Another DJ / Producer, another live show. It recent times it has become somewhat of an electronic producers right of passage to switch the decks for the proverbial ‘Live Show’. However, whilst at first glance this seems a natural progression for an electronic musician to perform live, it has become increasingly obvious that we are starting to experience diminishing returns, and a lack of originality. Do we really need another quasi live laptop and light show?
For us, the answer to this question hinges on two key considerations, is the performance in fact live, ie not just a glorfied laptop DJ set and does the show enhance the audience’s enjoyment of the music. To put this in context you only need to go and see Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy or Richie Hawtins Plastikman Live to appreciate that the use of visuals, clever lighting, live instruments and re-edited versions of tracks can be electrifying. Admittedly the first 3 of these acts have written some of the biggest electronic tracks of all time, and Richie Hawtin is fanatically committed to pushing the boundaries of sound and light interaction, perhaps making them all an unfair yard stick for most electronic producers in terms of available material and budget. However what it does demonstrate is that with a little imagination and hardwork electronic music has a space in the live arena.
Unfortunately in recent times too many electronic artists have announced they are going live and delivered little more than a laptop, a midi controller and a mic plugged in. This is hardly creative and audiences are getting wise to this, questioning whether it is in fact Live or just a laptop on a table. Therefore with a growing wave of skepticism it is crucial that electronic producers going Live offer something unique visually and in performance. A good recent example of this would be ‘Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’. While not at the level of a Daft Punk, TEED has worked within his smaller budget and created a performance that undoubtedly brings additional verve to his music, incorporating custom made dinosaur shaped lighting, dancers, costumes and actual live performance, not just Ableton sequences in isolation, and at a grander scale you cant ignore Etienne de Crecy’s cubes performance.
Therefore in regards to Scuba going Live there is a definite air of skepticism, check comments in recent RA post, however despite this critics should hold on lambasting his show until they’ve actually seen it, especially when you consider that since launching ‘Hotflush Recordings’ in 2003 Paul Rose has shown an impeccable level of creative awareness in his own and other peoples music.
Scuba – Talk Torque – Drops Oct 29th & you can catch his debut Live performance Nov 3rd.