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REVIEW: Submotion Orchestra

September 4th, 2010 by

Sunday afternoon at Chai Wallah’s was chilled with a lo-buzz of conversation and the occasional ribbon of smoke appearing from various groups scattered under the long, stretching marquee. Many would have been content with leaving it at that – but then Submotion Orchestra took to the stage.

A warm smile from vocalist Ruby drew us in as the beats began to roll. The speakers blasted out the ever-present brooding bass lines with the subtle layered touch of chimes and symbols. Like the weekend’s weather, the audience were presented with sunshine bursts of trumpet and heavy dubstep downpours.

As the afternoon progressed people took to their feet. However, it seemed just as appropriate to sit and focus on the voice of the lone girl facing us. With strong lows and soft highs, her voice blended perfectly with the music.

The group were clearly enjoying themselves, spontaneously laughing and probably thinking: “how good is this?”
Whatever their thoughts, we enjoyed ourselves. Shambala greatness – whatever the weather.

PHOTOS: Gentleman’s Dub Club

August 31st, 2010 by

The final act to grace the stage on Sunday night.

INTERVIEW: Gabby Young

August 31st, 2010 by

We spoke to Gabby Young after she came off stage following her set on Shambala’s main stage.

REVIEW: Omar Souleyman

August 30th, 2010 by

I would be the first to admit that I am not a connoisseur of Syrian music, or, for that matter, any Middle Eastern music. Nor, I imagine, were very many of the audience at Omar Souleyman’s gig at Barn Nova.

In the band: a keyboard player with two keyboards layered in front of him, and a player of the electric ‘baglama saz’. These two rendered exhilaratingly rapid and complex melodies and rhythms. Omar himself, the vocalist, looked as if he had stepped straight out of the arid climate of Syria in a long white robe and a red and white headdress. Most importantly he wore sunglasses inside a dark tent at nighttime.

In between lines of Arabic lyrics, he strode about the stage calling out ‘heeeeey’. Occasionally a mysterious tall man whispered in his ear and retreated back to the edge of the stage. During the performance, despite Souleyman’s microphone twice breaking, the trio did not break a sweat, and were utterly cool. Allegedly, back stage Omar rarely spoke and his rider included a small tent to be constructed especially for him. Souleyman frequently approached the front of the stage and beckoned to the audience, who, eager and enthusiastic as can be if mildly confused, would comply by dancing more vigorously, calling ‘heeeeey’ back at him or clapping. Omar and his accomplices had the whole Barn dancing energetically and with a wide disparity of styles. The music was hugely exciting and different to anything I had ever heard (in a good way); it effervesced and rippled, drenching the audience in its awesomeness.

PHOTOS: Kanda Bongo Man

August 30th, 2010 by

REVIEW: Doctor P

August 30th, 2010 by

Having been a fan of Doctor P’s work for a few years now I was optimistic his live set would deliver some quality dubstep. The end product was something far different. After taking almost half an hour to set up the stage Doctor P finally started playing. The hit record Sweet Shop was played and of course the crowd went wild, however the effort and quality of his music went far downhill following this. The speakers in the Kamikaze tent really didn’t do any justice to his music as they were far too quiet and the bass was not nearly deep enough to feel the wobbles. A disappointing and short set all together.

AUDIO: Soothsayers (Kodjovi Kush)

August 29th, 2010 by

African-jazz outfit Soothsayers played the Shambala Stage on Saturday afternoon.

The Mashed Festivals Press Gang caught up with bassist Kodjovi Kush