Kahli Abdu - Nigerian singer Kahli Abu starts off tonight with a drummer and an electronics guy who also plays some bass. Abu also plays some synth/electronics and varies his music between raps and R&B crooning. His delivery is silky smooth in both forms and with the fine accompanying sounds, works comfortably as a full and complete set of music. This is good and better than I expected, so full credit to Abdu and his two cohorts for getting this show started off so well.
Helado Negro - I knew the name and thought I had seen him before as this sounded familiar, and sure enough I did catch a set a couple of years ago. Both times it felt a little long as the sound is almost too steady with mostly quieter moments, but overall I am quite impressed by Negro's approach. He has two electronics musicians with him who look like Christmas trees where kids went crazy with the tinsel. The music was quiet and chillingly effective, although the vocal work is what truly stands out. He has a Robbie Basho quivering approach with some experimental Scott Walker moves, although he keeps it a bit more on the straight and narrow than that. Evocative and distant settings are conjured up through this approach and I am sure he would be even more effective late at night through the headphones alone at home. But this was a club, so there was some crowd noise to deal with. The music was of such high quality to have me involved fully in spite of this.
Sinkane - Sinkane comes from Sudan through Brooklyn and has a full band with him to help concoct some of the more fascinating modern psychedelic R&B music for lack of a better term. He calls it fake jazz and that works as well as there are so many elements within these flowing jams that morph into delectable songs. It is as if Isaac Hayes worked with PiL covering Doors songs inspired by Can. I could go on, but that would distract from the deceptively tricky grooves they manage to make sound so warm and simple. This is so easy to get into it, yet with so much going on, it does get your mind spinning. His vocals cut into this music with great purpose and clarity and thus create these fine compositions. This is classy music for a modern age that completes a great night that shows how electronica and/or careful playing can create magic that will blow through any boundaries and barriers you may think you have as a listener. The packed house seemed to agree.
T-shirt of the Night - which is a photograb from Facebook, but has its place tonight and at all too many shows I attend...