Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
added: 8 Oct 2012
// gig date: 4 Oct 2012
reviewer: Ross Cotton
For it to be exactly a year ago since Coppe' graced the Birmingham concrete, it's times like these where you realise how quickly events pass you by.
Still glowing from the previous year's performance, it was great to see the returning crowd, who had been captivated so much by the quirks and oddities of the Japanese Martian, that they'd been prepared for round two, pretty much as soon as round one had ended.
For any newcomers to the electronic mayhem, there's the surreal stage, which is soon overcome, enjoyed and participated in. You'll ask yourself, “Is this actually happening?”, as T-Toe clambers to the stage, armed with trombone and glockenspiel. Combined with broken electro-beats, unlikely choruses belt out of his brass instrument, fitting snugly - yet obscurely - in between rave gabble. It shouldn't work, but it does; and that's what I'm still wracking my brain over, even after seeing T-Toe for the third time now.
“This song's about a dead dog”, exclaims the brass-blowing, (drum &) bass-stomping nutter, as he bounces flamboyantly into the crowd to initiate a dancing hysteria. “What are you doing rude boy?, why is you smashin' shit up?”, he shouts.
Is he a chav? Is he a stereotypical trombonist? No, he's an experimental madman!
Similarly to support last year's Coppe' tour, Brummie circuit benders Modified Toy Orchestra stripped down their live set from six-piece pop-outfit, to two-piece explorationists. This time, the toy manipulators returned with a series of Barbie karaoke machines. But of course, the duo were not about to sing their own rendition of a Coppe' track, instead, they planned to remix the Japanese artist's track Yogurt.
Through experimental precision, the once-cheerful machines had become soundscapes for intense drones, spurting vocals and snippets of Coppe'. The Japanese electronica's Martian-world had become deepened and darkened, as MTO took her ethereal sound into the depths of a black hole.
Now it was time for the lady herself to take centre light, backed by techno-inducing laptop operators, in contrast to her live band last year.
Filling the stage with visual and auditory vibrancy, Coppe's soulful vocals spread warmth across clinical electronics. She draped her otherworldly nature across the dance floor, transfixing stargazers, who had taken on the spell of My Tears Become Lavender Oil. The only way to improve this live track would be to have Plaid actually performing with Coppe', as their distinctive sound resonates through the Hare.
The Japanese artist's angular approach thickened the audience's response, as Coppe's development into harsher beats perpetuated signature moves from the electro-queen's quirky followers. Complete with her Japanese otamatone (a musical note-shaped synthesiser) , Coppe's sound is in a constant celebration of her long established career surrounding the electronic sphere. She never fails to glimmer with mind-boggling-warmth, vividly providing Birmingham with their second chance to witness the wonderful wacky world of Coppe's unique and skewed imagination; What could any Brummie wish for more?.........
.......(Ninja Tune) DJ Vadim of course! Who took us past midnight with his own frenzied antics, initiated through dance-floor-demanding turntablism.
Accompanied by Leon Trimble, and his beat matching visuals, the duo stirred up sound and graphics. Vadim worked the audience through chains of broken hip hop, drum & bass, and electronica, while Trimble gorged on odd mesmerising, malfunctioning imagery of the likes of a Kevin Spacey, providing further peculiarities to the evening. Once Coppe' had taken to the dance floor with her string of followers, there was no way of predicting what was going to happen next!.......... And of course, by this point, it's time to join in with the madness if you haven't already!
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