SXSW Music Live: BBC Radio

Grime, glitch, and throat-squelched screams

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.”

Slaves (Photo by Jana Birchum)

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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Spoon's <i>Hot Thoughts</i> Remodels the Locals' Art-Funk
Spoon's Hot Thoughts Remodels the Locals' Art-Funk
Britt Daniel and Jim Eno talk about the rise of R&B in the band's sound

Tim Stegall, June 2, 2017

Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Final love / hate SXSW listicles

Kevin Curtin, March 24, 2017

More by Alejandra Ramirez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 26, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Jan. 15, 2021


BBC Radio, SXSW, SXSW Music 2017, Sweat, Slaves, Dave, Let’s Eat Grandma, Sam Gellaitry

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle