Racka Chachi @ The Sewing Room
w/ Ornette Coolman X Cooper Cooper, Freehand, Cruz Patterson, Otiuh
Friday, August 28, 2020
Local musical collective Racka Chachi took to the underground stage of The Sewing Room last Friday night, accompanied by a selection of impressive supports in aid of their No Island single launch. The all-boy group we know to be usually six, fit nicely crowded with just enough wiggle room on the corner stage to invite an additional vocalist, the lovely Bianca Nayar to the set.
With an early beginning at 7:15pm; first up was the DJ styles of Ornette Coolman X Cooper Cooper, who played to a mostly empty venue with their upbeat dance vibes of which apparently “slapped” in the words of an anonymous gigger. Dressed matching in some Racka Chachi merch shirts, they were a fun pair to set the mood.
The first band to take the stage was Freehand, who played soulful sounds to the fairly minimal crowd, bringing exactly what was needed to really kickstart the night. Playing a selection of bouncy to slow-smooth tunes, they built their energy throughout the entirety of the set. There was particularly something special about watching the lead vocalist’s performance. Her bounciness, pure emotion and barefoot attire together with the impressive talents of the band; who played like nobody was watching, made it more than just a likeable set.
Next up and running on a tight schedule was solo MC, rapper Cruz Patterson. Accompanied with his mic, laptop and backwards cap, he played original tracks Pistole and Venice amongst others, appearing uniquely cool up there on his lonesome. Transitioning his set from some smooth listening to hard beats, his verses were quick, clean and cheeky.
It was beginning to be difficult to merge your way to the front of the crowd by the time that hip hop, rap group Otiuh started their set. Diverse in their production and sound, Otiuh threw out a number of different vibes throughout the set. They merged between groovy rhymes and latino rhythms to heavy rap influenced sounds that brought BROCKHAMPTON to mind. This became even more present with the surprise addition from Perth artist, and exceptional hype man Outlnd, who hopped on stage mid-set. Within their 30 minutes of stage time they played a few covers such as Crazy Town’s Butterfly and originals including new release Space Jam, which was truly a jam complete with 808s, organic and produced percussion and plenty of attitude.
Racka Chachi headed on stage a good 15 minutes later to a now decent sized crowd to play a tightly packed 35-minute set. It had been a nice build up to the night with the band dedicating the last 12 months to writing singles and pleasing us over the last few hours with some great local supports, so we expected them to deliver.
Starting off with their second most recent release San Pelli (originally feat. DJ Ramoe). This 80s inspired track is an upbeat, old school tune with heavy drum loops and scratching decks. Having spoken out on the meaning behind the track upon its release, and its message on police injustice and racial inequality, it was a nice opening which resonated well. Another stand out track Flow followed with slick production and smooth layers of rap which put people into a relaxed and moderately paced sway.
After giving a heartfelt welcoming to all the supports and an introduction to the talent that stood on the stage- it was time to pick up the party a little bit in saying. “Let’s do one that everyone knows, let’s have a bit of a boogie,” said band-man Daniel D’Rozario before launching into a cover of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder On The Dancefloor. Merged in between tracks Mother God and Delight, which is an original track by the band’s own Shybb Noir, it had become a complete evening.
It’s intriguing how Racka Chachi are able to put forth meaningful and weighty topics in their music while delivering it in an untroubled and undeniably joyful way. On this occasion, it was the single No Island, that they waited to treat us with last on the set list. “It’s good to have live music back in Perth” they said upon its introduction. The new track in all its suspense was a mostly acoustic, layered tune, with a clean with a clear bounce that carries it well. Just before letting us go Racka Chachi played an encore with the original Better Off, before we were respectfully moved on from the venue as another event was about to kick off.
Photos by Rami Tawil