[all points between]

The Light Surgeons, DJ Food, Strictly Kev

Author: Kim
Date: Sep 24, 2002
Views: 2885

Thursday, May 9, 2002 @ Melkweg, The Max
The Light Surgeons, DJ Food, Strictly Kev
9 pm (soundcheck), 10 pm initiation
Ä 13,00

Thursdays are good in my opinion. Because most people work the day after it is considerably relaxed at events such as [all points between] more than with a Saturday clubcrowd. This particular event turned out surprisingly worthwhile.

When I and my mate Tom arrived we found that only the Max in the Melkweg was used. We found L-Dopa finishing his set after whom the Light Surgeons would show their 'live DVD-set' as was roughly suggested by the Melkweg's program at the entrance. At that point we didn't know what to expect apart from Ninja Tune's involvement. In fact, I came to see the DJ Food collective and for Strictly Kev's solo-set. It was enough to feed my curiosity for the Light Surgeons.

Before the stage of the Max a semi-transparent net obscured the stage. It displayed mirrored projections and later on some iconography (laserguided) and the shadows of the three Light Surgeons. At first I thought it was a bad idea to hide the performers so much, although further in the night this opinion would change. The regular Melkweg projectorscreen backed the stage and held some uninteresting breakdancers in pretty much a few variations on a furthermore too constant loop, though the double layered projections made it look reasonably interesting. There were only few people present and for the major part those attending just sat comfortably. Altogether it created somewhat of an odd atmosphere. This was going to be an interesting night either way.

I still didn't realize what the Light Surgeons were about, although I'd guessed that they were no DJ's, but some sort of video-artists. L-Dopa was playing some nice breaky tracks, but he didn't mix too well. It was around 11 pm when the Light Surgeons were announced to play next, live. The 'crowd' tightened a bit and the first, quite mesmerizing basstones were slung from the speakers. On screen we were remembered that the show was to be called [all points between]. A completely off-beat rhythm, kind of like Speedy J's more subtle late nineties work, caught my aural attention for a while.

American street Philosopher Robert Alan Weiser contributed to the performance with a series of spoken voice samples. In the second track called 'World of Extortion' Weiser ensures us that "...in the historybooks, the only things that make sense are mathematics, man, and if they want, they tell you two and two is three, and you better say it's three...". A bit of an emotional track with strings and few drums. Although this track on itself was nothing spectacular, it worked great as an introduction to [all points between], providing background textures for the live enhanced video performance.

[all points between] combines Weiser's spoken word with soundtracks and the DJ set by in this case Raj. Film clips and slides were projected and manipulated live by James Price, Chris Allen and Rob Rainbow. In this setup the Light Surgeons managed to create some sort of live documentary environment. The carefully crafted image processing was plain marvel to see. I was pretty much amazed with the effect of the dual layered projections, which proved a 'simple' though effective concept. The images and the tracks were accurately synchronized, however, at a certain point I got the idea that the Surgeons didn't completely agree with the order of the tracks that Raj provided. Audiencewise, I couldn't really be bothered.

Despite this minor disagreement, DJ Raj showed good skill mixing and scratching. He worked primarily with Scanone's tracks, which is Jude Greenaway's alias - Jude Greenaway and Chris Allen form the core of the Light Surgeons - . During the break, Raj told Tom and me he thought the tracks were a bit flat. Then again, he appeared to like abstract hiphop himself which he played solo later in the night, not my idea of wavejuice normally. At certain points Scanones tracks hinted for FSOL beats and Boards of Canada soundscapes. I think I liked it better than he did, though I can imagine touring to support someone else musicwise with the same tracks is a bit of a bore. The documentary passed through the 'City of Hollow Mountains' (New York) and displayed the wars of the US, before they finished their set in loud applause. Their moving shadows projected on the net shall remain in my memory for quite a while.

Next up were DJ Food. Or actually was, because I saw no sign of the Coldcut DJ's whom I originally came for. Strictly Kev introduced himself with a few breaky tracks progressing to hiphop which seemed so much lost in the night of audiovisual experience. I soon left the Max and sat down for a while, having a conversation with my mate and a few former trancers who were abusively drunk as it seemed. We waited to check out DJ Rai's solo performance, but as mentioned before, he played hollow sounding hiphop with only a few people left who tried unfruitfully to fill the appearance of the dancefloor.

So, looking back conclusively, I got majorly disappointed by the sets of both Strictly Kev and Raj (solo) and thought it a shame that there was no sign of Matt Black, Jonathan More or Patrick Carpenter from the DJ Food collective. Stricly Kev can spin a tune, but it's only a taste of the food promised. Big surprise was [all points between] which is commissioned as it appeared by onedotzero, a highly recognized digital moving image festival in England. Should be worth a visit someday. Altogether a mild six for the night, though the documentary-performance and the visuals are topnotch and deserve a straight nine (!). A fun night it was either way and I'll be looking forward to the next encounter.

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