Keepintime / Daedelus - Live at Cargo
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I’d heard rumours that Daedelus brilliant live with his box thing, but that’s a bit vague. So I asked Daedelus (aka Alfred Weisberg-Roberts) a few days before the Keepintime gig at Cargo last year about his box; please excuse the ‘ooh… er… Mrs’ double entendre.
Apparently, it was custom build by a friend of his with 256 buttons on it lined up in rows. That sounds a little dry and how can an electronic box of tricks replicate the diversity of Exquisite Corpse album love on stage? Well in short, it doesn’t. By no means does this short change the experience as, much like the live mix he did for Gilles Peterson, his show is a sort of free-style one man Kraftwerk of beat-hop. And all you need for one of his shows is a couple of stools, an Apple laptop, a mixer thing, that box and Daedelus himself.
But it’s so much more than just pressing the odd button on a PC. The intensity that he puts into the performance is etched on his face as his fingers dance over the box thing. The concentration that he puts into it is incredible, he only allowed himself a couple of smiles during the show. Just before he let off a particularly low end bass beat that literately ‘rocked the house’, he looked up to check the crowd with the wide-eyed excitement of a kid just about to let off a stink bomb.
And he can do all this and include the sweetest of love songs; ‘Just Briefly’ gets me every time I hear it. Little surprise that pre-gig, he was checking out a magazine with a photo of Lord Byron (the poet) on the cover. As any aspiring modern day Edwardian Lord he does like to dress up a bit (see photo above).
At the Keepintime gig, on DJ duties either side of Daedelus was one half of Mochilla, Eric Coleman, who was in a suitable funky Latin frame of mind and DJ Food and DK on Vjing from the Solid Steel graphics crew. The Ninja Tune team took the place by storm and the place went mad to ELO’s ‘Mr. Blue Sky’. I was totally bemused. I can take D’n’B versions of UB40’s ‘Rat In The Kitchen’ and Ram Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ but ‘Mr. Blue Sky’! Check their web site for ‘Raiding of the 20th Century’ to see what they can do.
The Beat Junkies’ J Rocc knows a tune and if you ever get the chance to pick up one of his mixtapes (er.. CDs), don’t hesitate. Not only is he into breaks-scratch’n’hop, he ranges from batucada to James Brown with jazz, Afrobeat and a touch of reggae. Whilst ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ by Damian Marley was inevitable, he also played The Specials version of ‘Rudy, A Message To You’. I bet he hasn’t got ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ in his box but he may have his remix of Build An Ark’s version of ‘You’ve Gotta Have Freedom’ (Plug Research) with Dwight Trible on vocals and originally by written Pharoah Sanders.
The evening was rounded off with Charlie Dark, whose Keepintime mix is still my favourite of the lot. He sauntered in with his crew and was straight in with a Carnival/Good Times/Bank Holiday groove with the likes of Ty Tribbett’s anthemic ‘A Mighty Long Way’, Alicia Keys’ Reggae bootleg of ‘You Don’t Know My Name’ and some classics from The Wailers, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, “just in case it all went wrong” he told me afterwards. Not much chance of that. Since then, he’s also been a part in another ‘community’ based project, FREENESS that promotes unsigned talent. See link below with audio and interviews with Charlie on how he became involved and the long-term plan.
So a year on from Daedelus being a guest with Carlos on Gilles’ show, he is just scratching the surface of his activities and those of his extended ‘family’ both sides of the pond. For the latest on Daedelus in 2006, click HERE for his interview with FLY. Together with the prospect of Brasilintime, I can hardly hold my excitement (sorry, oh.. er.. again). Stay tuned.
Reviewed: 26th August, 2005 - London, England - Keepintime at Cargo
Photo by Gerry Hectic
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