Cabaal & Hard Science Babylon Nightclub, Ottawa ON, February 4

Cabaal & Hard Science Babylon Nightclub, Ottawa ON, February 4
Photo: Ming Wu
Thursday night's set featuring Cabaal and Hard Science was one of the few collaborative performances scheduled during this year's Megaphono fest, but while the music of the former was well received, the live projections from the latter felt like an ill fit.
Cabaal's ambient techno is steeped in darkness, and at the beginning of his set, it sounded truly subterranean as Hard Science's colourful, kaleidoscopic images were being projected behind. The juxtaposition between the sonics and visuals created a kind of dissonance, but not much else. The projections were also relegated to a small projection screen behind the stage, which when combined with the ill fit to Cabaal's own sounds, made them seem like an afterthought.
Still it was impressive seeing the two working alongside one another, manipulating their sounds and visuals in real time. However disjointed it seemed, no one on the dance floor seemed to mind.
Hearing Cabaal's set come together was a highlight, with beats slowly materializing out of the miasma that started things off, and vocals surfacing once a proper melody had taken shape. By the end, the drums were funkier, though still rooted to the moody, sinister sounds he had used to introduce himself.