The O2 academy in Brixton was the venue for the pioneering music label Brainfeeder to celebrate 10 years as a creative force and innovation leader. Founded by the experimental, fearless and genre bending Flying Lotus, Brainfeeder are a dynamic model for the industry which has diversification and musical metamorphosis at the forefront of its manifesto.
Flying the flag for the future of brainfeeder English electronic producer Seamus Malliagh AKA Iglooghost opened with his unique brand of breakneck tempo, jungle/drum n bass inspired squelchy beats underpinned by sharp, bright melodic synth lines.
Lapalux followed his young contemporary, switching gears to softer, swirling textures, mellow house/RnB infused beats with glistening synth and keyboard lines. Often calm and meditative punctuated suddenly with jolts from a mammoth, glitchy, industrial beat or transitioning seamlessly to a infectious sweet soaring melody. Lapalux provided a set with an arc and musical counterpoint.
An old head in the electronic music scene yet still a thrusting powerhouse, Dorian Concept was our next performer. The playful, bright, uplifting and relentless music of the Austrian synth maestro showcased his virtuosity. His technical aptitude plainly evident due to numerous camera angles showing in detail how Dorian Concept achieves his unique sound.
Club scene frequenter Giles Peterson served his blend of samples from music spanning the world over, amalgamating South American rhythms with deep cuts from the familiar sounds of funk, soul and disco.
Georgia Anne Muldrow is Brainfeeder’s newest recruit. Bringing her boundary erasing sound Muldrow crossed borders of soul, hip-hop, jazz and the Avant- Garde with relative ease. Continuing in a similar vein Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner expounded his acrobatic bass lines and individual song writing style with a powerful set showing the vast music divergence of the talent on display. This decade’s preeminent session bassist and collaborator not only showed incredible feats of musicianship but also brought a fun, lighthearted, irreverence to his challenging music.
The penultimate but the eagerly awaited Flying Lotus’s 3D set was an immersive, colossal, sensory experience. Truly astounding visuals that when matched with Flylo’s expansive musical landscapes made for a truly distinctive live event. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy overstimulated eyes and ears Flylo dropped previously unheard material, premiering an exclusive MF DOOM track and declaring himself G.O.A.T. before taking his leave.
The emotionally charged, melodic, lo-fi house producer Ross from Friends and band closed out proceedings. With swirling, panned beats and angular guitar lines Ross from friend’s short and sweet set was a gloopy, nostalgic house riot.
Brainfeeder X is a compilation of tracks that celebrates the past, present and future of this exalted label. Having witnessed some of their roster’s incredible musical output and their expansive range, it seems Brainfeeder will grow exponentially on its own terms, continuing to carve out new landscapes and influence wider culture in its unique distinctive fashion.
Words: Matt O’Hare
Featured Images: Fabrice Bourgelle