TNGHT / Badbadnotgood / mymanhenri Opera House, Toronto, ON, November 29
Published Nov 30, 2012Mymanhenri had fun tonight, playing a light-hearted set wherein he messed with tempo, style and some MC'ing, mixing Ghostface Killah into FlyLo, to get the crowd going. Henri's dedication to the electronic music scene in Toronto can't be overstated, having promoted numerous shows including this year's X Avant bass party at the Drake, so it was good to see him getting down with a predominately young crowd.
Toronto's Badbadnotgood started out in a more electronic vein than you might expect, sounding more like an act on legendary European jazz label ECM than anything contemporary. By the group's second track, they started to sound more organic, jammed to the side of the stage by TNGHT's set-up, introducing their friend Liam who brought a great sax part to their version of "Putty Boy Strut" by Flying Lotus, played only moments before by mymanhenri segueing into a Bob James moment. BBNG are best described as jazz played with a punk spirit to a hip-hop beat, and that comes across best live. They were joined onstage by a dude in lion costume for the final few tracks — the jazziest of the bunch — coming to a rollicking crescendo as the maned beast surfed the crowd.
Montreal's Lunice and Scotland's Hudson Mohawke, known collectively as trap crew TNGHT, crept behind the DJ table in near darkness for what they are calling their North American premiere (actually their second North American show following their excellent set at SXSW earlier this year). Their remix-heavy set featured Kanye's "Mercy" early on and had the whole room dancing right from the get-go, with Lunice coming out front to dance from time to time.
It took the duo a few tracks into the set to drop one of their own EP tracks, "Goooo," followed by their remix of Waka Flocka Flame's "Rooster in My Rari." Quite a different setting from their stupid-o'clock set in an automotive garage in Austin, they managed to adapt to the increased venue size and audience well. The crowd went extra crazy for "Bugg'n," arguably TNGHT's best-known track. Teasing the beat for "Higher Ground" ever so gradually, it was briefly truncated by a power failure or laptop freeze, but by then the crowd was already so in the palm of their hand that no one seemed to care. Besides, nothing gets an audience more onside than a technical failure.
After that brief lull, "Easy Easy," the final track from their self-titled Warp EP, came next, winding down their set with Kanye again, this time with "Cold" (aka "Theraflu") and ending on Darq E Freaker's track with Danny Brown "Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)," which had the crowd singing along and going out with a bang. TNGHT do one thing and fortunately they do it very well.