Illustration: Mook Loxley /


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  • EABS (live)
Wide Open @ The Reeds 7/7/18

The entire back wall of the softly lit, plant-scattered venue The Reeds is a tight fit for the seven-piece Polish jazz band EABS, an appropriate set up mirroring the intimacy and artistic vibes of the night. Among the keyboard, decks, drums, guitars and trumpet, the saxophone takes centre stage. The relaxed ambiance of the night is stirred up by saxophone improvisation boldly playing over fast percussion, tied together with a blend of hip hop samples and jazz. Both bass and electric guitars take on unexpected roles within the pieces, which appear to develop seamlessly into a pool of genres including swing and psychedelic rock.

Songs like Neikochana give light to all instruments within an eclectic and varied few minutes, impressively maintaining the attention of everyone in the room throughout what can only be described as a hectic collection of timbres and sounds. Elements of 70s rock and modern hip hop and jazz are fused together to create one of the most interesting performances to grace London Road in many a year.

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The use of colourful patterns on the back wall is replaced with a dark orange hue, setting the stage for DAUWD’s transition into a synth-heavy, deeply layered set. Repeated percussion is introduced, layered with synths to produce a unique approach to dance and techno music such as in Macadam Therapy. A multitude of sounds are introduced and transitioned out of the songs, allowing for slow yet satisfying development. It is hard not to compare the songs of Dauwd to literature or poetry; each song has an underlying theme guided by strong percussion yet within each piece we find irregular structures and specific arrangements, arguably designed to lead us through the song as if it were a journey. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed, held up by the deep bass playing under the array of echoes and sounds so carefully placed within the pieces. The flow is easy-going and deliberately unhurried, showing off his ability to make relatively quick tempos feel relaxed and gentle.

People here dance or sketch; the energy created from the intoxicating development of sounds absorbed by the audience, eager for more of the psychedelic and reserved approach to dance music Dauwd has crafted. Exaggerated bass is used over the sample of Only You (originally by Steve Monite) in a successful shift from light underplayed techno developments to more substantial dance vibes; displaying the capability of his production and his use of genres within a set. His flow guides us through each song to create an overall display of music that grasps the audience and joins us together, yet also allows us to be captivated individually. An enticing and impressive performance displaying the range of musical talent Dauwd has at his fingertips.

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