January 23, 2012

V4YS Concert Review - Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards - Koko, London - 210112

Now almost an institution, Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards party gathers every late January an astonishing host of independent artists and labels who make the bread and butter of his legendary radio show on BBC1.
Taking place for a second time in a row in Camden's baroque theater Koko, the evening exceeded once again all my expectations.
 If it would be too long to come back on each and every amazing live performance that took place during the we (including friday's great warm-up party at XOYO), let's at least focus on some of my favorite moments !

Les lecteurs francophones peuvent retrouver cette review en français sur le site WeGoFunk.

Michael Kiwanuka :
His debut LP to be relased very soon will surely be one of 2012's musical highlights. In the meantime british soul/folk artist Michael Kiwanuka keeps affirming himself not only as a brillant songwriter but also as a remarkable live performer.
Offering a shortened version of the live set he currently performs  all around Europe (see here a full broadcast of his recent Rennes Transmusicales festival concert) he mesmerized the audience with his sensitive singing.
His band provides a perfect frame for his acoustic guitar with a special mention to the impact of live percussions (congas, bongos) that give an exotic "world-soul" flava to the ensemble.

Please find below a video extract from his songs Out There Alone :

Thundercat feat. Austin Peralta :
A phenomenal 6-strings bass player as well as an outstanding singer and producer, Thundercat perfectly symbolizes a futuristic groove scene that has been blooming for the last few years in California.
His first LP The Golden Age Of Apocalypse was definitely one of 2011 most groundbreaking productions, fitting perfectly on Flying Lotus's ambitious Brainfeeder label. Playing live for the first time in the Uk, he delivered a spiffy show helped by several world-class artists like 21-year old pianist Austin Peralta (whose first three jazz albums are all must-have), singer Andreya Triana (famous for her multiple collaborations with Bonobo) or singer Heidi Vogel from Cinematic Orchestra.

Catch a glimpse of it with the videos extracts below, For Love I Come and Seasons :

The Pyramids :
As he likes to describe it, Gilles Peterson's worldwide radio show consistently joins the dots between many musical worlds. But it also bridges the generational gaps by constantly mixing brand new productions with old-school sounds that are a part of our musical heritage.
Illustrating this approach his idea to invite legendary spiritual/afro jazz band The Pyramids to perform during the evening in anticipation of the release of a new album in te coming months.
Led by their charismatic founder Idris Ackamoor the band offered a priceless spiritual moment and demonstrated how timeless their early 70's work are.

Below an extract of their classic track Memory Ritual with a phenomenal sax solo from Mr Ackamoor :

BadBadNotGood :
A few weeks ago I highlighted here the first self-produced Ep from this very young canadian trio. Blending a groovy nu-jazz sound with live hip-hop-inspired drums their sound recalls many treats we enjoy (from Jay Dilla to the Robert Glasper Experiment..).
Seemingly very happy to be offered the opportunity to play for the first time in Europe, the trio confirmed through their enthusiastic and energetic sets at XOYO on friday and Koko on saturday that they are a name to watch in coming months.
Below an extract from their XOYO gig :

Next to these jazz/soul/beats live acts, the uk electro scene was very much in focus.
Among the highlights a very convincing live act from Sbtrkt and Sampha whose 2011 self-titled LP definitely is one of my favorite 2011 records. Adding live drums and percussions to their deep dubstep songs is a tasty soulful recipe. Such was the beautiful song performed with the support of Little Dragon's singer Yukimi Nagano.
Finally I can't end this post without mentionning the stunning slo-mo house DJ set by Julio Bashmore who definitely is becoming a cornerstone of the current underground house scene.

I was about to forget, some awards were given by Gilles during the evening...but who cares won what right? The real winner of the night was Music with a capital M !
That's it for this year. If you now (hopefully) wish you had come to this amazing night I strongly suggest you contemplate visiting the Worldwide Festival that will take place the first week of July in Sète (south of France). The line-up should be as good !

Thanks again to Gilles, Peggy, LeFtO and all the crew at Brownswood/Bbc for setting up this amazing night of music !

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