February 7, 2002
Aphex Twin/DMX Crew/Russell Haswell : London Astoria
The latest NME Carling Show sees drunken bodypopping, the 'Blankety Blank' theme tune and ear-splitting obscenities...
Ed DMX, the man behind DMX Krew, shambles onstage in a huge white boiler suit, pulls back his clear plastic protective hood, and gazes out over the crowd. He sees pierced, eyeliner-smeared goths, record-bag-clutching electronica geeks, and expectant, glow-stick clutching clubbers. It's testament to the massive appeal of the devilish host of tonight's NME Carling shindig, Aphex Twin. Right now, though, whether they like it or not, they're going to get a hefty dose of Kraftwerk.
Still, DMX Krew make a pretty good fist of reviving the spirit of electro-pop for the modern Rephlex raver. Fusing Super Mario game effects and the tune of 'Camptown Races' into his robotic mainframe, he unites the crowd with a very endearing display of drunken bodypopping.
But come 10pm, everyone's thirsty for- Aphex Twin. He does not disappoint. Over towards the far right of the stage, a shock of ginger hair looms out of the gloom - and there he is, shunning the spotlight, but triggering huge waves of lunatic breakbeat that easily fill the room. A ripped-up and re-stapled take on the 'Blankety Blank' theme tune heralds a 45-minute barrage of pure, stoopid - Aphex Twingenius. If these tunes ever make it onto plastic, they'll shift a million.
Perverting the very concept of wind-down is Young British Artist and sometime Merzbow collaborator Russell Haswell. Basically, extreme noise is Haswell's canvas. And believe it or not, picking up a microphone and screaming ear-splitting obscenities over the likes of So Solid Crew
's '21 Seconds' is Haswell in accessible mode. Phew.
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