Live Music + Gig Reviews

Etienne De Crecy @ matter, London

27 March 2009

Etienne de Crecy

Etienne de Crecy

Beats and Cubes is the modest subtitle to this stunning live show – though Cubes and Cubase might give you a better idea of what’s involved. For this rare visit to the capital, a first live London appearance in a coup for the matter club, Etienne De Crecy‘s show feels rather like a spellbinding light show with accompanying music.

Such are the dimensions of the cube, standing 20 feet by 20 feet, that all three floors of the club get a good view of the action. Hundreds of camera phones point in the darkness, hopeful of getting some of the blinding strobe effects for posterity.

They are not disappointed. Despite looking like one of London’s many building sites by the end, De Crecy’s live show takes place inside an intricate construction of scaffolding and netting, a short platform in the middle accomodating the Parisian, his instruments, and, it seems, an overnight bag.

We don’t see him much, for the light show dominates even the music. Flickering projections usher him in to fgfd, while the Millie Jackson-sampling Am I Wrong, ever more poignant than on its release in 2001, powers over the heaving dancefloor.

The music is closer to Ed Banger than Daft Punk in its projection, as beefed-up synthesizers, guitars and effects swirling over the club with a real power and impact. The flipside of this is a complete loss of the intricacies common to the Tempovision album, De Crecy tending to look at Super Discount for his inspiration.

With little treble in evidence the music is closer to a DJ set than a live performance, a fact confirmed as De Crecy presses buttons and switches programs during the performance. He is not the focus, save a polite bow to rapturous applause at the end.

Toward that thundering end the cube comes alive, throbbing in time to the music, moving through dimensions like a larger than life Tetris block. The effects are stunning, but mask a lack of variety in the music – a shame, for the essence of De Crecy’s solo work is lost.

That said, no one in matter to witness this unique show leaves disappointed – without exception heading through to Room 2 to continue the party, their eyes full of squares.

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Etienne De Crecy @ matter, London
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