SET LIST: XXYYXX, Wave Racer & Basenji @ The Standard, Sydney
Ever since we heard of Florida’s Marcel Everett, we’ve maintained a pretty keen eye on the young producer. Introducing his talent as XXYYXX, Everett has taken his project around the world, including to this year’s Laneway Festival bill.
Although we enjoyed his set on the Future Classic stage, we really vibed to his sideshow at The Standard in Sydney – thanks to Astral People.
If the show hadn’t reached capacity, it was well and truly just tickets away from selling out, as the dark, upstairs venue offered only little room to even move. Although this made for an extremely hot and sweaty night, it was well worth enduring when noticing the amount of punters rocking up early enough to catch the support acts – unfortunately something you don’t always see at a live show.
To open the night was Sydney producer BASENJI. When he’s not riding his bike or swimming in the ocean, the man (known as Sebastian Carlos Muecke by his birth certificate) is making amazing, boundary-pushing electronic music; something he’s been lucky enough to take up full-time. Looking ridiculously comfortable on stage, Basenji played a nice big bunch of both original and remixed tracks, including a slowed down, sensual version of Disclosure‘s ‘Latch’ and his breakthrough single ‘Dawn’. A song full of bold synths and watery samples, it’s a good leading track to indicate what the rest of his set was made up of.
Pulling not only an enthusiastic crowd, but the prestigious spot followed by another championed stage to warm up Cashmere Cat‘s crowd the next night, it’s pretty amazing to think that these were Basenji‘s first ever live shows. On that note, he’s definitely an Artist To Watch over the course of 2014.
BASENJI ‘Speak With A Dofflin’
One of many things we love about Astral People is their willingness to be involved with their work as much as possible. This was practised on the night as their very own Tom Huggett filled in on intermission duties – DJing under his stage name Astral Huggz.
Utilising an abundance of thick beats and mysterious rhythms, Astral Huggz kept the energy of the room afloat allowing the crowd to remain happy and spirited for what was left of the huge night.
Having been in the same production duo as Basenji in the past, it was nice to see former Pablo J & The Lobsterettes member WAVE RACER also give his Sydney following a taste of his own solo work, as he was next to take the reigns of the stage.
Really taking off late 2013, Wavey demonstrated the last few months of his prestigious craftsmanship with a compilation of his back catalogue. This included the single responsible for where he is – ‘Stoopid’, his remix of Cosmo’s Midnight‘s ‘The Dofflin’ and his latest track ‘Streamers’ that was released just a matter of weeks ago. Picking up where Basenji left us, Wave Racer brought much colour to the visually dark environment of The Standard, dousing us in hysteric anticipation for what the headliner had in store.
WAVE RACER ‘Stoopid’
WAVE RACER ‘Streamers’
The last time we saw XXYYXX in Sydney was almost a year ago in the very same venue. A reserved 17 year old, he worked the crowd well, though appeared rather shy in his solitude. This certainly changed upon his 2014 return. Not only is he now legally allowed to become inebriated under Strayan law (though I’m sure he was palmed many a sneaky bev last year), his stage presence and maturity has skyrocketed, as made evident at The Standard last Thursday night.
Working hard the past year, XXYYXX has perfected a sound that can only be called his own, building euphoric soundscapes and euthanising conventional lyrical structure as he melts their afterlife down into a transcendent, magical mess of obscurity. Shopping through his Soundcloud and Bandcamp, you’ll find many articles of sounds in your sonic basket as he’s already choreographed a growing catalogue made up of a full-length album, EP and a bunch of singles, remixes and playlists – a generous handful of these that were carefully selected to make his set list for the night.
Standing centre stage amongst a fog of smoke, XXYYXX played King for a night as he had the crowd in the palm of his hand; thanks to his great contrast of ambient and charged electronica that ensued. Whipping out a pair of speed dealers [sunnies] as well as leading a prolonged thank you speech later in his set, you could tell young Marcel was as amped as he was appreciative with where he is in his career today.
XXYYXX ‘Bill Gates’
XXYYXX ‘About You’
Words by Hannah Galvin.
Photo via Voena.