On Friday 27th November FrontLeft presented their fourth outing of electronic music. The venue for the night was bar Tengu at the Yamamori Sushi restaurant on Ormond quay.
First up was experimental Irish musician Niamh de Barra performing a live set. Anyone familiar with her music will be accustomed to seeing her perform using live vocals, a looping machine, and some electronic accompaniment. On Friday she performed without the microphone, choosing to instead concentrate on the technology involved in the show.
Dark electronica and experimental techno were emancipated from those machines and the audience duly responded by listening attentively and joyously bopping along. A great live show; it will be interesting to hear more of her new electronic music in the future.
De Barra’s set was followed by a dj set by Sinead Meaney. Meaney presents her work in many guises such as dj, art installations and audio-visual performance. She is currently based in Berlin and has been involved in an interesting array of projects involving bass culture, music technology, digital art, and science.
Her set was a contrasting mix of experimental dance music that gradually became more intense as it progressed. It included artists Forest Swords, Deaf Centre, Black Dog and the highlight of her mix was Kangding Ray’s Amber Decay.
The main act of the night was Kyoka, a Berlin based artist from Tokyo. Her music is combination of her own sampled voice with a danceable glitchy texture. Vocal experimentation has been a consistent part of her output and a defining part of her unique sound.
It’s present on all her releases; three EPs Ufunfunfufu 1(2008) Ufunfunfufu 2 (2009), and Ish (2012), and her album IS (Is Superpowered) (2014). (Her last two releases have been on the experimental music label Raster Noton). The set was a wonderful mix of the above material colliding with her improvisations on the machines.
The set reached a crescendo with all danceable music shoved aside by a cacophony of pure distortion and noise. Kyoka’s live show was a tour de force of experimental music and displayed an individual performance of jagged beats, vocal samples, and noise.
Tracks like Lined Up and Piezo Version Vision, along with others, displayed her unique approach to electronic music.