DB and DJ Clever have a new night in New York debuting this Friday, September 22, at Love, 179 MacDougal Street and 8th Street. It's called The Secret Night of Science and the concept is the return of "sexy jungle" (no noisy shit, no MCs--"we're trying to let people really hear the subtleties of this beautiful music"). Could this be the long awaited, inevitable retro-ambientjungle/artcore? Speeeed resurrected? Not quite, says DB, it'll be a mixture of old stuff and new stuff in that tradition. The music starts at 11pm and before that there's a showing of Blade Runner at 9-30 enhanced by Love's "total sound" system. Sadly I can't make the opening night, but it's a monthly so will most definitely be at the next one.
I ran into DB at the US debut of The Klaxons, which took place at the oddly named Club Medway on Avenue B. Which turned out to be the basement formerly known as Guernica (which used to host great 2step/UKG nights and also a Monday night semi-secret techno thing where you'd get names djing for nowt or nearabout--Derrick May for $3!!!--and which were where i used to go straight after Dan Selzer's postpunk thing at Plant Bar back in those dizzy days of the early OO's). And before that the club was known as Save the Robots, a hardcore hedonism zone for techno headz, dimly lit and decadent, so they tell me. So all in all a highly appropriate space to witness the "New Rave"* (copyright NME) hit America.
Except the Klaxons have next to nothing to do with rave, apart from covering Kicks Like A Mule's "The Bouncer". On the basis of the EP I'd concluded they were more like a DFA act with a tinge of Lo-Fidelity Allstars. But live, they're more like... Silverfish, or The Membranes. Or even the Age of Chance**, the "Bouncer" cover being their counterpart of AoC's version of "Kiss": distorto-guitar and dirty bass and shouty voices mauling something sublime into an exuberantly maculate noise. Their set was an enjoyable blast of messy energy. And they're so British somehow, their onstage mix of sheepish, just-barely-in-control-of-this-din and posed "we formed a band, us" gestures really rather endearing. I spoke to the band afterwards and one of the two James said he was ten years old when ardkore was happening.
Before the Klaxons, stepping in for the canceled and much-touted 120 Days, was a local band called Holy Hill (I think), two girls (one with a piercing shriek, the other a tough bassist/Gabi from Luscious Jackson lookalike) and two guys (Fred Schneider-type inaudible on keybs and vocals, pretty good discopunk drummer) and while savagely indebted to ESG, they had a certain something too.
* the New Rave vis-a-vis ardkore = Romo viz-a-viz 80s synthpop/New Romantics, i.e. the doomed-to-fail because premature revival. I'm telling you, it's a rule, you have to wait 20 years before a revival can take. And it's only been 15 years since "Charly", Altern-8 etc.
** c.f. as reported by DJ Martian, the Three Johns have reformed, swift on the heels of the Woodentops. So my contention that the retrokultur would just skip the mid-80s and go straight from postpunk to MBV-style blissrock or even right through to baggy, turns out to be wrong. What next, Marc Riley and the Creepers stage a comeback?!! New bands citing the Shrubs and Bogshed?!?