By Amanda DeAngeles
Hive 015: Veejay vs.Deejay
Date: 10 May Price: £5.00 (£4.00 FACT members & concs) WHAT!!!!!
The Hive Collective return to The Box for another session exploring the boundaries of audiovisual entertainment. Soundsystem culture will be revisited in a one-off videoclash event, focusing on the increasingly dynamic art of veejaying. Visuals teams from across the North West will battle each other accompanied by dj sets from Alextronic and Jasbof alongside live performances by Adam Sloan and Up You and Bill Payer.
Here’s my verdict: I had no idea who did what, as there were no intros or running order announcements and my psychic power had crashed . . . assuming I had any to start with.
INTRO & ACT 1 – A large African woman seems sad as she watches overlaid, urban scenes. Music is akin to Tony Hart’s Gallery (70’s kids TV show featuring art- I wish they’d repeat it. I loved Morph). It was a breezy enough start for me, in the sofa-box lounge of FACT.
BTW I don’t think that sprawling on sofas lends itself to the stratosphere of this type of music. It seemed very odd, in fact.
Four rectangle pictures, set centrally, with no precision, flicked on and off the big screen. Shorter than seconds, repeated images were flashed, focused, blurred, zoomed and overlaid. A young Queen Elizabeth II, (perhaps), waved happily, as a soldier carried a gun and walked purposefully towards us, in a neighbouring rectangle. A fingerprint and images of tower-blocks, in New York, gave me a terrible kick in my gut. Thankfully, I didn’t need to get up and walk out.
An out-of-sequence, loudspeaker- countdown, boomed, with blips and distorted electronica. Images – some subliminal, were hypnotic and it was impossible to stay with it. It was unsettling. The music continued with The Statue of Liberty and a race along Brooklyn Bridge. This cinematic view was as though the camera sped along, unaided by transport.
Thought-provoking, sound and light, indeed, but I think I could have put it together myself, on a laptop.
The next section was more upbeat: a skateboarder-versus-tread. I turned around and noticed two people were slapping their hands over a pair of projector beams to create the flashed images. It was a visual drum-machine!
A product of youth’s information-overload was evident in this work.
ACT 2-Next, a performance-DJ bit:
Tables were set up with machines, decked, in front of the silver screen. Two fellas got busy with a circuit-board operation. The music was more creative here. I heard a middle-aged man, complaining on a telephone, about money demands, to a call centre. Fizzy drumbeats, static, and howling winds blasted over a steady, repetitive and carefully-constructed beat, with drum and bass. A scrambled mix of ‘Will you still love me tomorrow!’ was the only recognizable melody I heard. This was highly entertaining and hiked up further, above the phone-call. Live ‘Woo’; onomatopoeic sound, was breathed into a hooked-up mic. The DJ/VJ’s checked their game of timing with nods of their heads. Scratching, explosions, rapid bird-song and electronic waffle boards, progressed until the telephone call ended with: “Well you should know, don’t get mad at me.” in a fantastic, Northern accent.
This was a highlight for me and other viewer/listeners, who rushed forward and took photographs or recorded on mobile phones, the machines both DJ/VJ’s were toying with.
BACK to an American theme: “Michigan White Panthers