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The Polish Ambassador At Charleston Pour House, Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Considering it was Earth Day, I’ve never felt so far in outer space as I did on Friday night at Charleston’s Pour House.  A disclaimer at the door greeted those eager to journey across the universe with The Polish Ambassador, informing them with a simple message chicken-scratched in marker on a piece of notebook paper: “Warning: high intensity strobe lights in use tonight.”   Not that I didn’t already expect such antics from this phenom of electro funk, but it was a nice gesture for those who had no idea what they were getting themselves into. 

The first performer I saw was Charleston’s own Illy Walsh, a man who describes the music he plays as glitch hop and crunk step.  Now, I’m not one who stresses over subgenre after subgenre, but I will say that his beats did a fine job of loosening up the crowd kind of like a fine wine does the same with warming up a woman.  In between moving from the flashy foray of strobes to the back patio for some socializing with fellow concertgoers, I overheard a familiar, yet unexpected guitar riff.  Walsh was mixing in the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Can’t Stop”, and I was intrigued by the unique vibe it carried into his set. 

Up Until Now, decked out in a full-blown, blue-glowing Tron jacket, came onstage next with a straight forward goal of hyping the crowd up as much as possible before The Polish Ambassador emerged to destroy our minds with identity discs of musical bliss.  In between playing a disco house favorite of mine, Steed Lord’s “Don’t Hurt Love”, and mixing the Beatles’ “Come Together” with “Teach Me How to Dougie” (is that even possible?), Up Until Now succeeded at what he set out to do as the eclectic crowd began to let loose some fancy footwork. 

The stage was set, and the voyage into the unknown was about to commence.  The Polish Ambassador, dressed in his usual yellow intergalactic jumpsuit, took command of the controls and full throttled the Pour House into the far ends of the galaxy.  This being the second time I have seen him live, I was even more impressed this go around by his seamless weaving in and out of hip-hop, funk, electronica, house, and any other word you can come up with to describe different forms of music.  At times, I would stop myself from dancing just to wrap my head around the flawless transitions and admire the mastery he has behind the helm of his ship.  Much to my delight, he dropped in his remix of Young MC’s “Bust a Move” and that’s exactly what the crowd did. 

God’s speed, Polish Ambassador!  Until next time.

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