Shobaleader One take drum’n’bass to the dark side

Four figures take to the stage of The Concorde in Brighton, masked and robed like Kendo warriors – the leader slings a mighty matt-black bass over his shoulder and the band smash unhesitatingly into the mutated cop-chase funk of 'Cooper's World'. At the first beat, the masks light up in flashing multi-coloured LED displays that alter with every note they play, chasing across their faces like the console of a 1970s movie spacecraft.

This tour is the second outing for Squarepusher's Shobaleader One and his colleagues Strobe Nazard, Arg Nution and Company Laser with their live interpretations of Squarepusher's studio classics, and it's immediately apparent that this time they are determined to push the awesomeness quotient to the limit. There's so many effects on everything that it's sometimes hard to tell who's playing what – a relentless assault of slap bass and skittering drum breaks, like Level 42 gone over to the 'dark side', sitting beneath howling storms of ring-modulated noise from guitar and keys. Deliberately woozy tempo shifts even suggest the technical chug of death metal, and indicate the levels of musical skill and precision at work behind the sci-fi aliases – the anonymous masked jazzers are among the country's finest progressive players, and the 'Pusher himself is a phenomenal high-velocity bassist as well as being a cult hero to the crowd of frantically moshing drum'n'bass fans.

There's a risk that music this intense will suffer from diminishing returns over a 90-minute set but Laser's incredible energy pushes things along, always managing to take it even higher on surge after surge of pounding drums. Technical problems send a hapless roadie scurrying to the rescue with spare bass amps, but the band rise to the occasion and ride it out, leaving the audience dazed, deaf and ecstatically happy.

– Eddie Myer

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Get yourselves down to this bit of festive South London cheer this weekend – free-jazz blowouts and hop-jacked beer… https://t.co/9IJOFuz4AM
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@AbstractTruth haha, brilliant
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA