“Sometimes, bands expect that a ‘remix’ should be just a ‘reproduce my song’ sort of thing. I usually take everything out, except the voice and then have fun with it”- Adi Carter.
So said (I’m probably paraphrasing) remixer Adi Carter a couple of nights ago, after a fortuitous encounter became a 30 minute talk about remixes and (Re)Mixed in Sheffield.
On that note,(Re)Mixed in Sheffield’s launch was an interesting event. Yellow Arch Studios is in Kelham Island, that Fortress of Solitude filled with a clash of retrofitted student accommodation (i.e. filing cabinets for us bookworms), nice pubs and buildings two dewdrops from being a pile of debris. It’s always an enjoyable jaunt and the abandoned buildings are always a great photo op.
After a careful check at the entrance (lost some items, ni pedo), a siren call seemed to emanate from the inside of Yellow Arch Studios. Was it the sweaty, dance heavy room below or was it the dissonant, math heavy notes from the top floor? Blood Sport was working their magic mojo and their angular jams are always a sound that’s best enjoyed live. Between the plethora of effects daisy chained that transform a single note into emotional waves resonating in the walls to the afrobeat, samba-like drumming, it was pure bliss.
I meet a friend and he informs me that I’m late and I missed Banditos. Fuck! Oh, well, they are still on the “bands to see live before getting kicked out of the country” list. The next act was Mad Colours and they were in very good spirits. Probably the biggest crowd in that room too. ‘Antique guerilla’ is too darn catchy (all about that “peace!/love!/unity!” bit) and a spot of crowdsurfing is always welcomed. If Blood Sport was a good callisthenics-heavy warm-up to dance, this was the time to dance.
Blue Lip Feel. A dear uncle back in México heard a couple of their tracks and he said it was like those long lost songs he used to hear in his 8-track (RIP!) while driving his truck on the wavy roads of Hidalgo. Definitely heavy 70s sound, with the glammiest of riffs (‘Material Bones’) and the slightly palm-muted bliss of a breezy pop rock tune (‘Make you love this’). Refreshing interval.
Between acts, I venture to the other rooms. I can barely get into any of the ones in the top floor, as they are heavily crowded. One of the bouncers recommends me checking the one downstairs, but it’s equally crowded and some people are outside, in the slight drizzle, busting a few moves even if the heavy roar of conversation and laughter is drowning the sounds & beats. The sweet smell of solvents points me to the direction of an artist working a rectangular canvas, it looks good and before I manage to inquire further, duty calls and I nip back upstairs.
The people of Alvarez Kings are setting up their gear and I wander to the DJ table, where Asbo A Go Go are masterfully doing their craft with deft skill. One of them (Jo) brought a piece of art, based on The Violet May‘s ‘Jennifer Lies’ and is quite happy to show it around.
I’ve only seen Alvarez Kings once before. It’s a slighter rockier side of indie rock, still keeping that fashionably dance beat but with a rockier feel. New tracks from their recent EP were played and ‘Cold Conscience’ sounds like a keeper. I did remember that ‘The Sequel’ was the track that most of their fans were waiting for the last time and tonight was no exception. Wise choice to keep that one to the end, a final thanks to the fans who have been up all night (the clock was way above 3 A.M. by now).
3 A.M.! If we were to believe Rob Thomas, we all are lonely now. And that the rain would stop. Uh. No. obLONG waste no time in setting up, hoping to keep that momentum built up throughout the night. It sometimes is hard to be the last band in the line-up in these all-nighters, but they still had a good audience, which sometimes is all you really want when you’re in a band. The sounds of obLONG are always fierce (with that vocal & guitar call and response discipline), fast (Ally on the drums, yo!) and that ill-tempered bassline (bass player is not ill-tempered, though). Old hits (‘The Knife’) and new hits (‘Mothership’!) were shuffled together, and I think there was a new song being roadtested, trying to see where it will organically* grow towards to.
The music ended and the sky was still overcast with a rain that couldn’t decide between “drizzle” and “shower”. The bands had finished played but the other rooms were still vibrant with bass heavy sounds and electronic arpeggios. The band room was now being overseen by Asbo A Go Go‘s DJs and after the sounds of Toto’s ‘Africa’ have finished, the event is over for me.
As I walk out, I see that the patio is still full with people chatting, the dance rooms are still brimming and the rain is still constant (my trip uphill was beset by overflowing sewers). A pretty nifty launch event, where guitar based music and the electronic beats met, gave each other the Acatempan hug and coexisted in harmony. As it should and will be for the rest of our lives.
You can download the free double album (Re)Mixed in Sheffield 3 : Crossing the line at Mixed in Sheffield‘s website.
Words & Photos: Sam “Pork Pie Peddler” J. Valdés López
*Sorry for being pretentious.