Warp20 & Clark (live)

Warp20 cover art

Warp20 cover art

To celebrate Warp’s 20th anniversary, they’ve been throwing down some live shows, screenings, and special releases. They’re putting out a nice box set, appropriately titled Warp20, which comprises the history of legendary artists and tracks on their label.  The tracklistings weren’t confirmed on Warp’s website, but you can peep the info here on Pitchfork.  The package looks beautiful and I’m über curious to hear that 3 x 10″ of unreleased tracks.  The cd of Warp artists covering other Warp artists is also pretty intriguing.  I’ve seen prices hovering around the 100 Euro range, so I’m hoping the conversion doesn’t bork us, as $100 is already a lot to swallow.  However, as a fan of almost all that music, it’ll likely be worth it.  I believe the street date is on or around 9/21/09.

To make this 20th anniversary event even more special** a few shows were put together in NYC to showcase some of their artists.  The one event I was keenest on seeing happened to be the free show at the World Financial Center Winter Garden theater.   It was a short gathering (3 hours) of an unnamed dj (supposedly a Warp employee) spinning Warp classics for an hour, followed by live sets by Hudson Mohawke and Clark.

Clark (live)

Clark (live)

My main interest was seeing Clark, an artist I’ve been following ever since his debut single dropped years ago.  This guy just knows how to weave in amazing patterns of sounds; sometimes quiet, almost ambient pieces, which then get pummeled by incredibly complex hip-hoppish beats and IDM noodlings.   It was great to hear him playing some of his well-known and lesser-known pieces, but what was even more appreciated was the remixing and modification he made to the tracks as he performed.  Listening to a favorite track unfold in a new way was both aurally interesting and exciting.   He even did a little live remix treatment of Biggie, just for fun.

The sound system wasn’t perfect, but fault may lie more with the design of the space than the audio engineers.  I’m a sound nerd and I love when things sound banging, so just bear with me.  This is complex music with a lot of highs, lows, and deeeep bass warblings, and being in an all tile “theater” which essentially resides in the middle of a mall of sorts just gives the sound far too many places to ricochet and get lost.   Fortunately the crowd wasn’t too deep and you were able to mosey up into the sweet spot in the front-middle.  From there things sounded immensely better.  There were also two rows of palm trees lining the middle of the room, so sound got trapped on those a bit too.  Regardless, Clark’s hour long set was dope, and his encore diddy was appreciated.  I think the crowd was rowdy enough to want to keep dancing for another four hours, so hopefully some of them went over to the after party at Le Poisson Rouge later that night.

** Its already pretty significant that a mostly electronic music indie label has survived 20 years.

ps, thanks for the photo Sandy!

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~ by curbmerchant on September 8, 2009.

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