Camden’s grungey Electric Ballroom isn’t an obvious home for tonight’s double-bill of electronic noise merchants in Fuck Buttons and Haxan Cloak. But with a stage chockablock with music-making machinery and a baffling array of switches and faders, this looks and feels every bit like a proper gig despite the absence of guitars and drums.

Haxan Cloak is the solo guise of London producer Bobby Krlic. Performing largely from his latest album Excavation Krlic builds dense, nightmarish soundscapes with layer-upon-layer of freaky samples and found sounds. Where once our understanding of ‘shoegaze’ meant guitars, effects pedals and heroin, artists like Haxan Cloak and his Tri-Angle label mates Vessel and Forest Swords blur the lines of what we might call ‘shoegaze’ and ‘dub-step’. Crystal-clear and darkly seductive, the set climaxes in an ethereal wall of stifled screams and looped feedback you could live inside for a week. It might actually just pips tonight’s headliners, the still-great Fuck Buttons.

A live favourite at All Tomorrow’s Parties who released their breakthrough Tarot Sport in 2009, Fuck Button’s electro-noise is colourful and euphoric as well as screaming and distorted. Considering my first encounter of this Bristol duo was in 2005 at Catch, a tiny Shoreditch hang-out, it was with some astonishment that I heard their single ‘Surf Solar’ in the Olympic Opening ceremony. (It turns out Underworld, the ceremony’s musical directors, are big fans.) Whilst not quite leading to international stardom it meant this years Slow Focus arrived with even bigger cheers and high hopes that Andrew Hung would ‘sing’ even more madly into his voice-mangling machine.

But of course all live bands – even without temperamental guitar set-ups – are fallible, they’re most glorious moments lost in a muddy sound mix. So is the case in tonight’s opening few songs, as ‘Surf Solar’s twee Ewok-sounding vocals are barely discernible, and the trademark glitches and hovering psychedelics of ‘Year of the Dog’ fall a little flat. However some proper drum-bashing seems to put things right (they do have drums, after all) as Brainfreeze punishes with bass rumblings and more of Hung’s indecipherable yelps.

But it’s not so much musically as visually that electronic bands set themselves apart. As FB twist and manipulate their various machinery their live silhouettes are projected onto a maddening background kaleidoscope. All together it’s a live show with all the wow factor of seeing Modeselektor or Simian Mobile Disco in full force.

As the finale ‘Olympians’ rises to a crescendo and falls in metallic shards, the two performers simply raise a beer and walk off. It leaves us wondering, just what are those machines they’ve been twiddling? What is that sound? What does that button do? I hope never to find out.