The O2 Academy Leeds was exploding with energy on Friday 25th October as hundreds of fans packed in to witness Sub Focus – LIVE! Having released his second solo album Torusonly last month, the room was surging with energy as Nick Douwma, English electronic music producer, took to the stage. And what a show it was! It is no surprise that Sub Focus’ live show has been spoken of as one of the most captivating performances in electronic music today. The crowd transformed into an ocean of fairy lights as the use of audio-reactive circular LED technology was revealed, captivating the audience. Smart phone cameras rose to the surface in amazement of the visual set-up that evolved in front of their eyes.
As if the energy from the crowd wasn’t enough, the bass only continued to grow and grow so much that the room filled with static electricity, literally raising the little hairs on my arms. It felt as though the room was compacting – as though my body was being pressed from all sides by enormous pressure waves, as the beat only got louder and louder with no release. A guy in front leant to his friend and yelled, “the bass makes my nose feel itchy”. I’m with you on that one! Although there was an element of claustrophobia to the situation, the tracks were clearly satisfying peoples expectations and the crowd continued to go wild with the beginning of each song.
Having graced venues all over the UK with his 2013 UK album tour, Sub Focus is now set to continue sharing his talent with Europe and the USA in further live performances. Whilst this style of music wouldn’t usually appear on my list of “things I love”, it was a convincing show that no doubt left people satisfied and, I say this very literally, buzzing for the rest of the weekend.
The Canadian DJ and producer Ryan Hemsworth has gained a notorious reputation for his original collaborations and is now a fast rising producer with the release of his debut album. Having toured with the likes of Baauer, Guilt Trips has been highly anticipated. Hemsworth wanted to create something he ‘can fall asleep to or listen to on flights’, and has done just that. Melancholy permeates each track, adding to the subdued vibe Hemsworth is trying to create.
The album contains five instrumental tracks, and five features. ‘Small and Lost’ the albums opener, features Sinead Harnett’s delicate vocals. This track encapsulates the R&B, hip-hop and trap influences, and leads into the second track ‘Against the Wall’. ‘Still Cold’ feat. Baths is the most melodious track, and includes the humorous lyrics ‘you’re still so cold, what are you Taylor Swift’.
‘Happiness and Dreams forever’ is ironically named with an alarm clock opening and cross rhythms that fail to work as the track progresses into an unsettling listen.
Overall, ‘Guilt Trips’ offers a hypnotic selection of songs that are hard to pigeon hole into a specific genre, however that be said, it is certainly worth a listen for this very reason.