This week I got back into the music and went to see an event focusing on dark electronic musicians. This felt particularly relevant to me right now because that’s the direction my solo project has been going. It was also cool to go to a venue I’d never been to before, The Record Crate in Glebe. I’d walked past it a few times but I think I assumed it was an actual record shop rather than a bar and small venue!
And small is right – it’s a very intimate setting, with the stage at floor level, right next to the entrance so that you feel like you’re entering the place from side stage. They also kept the door open despite the cold, so you could see people passing by outside as you were watching the bands. It’s a very different way of doing things! But it had a very friendly vibe, and a cozy musical atmosphere with posters on one side and vinyl cover art on the other. For musicians, it’s a bit cramped, but they’d managed to fit nearly all their gear on the back ledge of the stage, with the more complicated electronic gear already on stands ready to be moved into place for each band. I just felt it was a little bit too dark once they dimmed the lights – fine atmosphere for a dark electronic show, but difficult for my camera to film, and probably made it a bit harder for the musicians to see what they were doing both during the set, and during pack up when it took a while to get the lights back on. If performing there, might help to have a torch just in case!
First up was the duo Galraedia, older, goth-type musicians. The vocals were that old school speech-like style, and they had a lot of Korgs and other tech! I spotted three keyboards, a computer, mixer, pedals, even a headset for the vocoder. The music was very much reminiscent of older, 80’s style goth, with an uncluttered electronic sound.
Costume-wise, they had a black vs white aesthetic going on, which was a cool nod to the whole duality idea. They didn’t move much on stage though, so there wasn’t a whole lot to look at, though with both of them using keyboards, it’s hard to say what could really be done. In any case, I was surprised to find I didn’t mind this – their music actually evoked a lot of images of old music videos, such that you could really imagine that sort of production.
All up, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed Galraedia’s set. I haven’t listened to a lot of goth music, and mostly I’ve felt a bit indifferent to it. But something about the way this duo has put together their old school goth and electronic music just held my attention. I can’t tell if this might be signalling a shift in my musical tastes or not, but it might be nice to try and draw some influences from this sort of genre in my future music.
The other band I was able to stay for was Z(Cluster), my friend Sai’s band again! This was the main reason I braved Friday’s cold and windy night, and it was great to be able to see them play again. But given that the stage was right next to that cold, open door, I thought it was crazy that Sai wore the same outfit – that’s some dedication to the image. I guess dancing around does warm you up, but still, it was freezing in there!
So it was fun to see how far these guys had come in just over a month. They definitely both seemed much more comfortable in their performances, which might be a combination of the venue as well as practice. Sai’s use of height was perhaps less effective for people up the back of the room, given that there was no elevated stage that would allow them to see him, but on the other hand, he was able to actually walk into the crowd, and even came and sat and sung to me at the front table at one point. He even made good use of that side stage door, offering a newcomer a sip of his drink mid-set, reflecting his overall confidence in audience interaction and use of humour.
As for INfest8, he was also so much more entertaining to watch this time around. You could really see he was getting into the songs, even with all the gear he was managing. He was singing along, feeling the music, showing a lot of passion, particularly later into their set, it was great to see! And the interaction between the two of them was also much better this time, showing that these two will continue to improve as they evolve. I guess this is something I need to remember for myself – it gets easier as you keep going, becoming more confident and developing your act. I’m still nervous about my upcoming performance, my first in two years, and first as a soloist. But if I keep it up, I’ll improve, just like Z(Cluster)!