This weekend we went to the excellent Hokaben festival in London. It was a small scale ZXZW with artists like Sun Ra Arkestra, Chops, Dethscalator and Zun Zun Egui playing. The festival was held in 93 Feet East, a nice venue with 3 halls close to the Rough Trade record shop, in a cool part of town full of record shops, clothing shops, Indian restaurants and girls looking like The Ting Tings members.
The smalles hall was curated by Illegal Seagul which is like the Vatican Analog of Bristol. A lot of weird acts with nice costumes performed there. On Friday Don Caballero did the usual stuff, playing some pastiche post rock music and proving that their best band member started Battles.
Fucked Up really ruled. They played a very dynamic show with some anthems, some chaotic parts and some underpants. Also the very loud krautrock trip of Mugstar ruled.
The Saturday was the best day of the festival. So much good music. Zun Zun Egui did a superb show, adding some noisy layers to the sound of nu-white-afropop bands like Vampire Weekend.
Aufgehoben (who play rarely live) are on the ZXZW 2009 withlist. They have a line up of two drummers (one drummer also playing bricks), one guitar guy and one sound guy and play a free jazz with some metal influcences.
Also a great thing was seeing Chris Corsano playing live. He’s a wizard with drumsticks, a master of technique. But Corsano is not a macho-technical drummer. Everything is dedicated to the composition, to the fire music of the set. The duo with Mick Flower is a combination of free jazz, punk drones, free rock and total surrender. What a joy to watch! Corsano is definitely one of the best and most exciting contemporary drummers around.
Acid Mothers Temple did their regular Japanese psychedelic stuff. Good and psychedelic. Stoner and Stockhausen. It was a pity that Kid606 only played for 20 minutes, due to a strict curfew and a schedule which wasn’t maintained very tight.
However, the breakcore stuff really went on at the Scotch Egg show. A totally wasted small room got ravenous wild on his gameboy tunes. He added fun and another sound to the quite guitar based festival line up. Woohoo!
Sunday started quite slowly. Close to the festival the Souljazz dj’s were playing a free gig. Had to be there. Had to be jealous at their kick ass dancehall and dub records. Wow, what a sound they created. At the meantime the Norwegian friends from Arabrot (who recorded their new record with Steve Albini) did a very tight noiserock show. Bromancer was fucking loud and attacked a camera man.
Sun Ra Arkestra was headlining Hokaben. Again they proved their unique position in the history of music. The set consisted of old and new. Of the usual Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson stuff combined with some of the finest Sun Ra and Marshall Allen compositions. Marshall Allen played his crying solo’s and the other members were on. Can’t see them enough.
What else to say? If you’re a indie kid: listen to Rolo Tomassi, who play synth driven harcore. Friends with Holy Roar bands like Cutting Pink With Knives, young, good looking, can play their instrument and they know how to create a concert vibe. We want to thank all the Hokaben guys for the great festival and all the effort they put in it. We’ll be there next year!