Sundays are a time for laziness – a day dedicated to pretending to read the newspaper supplements, wandering round a park, and sweating out whatever toxins you ingested the previous night.
They are also, apparently, a time for watching expertly crafted lineups and eating roasts courtesy of God Don’t Like It’s residency at the Lock Tavern. This month: an afternoon of hazy, inventive electronica.
LA2019, the latest signing to the excellent Blood & Biscuits, trades in the sort of lush, thick pads and saccharine sweet synth lines that make M83 so compulsively enjoyable. With relatively little equipment the solo artist (who looks nervous as hell) builds bombastic, melody-driven pop tracks – fuzzy around the edges, and painted with broad brush strokes.
There are some moments of fist-pumping fun when he gets going, and these will presumably become more frequent as he gradually finds his sound. For now, though, the melodies, however bright-sounding, lack the bite needed to make LA2019 truly exciting.
Microburst, meanwhile, is a revelation. Falling somewhere between a live performance and a DJ set, much of his show relies on a bank of faders, each of which is jabbed at furiously, offering a peak of another melody or a new rhythm section. The producer shifts between disparate elements with ease, introducing apparently incongruous new rhythmic ideas completely seamlessly. Some of his set brings to mind a slightly less scatty Lapalux, his focus falling more intently on crafting a perfect, rumbling bottom end than on quick-fingered Kaoss Pad work.
As Ghosting Season set up, the room is suddenly absolutely packed – people presumably having been lured away from the smoking areas by the promise of slightly geeky Mancunian live electronics.
The world seems to be awash with techno duos; two guys standing behind a black table, prodding samplers. Ghosting Season are really not that sort of act. Instead, they approach performance with a band sensibility. Yes, there are two laptops on stage – but there is far more going on visually here, and a real sense of sounds being created while you watch. Both members play guitar, for example, and one frantically bashes at a (slightly ornery) drum pad. This is very much a live show.
Musically, Ghosting Season seem to get deeper, bassier, more aggressive with each show they play. The stuttering, beat-repeat percussion that characterised their output as worriedaboutsatan is still there, but it is no longer the focus. Instead, centre stage is now occupied by four-on-the-floor kicks and simple, effective basslines.
‘Dead Man’s Switch’ is the prime example of the duo’s new mode. It is, essentially, one long crescendo, built around the sort of familiar, gut-punch bass that makes Modeselektor so enjoyable – but with layer upon layer of post-rock bowed guitar, and pseudo-glitch electronics.
Ghosting Season are, like many of the acts with whom they regularly share stages, at their best when they are at their bassiest. Happily, with every new utterance they appear to be falling deeper in love with the bottom end – a burgeoning affair that bodes well for their debut full-length.