Infinite Livez, Lotek HiFi

By Demented Toddler and Masta G

Cargo was enlivened last night by this For Your Pleasure venture. This week, the monthly feast of eclectic music was showing off some of the Ninja Tune UK hip hop subsidiary’s best talent.

Lotek Hifi, with singer Wayne Paul, performed bashment, dub-style and garage (sorry, ‘ragga disco’) numbers, including the mighty Ram Dancehall, the bubbling Percolator, and other hits from their self-titled mini-album. They never quite seemed to get into their stride, but this was understandable. For whatever reason, the engineer, system or both didn’t seem able to deliver the sound quality and volume necessary to do justice to Wayne Bennett’s bass-reliant beats (this in spite of the recent overhaul of Cargo's showcase Turbosound system). Furthermore, despite a fantastic job of promotion which had got the night in that morning’s Metro, as well as on websites as massively influential as Musicalbear(!), the crowd was a little thin on the ground – perhaps unsurprising on a weeknight late in the month. Nevertheless, it was great to see stuff that sounds quite studio-based and heavily produced made to work in a live context – the interaction between the different styles of MC-ing (dancehall, jungle, garage, soul singing) which works so well on record was compelling to watch and listen to.

Mad-as-a-brush Infinite Livez, up next, was a little more optimistic about the situation, warming up the audience with that cycloptic, wailing bastard child of sooty, Barry Convex. Some biting social commentary on Hoxton haircuts followed (itself pretty ironic from someone we last saw at the ICA), along with everyone’s favourites No More Bananas, and Pononee Girl, which, whilst amusing on your stereo, has to be seen on stage to be believed. Infinite galloped around the stage, serenading his little pony, ‘the best thing to come out of hasbro’, while DJ Kenny a'la Fu, who did sterling deck duties for both acts, struggled to see the turntables through a cute horsey mask. While he can’t be to everyone’s taste in a culture of self conscious cool, and, in Ty’s words, ‘wall-to-wall stone face’, it is to Infinite Livez’ great credit that he doesn’t fall into the rut of being a one-joke artist, and that his tracks are at least as entertaining and well produced as his act. It takes a lot of front to serenade a children’s toy at a hip hop night – he will surely go far.

 Picture showing Infinite Livez
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