Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide brought the best of the world’s musical talent right here to Los Angeles for a magical weekend. The well-curated festival mixed world-renowned favorites like Rhye (if you didn’t get to their set 2 hours early you were out of luck) and newly-formed, must-listens ala Like Swimming.
Bombay Show Pig
‘These [guys] go to eleven’ is what I might have uttered to myself about Bombay Show Pig had I even been able to think straight during their set. This twosome from Holland put out more sound than should possibly be capable from just two people. The classically straight ahead rock stylings of Mathias Janmaat (Vocals, Guitar) and Linda van Leeuwen (Drums, Vocals) was a full and instantaneous immersion into festival’s first evening; Mathias wailed on his world-weary, duct-taped guitar while Linda brought a steady slew of thrashing.
Soulful chanteuse Kita Klane was backed by an extensive five-piece band for her performance at The Church. It was her slight frame and the intimate nature of her delivery, however, that left this L.A. native fully exposed in front of her congregation. In demeanor and material Klane channeled the late Amy Winehouse, even delivering a velvety smooth version of Winehouse’s iconic ‘You Know I’m No Good’.
Jacco Gardner performed the majority of his set with his head down, diligently manipulating the sounds of his mellotron. He peeked up just long enough though to tell us how much he’d “Always wanted to play in a church”. It was a setting that suited the Dutchman well. Gardner’s intricate harmonies, tempered delivery, and his lythe play made for a religious experience at the altar of baroque pop. He delivered a vast array of psychedelic dreamscapes in which I got lost.
Fuck Buttons brought a wall of sound to a packed crowd at The Echo on Friday night. Body to body, onlookers eagerly clamored for a glimpse at the fog-laden, dueling synthesizer set up of Bristol’s Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power.
Belgium’s Float Fall projected a demure sensibility in Taix’s Champagne Room. At nearly opposite sides of the stage, duo Rozanne Descheemaeker and Ruben Lefever let the intimacy of their vocal exchanges do most of the work. With little engagement between the twosome otherwise, Float Fall endeavored to make a difficult task even harder. It is a testament to their voices’ compatibility that they managed to cultivate that intimate setting, even still. Descheemaeker’s aery voice teetered – fragile, but never breaking. It was this fragility that exposed the poignancy of her words. Lefever’s world-weary grizzle provided the needed tension to complete the evocative charade.
A blazer-clad Miami Horror brought the electro-dance-funk to an anxiously awaiting crowd at The Echoplex. The Australian breakout act was all coy smiles on stage, dancing to their own undulating beats. It was clear they were having just as much fun onstage, as their fans were getting lost on the dance floor in the riff heavy, synthed-up sounds.
I had plans to see Terry Poison on Friday night but a delayed set threw off my schedule so I thought I’d give it a second chance on Saturday and I’m sure as hell glad that I did. Terry Poison put on the liveliest show I saw all festival. While acts from Denmark, Belgium and the like offered outstanding music, there’s a more straight-forward, subdued quality to their sets; borne out of the vibrant club scene of Tel Aviv however, Terry Poison had quite a different temperament and performance style. Their dancetronica and wet vocals brought in those lingering in the hallways of Taix until a packed Front Lounge could hold no more. Vocalist Louise Kahn rocked a Club Barbie aesthetic – complete with lighted hairdo and sparkling leotard – as she climbed atop, first the speakers, then the bar. She worked the crowd into a frenzy until the photographer next to me, literally threw down her camera and completely lost her sh*t to the music.
All Photo Credits to Kim Willming and Marni Epstein.