Written by: Angela Buensuceso
The folks at Figure 8 Agency put on an artistic and very French electronic affair at kult kafé with sets by audio-visual artist Saycet (Pierre Lefeuvre) and electro-synth-pop DJ Anoraak.
The evening surprisingly kicked off with the slower and more atmospheric sounds of Saycet, who played live against a backdrop of Zita Cochet’s masterfully created light projections.
Demonstrating that the experimental and formidable sounds of synths can elicit longing through a steady build up that never quite reaches the apex of sound that you expect, Saycet’s ripping bass hypnotized a swaying crowd fixated on Cochet’s colorful light show.
With projections depicting vibrating lines in tandem with the sounds of the music, Saycet’s live set was a kaleidoscopic audio-visual experience that truly awed.
But it wasn’t just a feeling of awe, it was that the music left the audience wanting more.
So much of the slower and darker electronic music performed is about the experience itself, not the overlaying of sounds blasting through the speakers. It’s about the resonance of these notes and what they can entice from those who are there, in the moment, not only hearing but also feeling the reverberations of the sounds around them.
Saycet’s pulsing synths and build ups created a feeling similar to the one you get in your ears when moving quickly up on an elevator, and the end of each composition left a ringing in the air that only left us wanting more to bob our heads to.
The end of nearly 90 minutes of play came too quickly, but after a short break that allowed those in attendance to get drinks and have cigarettes, Anoraak took to the decks and spun a very different mix to the one Saycet had just ended.
Spinning a light and upbeat set replete with samples taken from indie and house music with a very distinct funky French flair, Anoraak’s DJ mix allowed a respite from any overwhelming feelings from Saycet's synths.
Aptly showing why many describe his sound as being within the orbit of MGMT and M83, the presence of lyrics and human voices allowed for more engagement from the crowd. Playing against Cochet’s projections of schoolchildren in red and yellow gym uniforms doing aerobics and gymnastics, the visuals only added to Anoraak’s twirly compositions.
Although his mixing wasn’t always very subtle and smooth, each time Anoraak segued into a new song the danceability of the new beat was not lost. Slowly but surely the crowd got more excited, less stiff, and soon everyone (even the cool boys in snapbacks) couldn’t help but move their feet whilst pumping their fists.
The crowd visibly thinned approaching the 11th hour as the horrible realization that most of us had work the next day settled in, but those still left weren’t discouraged from dancing. If anything, the less crowded room allowed us to fully let go (with some even stripping down to bare feet) and move to Anoraak’s set with less inhibition.
Alas, the clock struck 11 and Anoraak was forced to finish for the night despite protestations from those still there for more. In total it was a very enjoyable Sunday evening, with my only complaint being that this wasn’t held on a Saturday instead.