performance :: oorutaichi

oorutaichi [photo by hako hosokawa] played a scatter of shows for the first time in nyc. i caught him playing his last song at the yoshitomo nara opening to a boisterous gallery crowd, but was able to catch him full effect at glasslands gallery when twi the humble feather, played with him and rings. he passed his most recent cd, 'drifting my folklore' to me at the gallery show, and i've found his mixture of experimental electronic music fascinating. He combines gamalan music with electronic and dance on 'yori yoyo'.

:: listen to yori yoyo

seeing his live show, i'm reminded what a challenging medium live performance must be for a solo electronic music artist. i think by around 10 years of focus, oorutaichi has found a way to convey his audio onslaught into a thrilling live spectacle.

most solo electronic performances are subdued live, even seeing four tet or momus live before, it's hard to watch someone on stage watching a laptop screen, or shuffle an iPod. perhaps their audiences simply want to be in the presence of the aritist? they are not seeking a live show, just an intimate monologue, a musical preacher? i guess the solo electronic act has gained speed a little more in usa, with dan deacon's ability to send crowds into a frenzy with a microphone, some fx, an iPod, and lots of showmanship (oh and a green flashing skull). but then does that make solo performer's the carrot tops of the music world? relying on props and wit tactics to mask the fact that you won't be seeing a drummer sweat on stage?

[ watch video of beshaby from drifting my folklore]

it is a struggle of concept through medium; however, oorutaichi's live act dominates because rather then him trying to be a cheerleader for the audience, his live electronic performance completely demands all his talents and focus.

the nature of his music also lends to this satisfying live style. listening to the album, it's very hard to classify. it's an assortment of many influences all at once. in some points, it reminds me of the clamorous juxtapositions that artists like xiu xiu uses. it has experimental aspects, dance music aspects, hyper melodic pop, and even hip hop approaches. in it, he is extremely playful with his voice. during a live show this becomes the highlight. watching him twist out singing melodies at hyper speed, it almost hints to sing rapping. It is whimsical and playful at time, perhaps hinting to his T REX influence, but at other times it is robust and abrasive, cutting through his electronic layers and fluid knob fx twisting.

:: listen to MISEN Gymnastics

his overall dimeanor is modest and engrossing. you can't help but feel he's enjoying the other world he's created with his music on stage. he's playful and each song brings him into a different performance routine. even a little james brown dance, i joked with him later.

he's ambitious and i'm sure this past week won't be his last foray to nyc to perform. if you ever have a chance to check him out live, do. he'll change the way you think about solo electronic live performances. check out his album!

oorutaichi - drifting my folklore


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