This past Friday at 800 Congress, a new venue with warehouse vibes and the smell of a freshly sealed concrete floor, British label Ninja Tune put on an exceptional SXSW showcase.
The first set of the night was from Iglooghost, a ruddy young Irish producer who held court over the 800 capacity venue with hyperactive tracks and hard, uptempo energies as the city got slammed by torrential rain. Following October’s release of Iglooghost’s first EP, Chinese Nu Year, on Flying Lotus‘s Brainfeeder imprint , the young producer seemed in control and at ease on stage. The set showed an artist with a penchant for hip-hop, an ability to deftly traverse genre and sound, and an obvious amount of raw talent. Iglooghost, the alias of Seamus Mallagh, has all the markers of a musician who came of age as the internet became a mass creator of culture and, on some levels, a culture of its own. This is the world in which he works, and very fittingly, a world in which he shines.
Another remarkable performance of the night was from Brainfeeder label mate, Taylor McFerrin whose debut LP Early Riser was released on the imprint in 2014 and who is currently on tour. The Brooklyn based DJ/producer/beatboxer performed a long set that ached with familiarity, heartbreak, and literal soul as he stood behind his keyboard. Blues and greens that seemed to mimic moving water swirled behind McFerrin, some of Strangeloop’s most low-key and vibey visuals of the night, as he held an earlier-raucous crowd quietly captive. Throughout the winding narrative of his set McFerrin created a strange and attractive atmosphere that seemed weirdly ephemeral.
The late night unfolded into a lineup of wild sets that shook the venue and had a damp crowd in constant motion, including appearances from members of Wu Tang and a performance by Detroit techno legend Moodymann, but it was the start of the evening that somehow seemed most remarkable.