SXSW Music Live: BBC Radio
Grime, glitch, and throat-squelched screams
By Alejandra Ramirez,
12:50PM, Wed. Mar. 15, 2017
The British Empire delivered swirling, psychedelic electronics, woozy hip-hop, and caustic punk via the BBC Radio Showcase at Latitude 30 on Tuesday night. First up, Sweat coalesced sparkling flourishes and hazy synths that ebb behind husked and earnest vox.
As the singer donned a red mesh shirt, “Acid Rainbow” arced thick, murky, sexually-charged atmospherics under electronics twisting and echoing through bouncy bass rhythms and razor-sharp guitar shuffles.
Teenage duo Let’s Eat Grandma journeys through nightmarish gazes of nursery rhyme swells: Rapunzel-like hair, helium balloon timbres, and hand clap percussion. And don’t knock their youth; the multi-instrumentalists bring an ethereal and dark brand of pop brimming with experimentation as the duo switches between gentle recorder flutters, moody keyboards, chilling electronics, and wobbly saxophone warbles.
Branching off with prodigal output, electronic wunderkind Sam Gellaitry hunched behind a cluster of filters and knobs, sculpting a seamless mix of house, erratic hip-hop beats, bass, and trance as the 808s skitter, subwoofers rattle, and beats glitch.
Amidst the soaring ascent of grime MCs in the UK, the simply monikered Dave stands apart as he switches lanes from dropping sharp bars with personal monologues in “Six Paths” to hazy swagger trips on the Drake-approved “Wanna Know.”
Punk outfit Slaves bulldozed the last hour of the night.
Angry, heavy, mean, the duo shotguns massive power out of dangerous noise through caustic and sporadic drum work and filthy, buzzing riffs. Whiplashing throat-squelched screams and jigsawed distortion, Slaves fired point-blank cuts off their debut Are You Satisfied? While their rallying manifestos seem trite, barbed wire reworks of London pub rock assault via a standing drummer/singer and guitarist combo lashing out basement thrashers.