- Ambionic Being
Constellations offers a welcome pocket of warmth on this icy evening as AMBIONIC BEING provides an eclectic mix of soul, funk and electronica as people file into the room. At first it seems that Ambionic is a mere house DJ; someone to greet the punters. It’s simply the tragedy of being the first act of the night: you start by playing to an empty room until it inevitably fills. Sure enough, when Constellations does start to fill up, people respond to the sounds. It’s a solid mix and a bold start to the night.
The following two support DJs (Josh Ray and Trueself) follow in the footsteps of Ambionic but quicken the standard pace and don some new footwear. Odd spats of afro funk horn and drum samples enter the fray and are poured into the ears of the crowd as more bodies contort in front of the speakers. A colourful myriad of images is projected on to the walls; an apt, almost tropical, abstract complement to the dynamic mix. Both sets prove to be perfect warm-ups for what is to come.
Last year’s Tayi Bebba LP from CLAP! CLAP! offered a conceptual sonic tour of a fictional island. The body of work was a novel melding of seemingly disparate genres: hip hop, pop, world, jazz, funk and dubstep were just a few of the musical styles employed in the making of this truly distinctive album. As the man behind Clap! Clap!, Cristiano Crisci, begins the set, there’s a palpable air of anticipation in the room. From the beginning it’s evident that this man is a seasoned live performer: the mix is furious and propulsive, where album tracks are mixed with fevered beats and abstract samples. In an engaging palette of sonic delicacies, standout tracks The Holy Cave and Conqueror come to the surface.
Every crowd member in attendance is lapping up the dynamics of the set; even those who aren’t flailing wildly seem to be mesmerised by the mesh of styles. If Tayi Bebba proves anything, it’s that the cultural diaspora of the human race can be linked. Our art, even if geographically unrelated, carries an instinctual human murmur. Tonight, Clap! Clap! nods his head towards just about every musical culture on the globe. He puts a tastefully contemporary slant on afro funk rhythms and African folk music, brings elements of electronica to the table and adds a mix of soul, hip hop, world, jazz and pop to the mix. Tonight is not just an excuse for dancing and inebriation – it’s also, in many ways, a musical education.
The set grinds to an end after a good few hours of pure fun. Constellations has just witnessed a spectacle.