ODESZA at the Laundry
London Fields’ upscale canteen and bar The Laundry seems an improbable venue to house an underground club featuring the likes of the indie electro-pop duo ODESZA. Seattle-based Harrison Mills (CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (BeachesBeaches) have been producing together for three years, growing exponentially in popularity throughout the UK’s bass music scene since 2014. They’re now headlining their second world tour, supported by KAASI in Europe and also by the eclectic solo act Ambassadeurs tonight at the Laundry.
After two enjoyable opening performances, the set begins with a projection and empty stage. ODESZA make their way towards their equipment: two stripped-down drum kits and a row of synthesisers. The crowd suddenly brighten. They are here for one reason, and it seems they have been preserving their energy to show their wild appreciation for the duo.
The choreographed drum sequence introduces leads to the synths that produce the vast majority of the sound. The first song is performed independently of the set; both members are energetic and hold the performance despite the surprising absence of a vocalist. Projected visuals add another dimension, allowing the attention to focus on the full impact of the music and show. The first vocal track achieves the best crowd reaction, getting even the most stubborn audience members dancing. A short moment of silence next builds into ODESZA’s prominent remix of Pretty Lights’s Lost and Found, which has been modified to fit the purpose of the live performance, and is executed as a solo. How Did I Get Here, a remix of Lilly Allen’s 22, receives just as much crowd appreciation as their original songs, and Sun Models (feat Madelyn Grant) is awarded a full orchestra of applause and whooping.
During the middle of the set list, the style changes to bouncing hip hop-influenced rhythms which sets the crowd into a singular oscillation. The bass gets more punchy as the night progresses, with the final half hour lifting the scale to epic. Slow Magic remix Waited 4 You unleashes more complex polyrhythms than other tracks, euphoric pads underlying the sublime vocal hook. The last songs see the duo return to their drums, positioned either side of the stage. Nostalgia overwhelms the euphoric atmosphere at this point, pinning the audience down for a heavy trap-influenced track – ZHU’s Faded remix – whose bass-line is more reminiscent of rock than of the electronic style observed throughout the evening.
The band’s exit off stage is short-lived and they come back for an encore, getting the whole crowd to sing Happy Birthday to You. They reintroduce themselves with Say My Name (feat Zyra), bringing the night to a wonderful close as the audience echoes every lyric. The final two songs do not disappoint and in fact highlight the their ability to keep the set interesting right up to its last moments; ODESZA prove themselves to be effective combination of live performance and DJing.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about ODESZA and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Sun Models here: