Confessions of Nullsleep at Cafe La Siesta


Ago 21 2009, 0h58

Father forgive me, for I have sinned. It has been several months since my last confession; I have not told you about the awesome time I had at the OLAibi show last month at Shangri-la (fantastic tribal drumming ensemble and sharing the bassist from OOIOO), but I could summarize it best by saying:
1. Midi_SAI human beatbox gulpEpsh was the bomb.
2. Maho☆Thai Disco played a set much like the shitty free CD I got with her great new album - the most amazingly cheesy 90's Eurobeat. Probable producer/boytoy Shabushabu also in attendance.
3. I had to leave neco眠る (aka nekonemuru) halfway through to catch my train home and bumped into the nerdy new drummer from Boredoms chatting with OLAibi in the lobby. I think the tough-as-nails ethno-fetishist leader of OLAibi was a bit pissed I spent more time fawning over the BOREDOMS guy than her...

Oh yes, father, I also attended my dark ambient / idm / industrial pal VD as she subjected the audience of Kyoto's tiny Socrates to evil tunes, a live drummer and guitarist (for once) and yet more repulsive softcore gay porn projected behind her (Google "Skin Flick" if you like politically volitile German nationalist skinheads buttraping each other).

But I could not stay silent for the Nullsleep show at Cafe La Siesta last Wednesday. I bade farewell to the wife and kid and headed down there timed to arrive exactly at 5:30; too bad they weren't even opening until 7. Great...I shuffled off to The Gael, where it was predictably quiet and the staff predictably nice and wasted money on an oversized fish & chips and Kilkenney over Castronova's Synthetic Worlds. Then I headed back a little bit before find the place already full of artists and friends of artists.

I grabbed a seat in front of the Street Fighter 2 machine (which had 9 credits in it and I kept accidently hitting the start button...;) ), and awaited my Cell 63 bandmate Nick, but he never showed. No sweat though, the place was getting crowded, and I was having fun.

The one foreigner I noticed there seemed a likely ID for Nullsleep (aka Jeremiah Johnson), so we started talking and then some of his friends John (NY, just visiting), David (Swedish, living out Nara-way) and...shoot...I forgot her name, but a Japanese-born woman studying fashion in NYC. All class acts. I bought Jeremiah a ONE UP (basically Japanese Red Bull, vodka and other goodies) and we settled down for the show.

All the DJs were the local 1H1D collective, and they were all on the best behavior (aka very little trance-gabber remixes of shitty anime theme songs). Two VJs had set up a laptop and mixer on the Space Invaders table-top near the door and were projecting and morphing NES screens and weird videos continuously.

The first 'artist live' was nnnnnnnnnn, I believe, a funny guy with Pacman mandala t-shirt a Game Boy and a lot of good tunes in dire need of endings; most of his tracks would just stop and the audience had a hard time deciding if the song was over or what. :) Then the batteries on one of his Game Boys died, heheh, but nobody really cared about the delay. Good fun though, and I believe it was he who was giving out the free Evangalion remix CDs (available through his for free download, if you're interested).

Then it was pal and Siesta maestro DJ MasterKOHTA who played what seemed to be a half-live / half-DJ set that was really pumping. Longfi didn't disappoint with his set either and then (and I'm sure I've skipped somebody) Nullsleep was up.

Long story short, it was an adventurous, varied set with copious use of KAOS Pad like effects and a long, techno-flavored intro that the more melodic chiptuney tracks later on would contrast favorably with. The crowd went nuts (well, as nuts as you can get sitting down at Cafe La Siesta), and I particularly enjoyed watching the VJs smiling, head bobbing and really getting into it. Finishing to massive applause and shouts of "kakko ii!", I'd say it went well.

Hally was up next (another artist I'd seen at Chipstriker two years ago), and his drunkenness and vocoded vocals were fun, though his music wasn't exactly to my taste (though I liked his famous cover of Blue Monday). BEN and KAZ aka Hige were up next, and they sort of rounded out the evening on a wheezy note, though I don't think by that time anyone cared; kudos to KAZ's goofy headgear, improvised NES set-up and Power Glove usage, though.

The gaijin chatted a bit about this and that in the aftermath. Jeremiah said he was finishing up his masters and was considering doing 8bitpeoples full-time, despite the fact it wasn't exactly a cash cow waiting to be milked. I got his card and will try to set up an interview with Japanzine when he returns to Japan. I got the genial David's number, and promised to call the guy when stuff hits the fan in Kyoto next time...

(Looks at his watch) Oh shit, Father, and now I'm late for temple. Gotta run and see you next month, same bat-time, yadda-yadda...


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