Relief in Abstract Made Other Labels Look Stupid With Its Bardot Showcase
Holy crap, y'all. Are you listening to the stuff that Orlando label Relief in Abstract is putting out? If not, you're missing some amazing stuff. So remedy your sad situation, ASAP.
The label's roster includes artists XXYYXX, Fortune Howl, Marble, Grant and Spies on Bikes, and they're all putting out some of the funkiest, experimental noise we've heard in a minute. They brought most of that crew down to Bardot last night for a showcase that just totally blew. You know, in a good way.
Minds were blown, bodies were blown, weed was blown, and hopefully someone got a BJ after that stellar set of performances. They earned it.
We got there just in time for a quick trip to the bar before the first performer set if off. Marble, a rather unassuming looking guy with a small build and a shy disposition on stage, started things off a pretty emotional set, albeit a very free-form presentation. He went back and forth between very noisy, off-center rhythms and beautiful, catchy melodies. When he sung, he kind of swallowed his words, giving his voice a kind of Andrew Bird quality.
For the most part, it seemed he very much enjoyed taking natural noises and presenting them in very unnatural ways. It was really quite impressive, but perhaps the crowd wasn't ready for such a thoughtful performance, because a number of people stood around just talking in front of him. It was a bit rude, but maybe Marble could learn to be more commanding of his audience's attention.
After a 40-minute set, he thanked the crowd and moved him laptop and apc to make room for the next act. Fortune Howl followed with a similar approach to music making as Marble, but packing more of a presentational punch. Right from the get-go, the crowd was mesmerized as he and VJ Guillermo Casanova bounced along to the heavy rhythms this dude was steady banging.
Fortune Howl, too, brought an interest mix of organic and electronic elements. A lot of different influences came through in the beats, ranging anywhere from trap to drum 'n' bass patterns within the same song. Occasionally, he was joined by vocalist Alex Clements or took to up the mic himself, singing very melodically over the experimental beats. It was clear from the conversation among the crowd that most people in attendance had never heard the guy's work before, but would undoubtedly go on to dig up most of his catalogue.
He were just as moved.
"This is fucking crazy, you're fucking crazy," he said. "This is the last song. It's called 'Paws.'"