Who? Howie B, Addictive TV and Kizzy Crawford
When? Thursday 26th February,
Where? Rich Mix
Smack middle at the heart of East London’s art community, Rich Mix centre was the perfect backdrop for an evening of visual and audio amalgam of styles and impressions.
With wunderkind Kizzy Crawford opening, and the tunes of Howie B signing off the night, Addictive TV introduced their latest project – ‘Orchestra of Samples’ to the city of London.
The venue was buzzing with easy, curious anticipation, as Kizzy Crawford took the stage. She cut an impressive figure under the subdued lights; barefoot and bold, she stood alone with a guitar. Her performance; in one word, impressive. Not the kind of often-nodded “impressive” that stems for the sheer fact of her so very young age, but the lasting impression of a voice so clear, attractive and evocative, and melodies so simple yet enthralling, that’s naturally left behind after a performance as such. Loops were created, vocal whispers and crooning that served as backdrop to her choruses and bridges, instrumental mixes and certain electronic elements were used.
Towards the end of the set, Kizzy introduced a violin and, despite the absolutely haunting audio result, two instruments and multiple vocal tracks might be a bit too busy for a single performer. In spite of the hefty task she set for herself, the results shone through. The songs flowed with an almost effortless charm, Kizzy introducing songs new and old, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that we will be hearing more soon from the 18-year-old Welsh singer and song writer.
There was barely a pause before the producer duo, Addictive TV took to the stage. The atmosphere immediately transformed. From half-lit and dreamily introspective, the venue erupted in the multitude of colours and flavours of ‘Orchestra of Samples’. The performance project consists of a multifaceted collection of audio and visual recordings of musician across the world. Addictive TV travelled to every corner of the globe to collect those samples, of more than 150 musicians. In its live incarnation, the duo mixed the samples into curious creations, esoteric and thrilling, moody, oftentimes humorous and self-descriptive – at one point a group of vocalists were singing through the samples about singing while improvising.
Improvisation was a large part of their performance; fiddler Shona Mooney, sitarist Baluji Shrivastav, and Beatbox Collective’s Bass6 would join them on stage throughout the set. Weaving in and out of the track, improvising and performing for only the second time together, the result was an exhilarating ride of styles and sounds. When faced with such a conceptual performance, many would wonder about the execution – and it was flawless. With exceptional high spirits, flawless execution, and the occasional images of a stoned cow evoking the audience’s mirth, the performance was a booming and clapping success.
There was never a better time for Howie B’s entrance. The audience, entertained and uplifted, and having consumed a satisfactory amount of alcohol for the most part, was ready to erupt in dancing at Howie B’s winding tempos. It was truly a pleasure watching him man the decks, a true craftsman showing his craft. As he’d spin the complex, beautiful tunes, he’d move on stage from table to table in his unique fashion, enjoying and creating, the audience unraveling and feeding from his energy.
An unlikely combination. A unique, wholly satisfying night, that serves to remind you how beautiful London sometimes is.