My mum always told me that when you have nothing nice to say, you should keep your mouth shut.
Obviously my mum has never heard of blogging.
I was really looking forward to hearing Bumcello live. I have loved many of their electro-loungy-hip-hop productions of the past few years.
Seeing the ‘acoustic’ mention on the bill when we got there was a big tip-off: when your band is a two-people act and so much of your music relies on sampling and overdubbing, pulling a proper live show would already be enough of a challenge. But choosing to strip it down to a couple drums, a cello and two lo-tech samplers while mostly improvising outside of your usual repertoire… is taking a huge leap of faith in your own live performer abilities.
Something they did, unfortunately to very mitigated results.
There were moments of brilliance: Vincent Ségal on the electric cello skillfully blended in some ostensibly Bach-infused sequences into their minimalist tribal excursions, to great effect. But Cyril Atef, on drums, sampler, vocals and a couple other exotic toys was so underwhelming as to be mostly distracting. He looked like a very able techy guy, certainly responsible for most of the greatness in their studio tracks, but he just didn’t have nearly enough mastery of his instruments to be doing his one-man orchestra schtick satisfyingly: his drumming was anything but driving, his sampling iffy and his voice completely non-existent (sort of a problem for live singing)…
All in all, they weren’t horrendous, just came off very amateurish and often tedious to listen through… A shame really, considering their stellar studio skills. An old pet-peeve of mine: the dichotomy between producer and performer, and how one doesn’t necessarily make the other.
There was one positive aspect (for me at least) to this evening: I realized midway through the concert that, for the first time in a year, I was really missing having some music equipment to play with at home.
I guess I am ready to go back at tweaking notes and have fun with sequencers. Though not in the way I used to: less equipment, more experimentations, a few ideas stored in the back of my head that need toying with, new directions to explore… Well: minus the clichés, but you get the idea.
Now starts the quest for a cheap midi controller and Logic Pro dongle on eBay!
News will follow…