycle and Polka DJ’s.
The faint smell of freshly coated paint and new décor flirted vividly as we entered the polished and proudly standing East Village Arts Club. James Rand had begun warming the theatre up nicely with a dark and majestic introduction. He delved into more of an eastern sound with echoing high-pitched synths and viscous undertones that held gracefully amongst the organic sound of audio feedback. Howling compassionately underneath, the logistics were perfect, engaging everyone in the room.
Upstairs Liverpool’s new night Polka had brought it’s residents to the party, offering an uplifting and energetic assortment of tracks. Night Rays – Ejeca and Butch – No Worries were well received, bringing cheers and rapture to the crowd. The atmosphere felt light and happy, a continuance of the hot summers day we had just endured.
Beginning their set downstairs, Modeselektor were embarking on much darker territory with a terrifying level of bass that tensed your throat and clinched your chest. Galloping hand claps and raw, electrifying synths mingled erratically with steady snares and dusty percussion allowing a magnificent set to unfold. Future Tool – TWR72 reverberated the theatre, vibrating the crowd as they moved across the floor, while voice modification tools unnerved the audience with robotic tones. A haunting track list, energised with their underground Berlin roots and experimental penchants.
Autocycle continued the uplifting array upstairs with an atonic quality to each track. Sleek vocals hummed alongside vibrant melodies, while an earthy bass wavered throughout. Following this, Tensnake carried the same feel good rhythms through into his own set with strong disco influences and a dashing of 80’s charm. Aloe Blacc – I need A Dollar (Tensnake Remix) offered punchy high notes and catchy vocals while Him Self Her – Gone Too Long slowed the tempo down a little, allowing the crowd to recuperate, swaying delicately. The roaring basslines soon kicked in as Tensnake delivered his promising talents that have spiraled from Coma Cat – the track that firmly put him on the map in dance music.
Heading downstairs to the theatre, the air was heated and thick as the crowd congregated in anticipation for the main avail. SBTRKT led us in gently with Pusha T – Numbers On The Board but switched the pace quickly with two of his well known tracks, Hold On and Right Thing To Do. Tropical overtones played harmoniously with the scratchy Hip Hop samples that echoed through his selections, creating a sound so raw and refreshing. Cowbells, hand claps and itchy snares took the mass right up till the end offering a warm clandestine of what could be new material for the foreseeable future. An effervescent night with a strong, meaty caliber across all artists. A definitive nod that Chibuku and East Village Arts Club are going to make this summer one to remember, we certainly can’t wait for more.
Review by Jessica Heaton
Image courtesy of Chibuku