Kap Bambino @ The Macbeth, London
They nabbed a recent Artrocker Album of the Month gong, and now Bordeaux's Kap Bambino are taking the assault to Shoreditch. Will Mark Murphy fall for their riot pop?
Over time, it’s become obligatory to reference noisy Toronto electro boy/girl duo Crystal Castles whenever attempting to describe the music made by noisy Bordeaux electro boy/girl duo Kap Bambino. Both bands share a punkish ferocity which is rare among purveyors of repetitive beats, employing a strikingly similar sung-though-a-broken-telephone female vocal shriek to slice through their mangled Megadrive bleeps. Both bands also boast a lank-haired bloke stabbing at the digital gizmos and rhythmically nodding along from behind a stylishly raging frontwoman.
Kap Bambino must be sick of this unshakable comparison, since they were releasing ‘Crystal Castles-esque’ records years before their more famous Canadian counterparts. Perhaps it’s the pent up fury brought on by standing in the shadow of their imitators that makes them, by some measure, the more exciting live prospect.
Throughout tonight’s performance, their mortar-round bass thump and the lunging, leaping insanity of singer Caroline Martial keeps the packed Macbeth enraptured. In addition, with new album Devotion (which gets an extensive airing tonight) the band progresses from the harsh pixelated rave of previous efforts into an altogether heavier realm.
I wouldn't go so far as to say they've 'gone goth', but they do enter the stage to the sound of ground-up church organs droning over apocalyptic bass, whilst Martial holds aloft a burning candle in each hand. The set is front-loaded with the best cuts from the new record: 'Rise’ pairs a nagging pop melody with its oppressive industrial buzz- the sort of record Salem might make if they were slightly less stoned.
'Obsess' is basically Atari Teenage Riot featuring Bjork howling inside a tornado of shattered glass, while the duo make the crowd pogo as hard as they do to old favourites like ‘New Breath’ - only pausing to hold up Martial as she dives into the throng and surfs over their heads. Electronica’s wildest duo just conquered Hoxton.