Saturday, June 7, 2014
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Perth electro pop group, obtaining a good level of local hype and having a recorded a bright new slow jam single, must be in want of a rockin’ launch party in which to release it. Taking Jane Austen’s slightly paraphrased aphorism to heart, avant-garde trio, Kučka, and a handful of local and interstate supports, had fans, friends and electrophiles alike lining up outside The Bird on Saturday night to hear the band’s latest single, Unconditional, live.
The mirage-like soundscape of Mudlark’s virtuosic loop mastery and jerky, combative rhythms provided a thought-provoking – sometimes challenging, often enjoyable – side dish to the night’s main event. The duo’s use of dynamic swells and shrill guitar lines, juxtaposed with quieter, more introspective parts gave the set a lot of texture, though the bright, harp-like quality of the guitar’s tone felt limited and occasionally repetitive.
Sydney producer, 1Fm1, propelled the sonic experimentation with smooth, meditative originals, including one of the lush set highlights, Maise, from his Buttons EP. The producer, who had previously worked on remixing Kučka’s EP, was a logical choice for the night, as the heavily textured electronic tunes provided an understated lull between Mudlark’s biting top-heavy tunes and DJ Rex Monsoon’s more dance-orientated set.
Rex Monsoon’s set polarised the rest of the night’s lineup, with more straightforward, uptempo electronic numbers predominating. While the sonic experimentality that characterised the night was there, it took on a distinctively more bold approach which was refreshing but a little thematically dissonant with the night’s acts. That being said, the tunes themselves were quirky and thought-provoking and just spicy enough to prevent a night full of atmospheric experimental music from growing repetitive.
The main act, Kučka, came on stage to an eagerly expectant audience, marking the beginning of the trio’s set of enthralling, siren-like vocals over slick electronic compositions with The Future. The band wasted no time in showcasing their single with Unconditional next on the list. The song’s innocent, pop groove and light synth harmonies were lapped up by the audience, with a respectable line forming outside to catch an earful. From there, the band moved on to the darker, more rhythmically off kilter Recovery, which showcased the group’s songwriting ingenuity, though the change was somewhat of a decrescendo.
The songs continued in the same hauntingly ethereal vein, until the group wrapped up Rewind. The song’s vintage synth tones complimented The Bird’s sound properties well, while the brighter samples were subdued. The music, tapering off to a sombre lull was met with met with applause and a good deal of crowd satisfaction. With the night of technicolour lullabies at a close, the music picked up and revellers continued their Friday night Northbridge debaucheries carrying a little stroke of la petit mort in their hearts.