Beatnik launch with Ghostpoet at Rolling Stock
Ghostpoet’s live performances are normally known for the London singer-producer’s uniquely aloof command of both audience and microphone; he seems unable to keep it by his face for more than a few seconds at a time as he menacingly snarls his lyrics, seemingly attempting to wake himself from a trance. Last night, however, saw the revered beat-maker demonstrate his equally impressive DJ ability, appearing as the headline act for the launch of Beatnik, a new East London electronic music label.
Beatnik have gone from strength to strength since their humble blog beginnings, flexing creative muscles all over London, supporting a host of talented musicians for years until, in October, they officially announced themselves as a management label. The launch paid due acknowledgement to an enterprise of musically centred graphic design, promotion and finger-on-the-pulse zeitgeist awareness. Suitably hosted in the trendy Rolling Stock near Hoxton, adorned by eye-catching posters and filled with young cultural elites, a good vibe was bouncing through the small space from the start.
This was encouraged by excellent setlists from supporting DJs Chris P Cuts, FAITH and Andrew Ashong, beginning the night with a floor-inviting mix of dark techno and trap, as well as more soulful and funky selections, soon coaxing an assembly of enthusiastic dancers (although this may partly have been due to lack of anywhere to sit, not that anyone seemed to mind).
To the eager crowd, Ghostpoet emerged, commanding his tools with severity, enhancing his usual microphone accompaniment. Ghostpoet’s presence is striking, smartly suited in a formal jacket, sporting his trademark vintage frames. This added to the punch of his brooding mix of beats and eerie synth-scales, as found all over 2013’s Some Say I So I Say Light, and the biting garage-esque brit-dance beat of Cold Win, the swirl of Meltdown engulfed amidst poppier tracks. His pop leaning, however, is what adds to Ghostpoet’s accessibility and fun, the vibe resounding joyfully by this point to his every turn. In this set up, Ghostpoet impresses with his ability to infect enthusiasm into crowds, showcasing all the creative flair Beatnik’s launch could have asked for.
Photos: Adam Bennett
For further information about Beatnik and future events, visit here.