As God Colony and friends bring some defiant beats to Liverpool’s Kazimier Garden Rat Alley, Getintothis’ Glyn Akroyd sees the genre reflect the generation’s concerns.
Liverpool’s ‘premier smoking area and quadrophonic rave space’, the Kazimier Garden’s Rat Alley, continues to attract the crème de la crème of the dance scene and tonight is no exception with London based production duo God Colony.
A steady influx of party-goers scrunch their way across the garden gravel into the intimate setting of Rat Alley and by the time Bitowski hits the decks they are clearly in the mood for her exuberant mix of electro-dance, the soul and pop inflected beats bringing the first movers and shakers to the floor.
Her set morphs seamlessly into the heavier sounds of Farhood. Fleeing Iran in 2011, Farhood pitched up in Liverpool via legal battles and imprisonment and his music reflects those struggles. He raps in Farsi and although we cannot understand the specifics of his lyrics, an urgency, defiance, anger and determination shine through in his rapid-fire delivery.
The Kazimier Garden itself is something of a place of defiance at the moment, not to compare it to the struggles of enforced migrants, you understand, but a tiny oasis in the midst of ongoing, overpowering development. The girders stack up into the night sky on every side, like a giant’s game of Jenga, as Farhood’s mix of metal, police sirens and beats crunch from the speakers. The vocal delivery is guttural, chant-like at times, the crowd now packed tightly in front of the decks as the Farhood crew take them bouncing into the night.
God Colony take a while to set up but the air of expectation doesn’t seem to dissipate and before long the duo slip almost gently into a synth and slow beats. It doesn’t take them long though to get things moving and the crowd are immediately responsive. The vocal samples take in hip-hop, trip-hop, soul and R ‘n B. The bass lines feel heavy enough to bring the surrounding constructions crashing to the ground.
Collaborating on the Where We Were EP is London rapper Flohio, and, as one track fades, a “where’s Flo” cry goes up from behind the decks. There’s a fair bit of neck-craning, but not to worry, she is soon weaving through the crowd to grab the mic, lifting the crowd higher as the dry ice swirls leaving God Colony’s frantically bopping frames silhouetted against the lights. God Colony’s songs reflect a sprawling, chaotic, sense of place, an urban grit that Flohio is more than capable of articulating.
Tonight’s gig shows that beneath the perceived go-stick hedonism, the dance scene is capable of embracing and articulating the concerns of a generation.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Glyn Akroyd