SXSW Music 2012: Day 3

Posted in Music, SXSW
By Sam Bathe on 17 Mar 2012

With things simultaneously hitting a peak and starting to wind up, we were determined to make the most of day three. With a somewhat disappointing line-up across the afternoon, however, Escort at Barbarella was our only unofficial show of the day. Led by singer Adeline Michele, boasting some pretty incredible leggings and top, there were 14 band members on stage and amusingly they still needed a backing track for a couple of songs.

While Escort’s best tracks are mesmerising, the rest of their Motown-influenced electro-funk-pop doesn’t it the same highs while Cocaine didn’t come out anywhere near as well as Maddjazz’s lauded rework.

After College on Wednesday I’d developed a thirst for electro. Luckily Kitsune’s event at Malverde was happy to oblige.

Computer Magic opened up, a silky, momentum-fueled electro act from Brooklyn. Pleasantly they were anything but a stereotypical “Brooklyn band” boasting a spacey sound that verges into dance though it doesn’t have the same sort of impact or raw speed.

Only noticing last minute that Plastic Plates was on this year’s bill, his name was most of the reason we stayed at Malverde for the night. Unspecified what sort of performance he was to put in however, we weren’t sure if it would be a DJ set or live performance, or if he even had solo material and a band to do it. Having produced probably my favourite remix of the last 12 months, tweaking Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain, I was kind of hoping he would be behind some decks. To my delight he was DJing, and he played the Adele remix too. While Felix Bloxsom has a good repertoire of his own, deciding to play only his own remixes though was a little restrictive.

Back to a band next, Housse De Racket (they’re French, so that’s pronounced huus) play spacey electro that reminds me a lot of a French Late Of The Pier. Like the ill-fated UK act, they have a lot of energy live, proving really emphatic on every track, something that was lacking on their recorded LP.

Second DJ of the night, Gigamesh, of Foster The People remix fame, mixed things up a little more playing tracks better known to the crowd and not all of his own doing. Packing a much faster beat, the night really turned into a party with a mesmeric blend of electro and disco bursting our through ther PA. SXSW in the evening is never really a party atmosphere so it was a delight to be in the midst of what felt like a club night. He’s one to watch as the showcase really livened up, spilling onto the balcony/stage too after Housse De Racket’s drum kit was cleared.

Heading out of the west side at last, we dashed over to Easy Tiger for Alabama Shakes to finish the night. Just about getting in on time, the bluesy Americana rockers remind me of a slower The Black Keys, and though their debut album will be all-important, they really do have a lot of potential. They’re full of passion live too.

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