Espionage presents Marcus Intalex, TOKiMONSTA and Nosaj Thing

June 23 saw the return of Espionage, presented by The Operatives at the Revolt Melbourne Artspace. Quite a bit of hype surrounded the show, on the back of some solid recent releases by the artists, combined with The Operatives stellar reputation for great parties and past history at this unique venue.

Keen to check out the Beat Invitational, I got in early and was treated to some great showcases from some real talent in the Melbourne scene. Lotek was hilarious behind the decks, and Dizz1 brought the bass to show why he is held in such great regard. Part man, part machine, part monome, Galapagoose followed with his typically fun live beats. I really enjoy watching him play, and can’t wait to hear what he’s got cooked up for his new album. An hour later, with the crowd filling up nicely, Nosaj Thing hit the stage.

For mine, Nosaj Thing was best on ground. His futuristic sounds and beats are right up my alley, and at times remind me of artists like Burial, admittedly without the same dark atmosphere. That said, with an obvious hip hop influence running through his productions (like most of the Brainfeeder collective) there is a real sense of fun that comes through more than most, and the crowd at Revolt would agree.

Apologies are due here to Fugitive. I flicked in between the main room and smoking area during his set, but enjoyed what I heard, and thought he did a good job keeping the crowd ticking over for TOKiMONSTA.

TOKiMONSTA. She’s a fox. In French she would be called "la renarde" and she would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her. If she were a president, she’d be Baberaham Lincoln. What’s more, she makes great music. Having missed her last show at Roxanne, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard reports about the levels of bass in her set, and I was hoping she would play a live set of her own tunes, so I was a little disappointed when I found out she would be playing an Ableton DJ set. I didn’t count on that element of fun coming through, and was pretty happy to hear tunes like FlyLo’s remix of Mr Oizo - $tunt, and when she dropped Shame On A Nigga the joint went nuts.

The crowd thinned out quite a bit after TOKi finished, which is a shame as Marcus Intalex is an artist who has been at the top of the DNB world for a long time, and I have it on good authority that his 21 LP released earlier this year is some top notch stuff. I’ll admit I’m not a massive DNB fan (not that I don’t like it, there’s just other stuff I like more), but the smaller crew of heads that stuck around seemed to be having a great time, and a few people I spoke to were happy with his set.

 Apologies also to JPS and Nam, I was pretty beat after a long day at work and then dancing for hours, so I racked off without hearing too much of their set, but knowing how they roll, they would have held it down quite nicely.

The production for this party was well thought out, with a couple of light installations just off the dancefloor providing some nice effects, and the visuals on stage providing a great compliment to the music. Sound quality was great, as we’ve come to expect from Funktion One stacks. The bass was solid without bottoming out, and even if it was loud you were able to speak to someone without shouting, which is a refreshing change from a lot of gigs I’ve been to lately. Whilst the music was tight, there were a few downsides to the night. A few technical problems throughout the night led to some delays in getting acts on, and it was unfortunate to see a little fight break out, and although this shouldn’t count as a negative on the part of The Operatives, it’s never nice to see something like that especially at a gig like this. Other than that though, I think a good night was had by all, and I can’t wait for the next outing featuring Klute and Samiyam (!!!!!!!).

Until next time, keep working.

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