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Daniel T, Clara-Nova, Kauf At The Echo, Monday August 15th 2016




Kauf’s Monday residency at the Echo was an electronic-oriented night, with three interesting bands, which played music going from dark dance floors to emotive songs and ambient-relieving soundscapes.

Daniel T, a Los Angeles based producer and DJ., did a fascinating set mixing electronica, dark synth and head banging guitars. ‘These were the happy songs, now we are getting into the real shit,’ he told us after a few songs, ‘This is a song about obsessive love, obsession.’ The band was going into the lowest distortions and I have to admit that, unfortunately, the video I tried to shoot didn’t capture their sound at all. It was dark melancholic synth-pop with falsetto vocals, often going into a dreamy direction, a sort of long-after-the-party-is-over dance floor, with a buzzing synth that made the stage vibrate, like my video. May be it is my recent experience with a Radiohead concert which is going to speak now, but there were a few Radiohead-ish traces here and there swimming in his electronica, which was nevertheless saving a big place for guitars, which eventually would furiously peak. Daniel T is a DJ and he remixes a lot of artists for Let’s Play House, Throne of Blood, and DFA Records, he is also half of the production duo Cosmic Kids and runs Distant Works Records along side Cooper Saver, while being an active contributor to the labels Young Adults and Chit Chat Records… a busy man, finally coming up with his own material and combining an electronic eerie sound with loud guitar-drums outbursts.

Clara-Nova brought more synths and beat during another interesting set, which sort of revealed two sides of the talented Sydney Wayser, her real name. Just backed up by one musician, she started with a series of stripped-down all-electro-percussion compositions, which was showcasing her strong and confident vocals. And she had quite a voice, a powerful instrument that she was using in full force at the right moments, and as she was beating her electro drum pads, this beat-synth combination gave me a sort of Lykke Li vibe with a Florence and the Machine kind of powerhouse. Then she took a guitar and her jangling style changed a bit when she sang a few poignant songs with some delightful and over-the-top singing, a few howls soaring as if there was no tomorrow! It was both very human and visceral, bringing the poignant in the middle of ethereal soundscapes. Sydney Wayser is a French-American songwriter  who grew up between Los Angeles and Paris, and she has recently released a EP, titled The Bronze Age, in collaboration with Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucias, Julian Casablancas), but based on these bright booming songs she played last night, she has much more in store.

It is easy to understand why the dark dance floors of Ronald Kaufman, aka Kauf, have been in the radar of certain websites like XLR8R, which claims to ‘Accelerate Music and Culture’, and whose podcast ‘features and daily downloads from some of electronic music’s most influential artists’. During his second residency at the Echo, Kauf built very dense and hypnotic dancescapes, slowly stretching into the night, with a basic synth-drums-bass combination. There was a sort of nonchalance mixed with melancholia in these songs, going into a techno-trance, not even really fully dance-y or techno as a matter of fact, more body waving and strangely soothing, putting you into a maximum state of relaxation thanks to Kauf’s echoing vocals. Some of these beats were on the sludgy side, slow-moving, fat and trapped, other were giving you the impression to be on the freeway at full speed, with the remix of some post-krautrock composition. It was experimental but very catchy at the same time, it was layered and probably very sampled, whereas the bassist, who joined the duo mid-set, added more layers to the already complex rhythm. It was a subversive experience judging by the audience visibly in rapture, totally captivated by Kauf’s dense and mysterious forest of sounds and beats.

More pictures here


Daniel T




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