Published Sep 08, 2010Brimming with energy, naivety and tuition money, hordes of students crammed Ottawa's Babylon Nightclub to catch BC native Kid Koala's latest musical creation, the Slew. Capitalizing on the club's strategically-placed stage-left DJ booth, Ottawa's Rise Ashen kicked off the night with a marathon set. Blending Diplo's eclectic musical taste, A-Trak's beat-matching dexterity and El-P's dense processing, Rise Ashen laid down a slick mash of white label techno, baile funk and underground hip-hop. With assistance from Ottawa's always-lively backpacker scene, who were now b-boy-ing in front of the booth, Rise Ashen did much to ignite the Tuesday nighters as they began to drop their guard to show off moves of their own.
As Rise Ashen's throbbing rhythms closed out the 10:00 hour, the loosey-goosey crowd began to swarm the front of the Babylon to stare down the stage's half-dozen turntables. In a typically understated manner, Kid Koala took refuge on the right side, joining the ex-Wolfmother rhythm section (Myles Heskett on drums, Chris Ross on bass) and New York turntablist P-Love (filling in for Dynomite D). "Ignore the records, this is a rock show!" shouted Kid Koala as he dropped record #1 to kick off the Slew's first Ottawa performance. As the Aussies began to lay down a bulky, bottom-heavy rhythm, Koala and P-Love traded off lightning-quick beats, breaks and samples. Cycling through all ten tracks from their debut LP, 100%, the quartet shook the room, thanks to Koala's jaw-dropping speed, Heskett's unfiltered drumming and P-Love and Ross' wild stage antics that saw them flinging their bodies to and fro. As the band's encore, "Battle of Heaven and Hell" culminated with Koala and Ross destroying their equipment in majestic fashion, the Slew managed to show the student-filled crowd just what kind of year it's going to be.