SOPHIE @ CLF Art Café (Live Review)

The streets of Peckham feel like an ill-fitting setting for a SOPHIE performance, you’d expect her unnervingly pristine production to exist solely within a neochrome vacuum located within the vastest reaches of cyberspace. Alas, we see SOPHIE climaxing a sparse night of tilted euphoria

One month ago in Los Angeles, SOPHIE delivered a performance that has been mythologized by her mostly internet dwelling disciples. A flat-out pop diva set met with screams of “Yasss” and “Queen”, the pairing of this and the moving visuals to her single Its Ok to Cry shade SOPHIE in a new light, we no longer have another faceless electronic producer – we have a star.

Not billed as a DJ Set, you’d expect SOPHIE to reiterate the scenes from across the pond. However, a miniaturized version of a Pepsi tour would be all too predictable for an artist who’s always relished in toying with audience expectations – pitching up her vocals in interviews and sending out drag performers for live shows. It’s antics like this that have led the public to question the authenticity and ultimately the intentions of SOPHIE and her PC Music affiliates. Perhaps the heartfelt interviews given within the last week could silence the hounding of the Scottish born producer.

SOPHIE is somewhat an anomaly within the bill, preceded by Veronica Vasicka spinning the tracks of Throbbing Gristle and Fad Gadget and sandwiched between DJ Set’s routed in 130 Beats per minute. With a modus operandi that’s always consisted of chiptune vocal squelches, clunky, percussion, onomatopoeia, a lot of these elements are used less prominently in her fresh material. Although partly true, the clichéd descriptor  ‘Matured sound’  would be unjust due to the music still being coated in a childlike outlook one example being the Aladdin referencing new track Whole New Word the juxtaposing of a would be Disney musical number and abrasive futuristic trap.

Then there’s Ponyboy which plays with gender, sexuality, and fetishism drenched in pulsating distortion making it as seedy and leathery as its subject matter. SOPHIE Goes on to play collaborations with Charli XCX and Rihanna before finishing on perhaps the most accessible retro house jam Ehhh. In an hour-long set of brain mutilating hyper-pop extremities.

Words : Aimee Armstrong

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