Gig review: Giraffage (SF,USA) at the Jazz Café, Camden

Last night, Charlie Yin aka Giraffage held a gig at the Jazz Café in Camden.

The well-known address welcomed many talented artists who indubitably increased its notoriety: from Jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders to Amy Winehouse, the restaurant/club hasn’t stopped providing local and international talents venues to their visitors. Just like the talented producer originally from San Jose, California.

By 8.45pm, the venue reached approximately 70 percent of its capacity. The crowd was dense, spread around the room studded by lights and shadows and by the two bar areas. Shortly after, as soon as Giraffage and his stage-bud arrived, the audience did not take long to greet them. The young Dj from San Fransisco announced on the microphone that it was his first date in London and as well as his mom was in the audience. Making the first contact feel as if we all knew Charlie Yin well enough to tell his mother how proud of him we are. However, the Djs were placed in the middle (front) of the stage under the psychedelic animations played on the screen above them. Adding the neon blue and purple spotlights, it was a lot easier to forget the lucky fellows who were having dinner upstairs at the same time. The duo rapidly warmed up the audience: people gradually stopped caring about personal space, and soon after the whole crowd was getting rid of calories together.

At the beginning of the set, the music could be described as groovy, calm, and a little funky too: with piano and guitar echoes, topped by a great control of the turntable’s scratching. The tracks sounded versatile and included riffs of different heavy tunes such as the bassline of David Ghetta’s ‘Love is Gone’ for example.

After a smooth start, the duo provided us a quality deep house set, as well as some minimal that transported us back to our best rave memories. The music could be described in different ways: ‘light’, ‘intoxicating’ and ‘sophisticated’ to begin with, and then ‘semi-aggressive’, ‘decadent’ and ‘hype’ near the end. The use of high pitch falsettos made the performance a sort of sneak peek that directly takes root in the 80s. Everyone seemed to have approved and showed appreciation to the sound of it.

The artists managed to gather the majority of the spectators during their remixes of ‘Ya Kidding’ by Fisher and ‘Rasta’ by Menini & Viani. Both of the mixes had breathtaking basses, and the breaks Charlie Yin chose perfectly made the middle-8 stand out until he dropped the bass again.

Despite the numerous good musical choices that we can grant to Giraffage, a couple of track didn’t make the unanimity: such as the remix of Hotel Garuda’s ‘ Smoke Signals’ that sounded like one of these tracks that make you wonder why you still got that radio in your truck. However, when the first flute notes of ‘Fuerza’ (originally from Tony Quattro et Nani Castle) resounded in the room, they almost instantly brought fire around the stage.

There wasn’t any significant discordant factor during the show, apart from a few high-rating sounds that were way too loud for the walls trying to contain them. The DJs were very enthusiastic; as if they had been stung by a bee version of Richard Pryor. Anybody could notice the great symbioses shared by the twenty-five year old producer and his audience.

The faithfulness of the crowd all along the concert until its end is the ultimate proof of the young Dj’s overseas recognition. With a good first glimpse of the British environment – especially its people – Giraffage has all the elements to return to the US and tell them he’s on his way back!

Words By,

Tharushi Stephen

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