Video by: Matthew F. Smith
Pictures by: Daniel Jung, Watchara Phomicinda, Wobs and Mario Covic
Words by: Duke DuRock
The Do LaB bid adieu to 2011 by teaming up with Goldenvoice for a very special show at Club Nokia where Beats Antique, Emancipator, Random Rab and Lynx treated a packed crowd to some incredibly moving music. Along with live painting throughout the evening courtesy of Michael Pukac, Hans Haveron, John Park, Cryptik and Locust and live digital art from Andrew Jones, it proved to be the perfect way to cap the year.
“Tonight’s line-up was really put together well as each one of the artists that are playing here tonight are good friends of ours and we’ve done shows with them individually throughout the past couple of years,” said David Satori of Beats Antique, when we spoke with him and fellow band members Tommy Cappel and Zoe Jakes backstage shortly before their headline set. The band further demonstrated the close bonds each of the artists shared by inviting Pukac (who did the cover art for Beats Antique’s latest album “Elektrafone”) to paint alongside them. “We love their music and art and feel there’s a really nice common thread that brings us all together.”
“I can say that I’ve had my favorite dance experience or moment of bliss at a show with each one of the musical performers here tonight,” added Jakes. “I personally have had really intense and beautiful connections to all their music. They’re some of the most incredible performers I’ve seen.”
Photo by Daniel Jung.
The Sounds of Lynx Start Off the Night
Kicking off the night were the sounds of frequent Beats Antique collaborator, Lynx, the phenomenal San Francisco-based female singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The audience came out early to support Lynx and she treated them to tracks from her debut album, “On the Horizon,” along with plenty of new material, infusing each song with her new Les Paul electric guitar, floor tom drum, mandolin, banjo and some unbelievable beatboxing skills.
After her recent fall tour supporting the notorious rock guitarist Buckethead, Lynx gained valuable experience playing for different crowds, but she was clearly happy to be back on the West Coast and sharing the stage with her close friends.
“It’s kind of the super crew of downtempo music in the West Coast electronic scene,” Lynx shared of the lineup. “It’s a lot of the artists that I’m always listening to and have been performing with over the last five years. This year has been a launchpad year and a lot has happened, especially for the people that are playing here tonight. I’m excited to just continue on and make some big things happen in the years to come.”
Photo by Daniel Jung.
Random Rab Brings New Album “Visurreal” to Life
Random Rab followed Lynx’s standout set and kept the party moving forward by playing plenty of music from his recently released “Visurreal” album. His stage setup was stripped down, but still included exceptional visuals that played behind him courtesy of Andrew “Android” Jones, who designed the creative cover art for “Visurreal.”
“It’s great to be here because there’s so much love coming off the stage and in the crowd tonight,” said Rab. “That feels so good to me to know that there’s that much love surrounding us. It’s such an honor to share the stage with all these talented artists tonight too. This is like family to me. I feel like I’m coming home.”
In further sharing the love with his fellow performers, Rab brought out the talented violinist Ilya Goldberg, who was in town to play with Emancipator, for a special track that had the crowd swaying in delight. Rab also took to the mic on several new songs, including “I Alone,” where his deep and harmonious vocals enhanced his hypnotizing beats.
Emancipator Debuts Fresh Tracks from Forthcoming Album
Providing the perfect follow-up to Random Rab were the sounds of Doug Appling’s Emancipator project. Bringing back out Ilya Goldberg for his entire set, the duo proceeded to play a plethora of new material from Emancipator’s forthcoming third artist album. In a special treat for the crowd, Appling also unveiled a radically reworked version of one of his favorite electronic music tracks of all-time, Orbital’s classic “Halcyon,” which saw the normally downtempo producer embrace full-on house music flourishes to finish off his set.
“My new album material is as dense and layered as ever,” revealed Appling. “You just have to hear it for yourself. Ilya is playing on the album this time, which I’m really excited about.”
Artists like the ones performing at Club Nokia may be classified as electronic musicians, but their music goes far beyond any gentrification or labeling, as each act incorporates live instrumentation along with a variety of musical influences.
“There’s definitely a wide range of musical styles being represented here tonight,” said Appling. “It’s really music first and electronic music is just the medium we’re creating it through.”
Beats Antique Usher in 2012 with New Songs & On-Stage Surprises
Headliners Beats Antique closed out the night in thrilling fashion with plenty of songs from their brand-new album “Elektrafone.” Satori and Cappel were joined by special guest, Sylvain Carton, a Parisian who added his exceptional baritone saxophone skills throughout the band’s set. As surreal visuals played overhead, Jakes along with a trio of talented dancers entranced the audience with their bewitching belly dances and creative costumes that custom fit the music. In a special treat to welcome 2012, the band broke out a specially created encore, which gave a nod to Mayan culture, while also including aliens and robots as well.
“We’ve got it down now on how to perform the way we write music,” explained Cappel of performing material from the new album. “I think with “Elektrafone” its been a lot easier to play some of the songs because we performed them before we actually recorded them. Now it’s much more cohesive as far as what we do live and that opens it up for Zoe and the dancers to come up with new things. It also gives more time for us to create visuals and to really saturate ourselves with the live experience.”
Getting the chance to close out the year with their close friends and fellow performers as well as playing to those who embrace their music whole-heartedly was the best possible way for Beats Antique to finish off their busy year. As they have seen their profile continue to soar in 2011 with more touring than ever before and the release of arguably their best album yet, the band is particularly grateful to all those who have helped them along the way.
“It’s a beautiful time right now as I think everyone in this community is seeing the fruits of all their hard labor over the years,” explained Cappel. “This past year was ridiculous and totally insane with what’s been going on with us. We’ve had a lot of great opportunities put on our laps. We’ve been working really hard for it, so it feels really great to have them as it’s a dream come true. But we wouldn’t have been able to play for so many people at Burning Man a few years back if The Do LaB didn’t set up their crazy stage with El Circo and make it work. That really helped us in so many different ways. It always seems to be a good collaboration whenever us or any of the SF folks come in contact with any of The Do LaB down here in L.A.”
“The Do LaB is a phenomenally talented group of people,” added Jakes. “What’s been really cool about our relationship is that I feel that we’re growing and The Do LaB is growing. You keep looking at your friends that you’ve been working with and you see them getting bigger and their ideas getting more incredible and just watching them explode. It’s really inspiring for us.”
The Do LaB would like to thank all of the artists and live painters for sharing their talents at Club Nokia and helping to make our last show of 2011 so unforgettable! We’d also like to thank everyone who came out to this show and our events over the past year as your support means everything as we wouldn’t be able to do events like these if not for you!
We’re already looking forward to big things in 2012 and it’s all getting started on Saturday, January 14th at King King. We’ll be bringing you a very special musical guest, The Polish Ambassador, along with support from longtime Lightning in a Bottle favorite, Heyoka and the fresh sounds of Headtron’s ChrisB. With live painting from Alexander D.C.D. Smith, this is going to be the perfect way to launch the new year and we hope to see you there. Discounted pre-sale tickets can be purchased here.
Thanks again for making 2011 a year to remember and we’ll see you on the dance floor in 2012!