Taking the late shift, Getintothis’ Phil Morris trails through some of the finest sights and sounds of Sound City’s opening night and joins the last citizens standing for Roni Size.
Barberos kicked things off in conventionally mind-blowing fashion. Like a dose of bad acid we took straight-to-the-brain; the experimental trio bashed their way through a glorious set of poly-rhythmic precision and avant-noise prowess. Dressed in their trademark mithril coloured morph suits, the band were joined by a curiously obscured vocal choir; their psycho-active frequencies bit-crushed into the cavernous Baltic beyond. The group teased a highly stimulated crowd: “Thank you, we are The Flaming Lips“
Baltic rockers Triana Park are no strangers to the festival circuit. Their expertly efficient sound check must have brought a sigh of relief to the Kraken stage manager, who as a result of the proximity to the other stages; was up against the clock from the get go. Fronted by a leggy, Latvian vocalist, the band played a taut set of pop metal. Although stylistically dated, the group came across as more than fodder for the Kerrang generation. Vocalist Agnese Rakovska possed a competent and dynamic top-line, while the casually attired drummer brought things up to speed with sample pads and wandering metres.
We think it’s fair to say, The Lytics tore the house down. Playing to a packed Cavern stage the 5 man family crew represented Winnipeg in no uncertain terms. Mac Book powered boom-bap with authentically sapient bars; it was difficult to fault the esoteric and emerging diamonds of Canadian Hip Hop. One of the brothers (literally, they’re brothers) even brought the ruckus with a broken leg. Maybe it was the refreshing vista of hip-hop against a backdrop of guitar bands, but The Lytics’ outstanding performance really stood out on the opening day of the festival.
Back over at the Cargo stage, M.O were a vision in stonewashed denim. Annie, Nadine and Frankee oozed star quality; harmonically on the money and pretty easy on the eye, these girls have the potential to go far this year. As the sky over the Bramley Moore Dock darkened, M.O evoked the sunshine vibe of UK Garage, Dance On My Own instantly set the tone with its bouncing 90s tinged beat and sample of classic cut Flowers.
In a dramatic shift in mood, Okkyung Lee brought her remarkable improvised cello noise to the Baltic stage. Providing a sonically apt amuse-bouche for the impending Swans, Lee generated some incredible sounds in a brave and engaging performance. George the Poet was predictably inspirational in his critically concise analysis of modern living over at the Cargo. The political orator kept it fresh tonight, as the packed crowd were treated to new material in the form of The Search Party. His backing band, almost as slick as his wisdom, were the perfect compliment to The Poet’s smooth talking charm.
Somehow, we found the beans to make Roni Size Reprazent, tonight’s headliner at the Baltic arena. The cool of the evening had not discouraged a hard-core contingent of drum and bass heads from experiencing one of the most important live electronic music acts of a generation. The 7-piece band, comprising of emcees, live drummer and electric double bassist, were well worth staying up for. We raved and misbehaved as Sound City’s opening night of music drew to a close.
Photos by Getintothis’ Martin Waters, Martin Saleh, Michael Hegarty, Jack Thompson, Tom Adam, Vicky Pea, Chris Flack: