21 Feb 2008

Aesop Rock. Cargo. January 30 2008.

An unwelcome pattern seems to be forming at Definitive Jux Gigs...

While mid-set at Dingwalls last year while promoting his latest album ‘I’ll sleep when you’re dead’, label head EL-P was interrupted by a drunken middle class white boy, who invaded the stage and proceeded to wave to the crowd before being ‘asked politely’ to leave by the Jux crew (he was pushed off the stage).
Jump forward to Cargo, East London, 11.15pm on a cold January night, and Aesop Rock is in full flow hyping the crowd on his most requested encore track, Daylight – and that’s right, Aesop, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz are joined onstage by a drunken middle class white boy. Totally breaking the MC’s flow.
I mean stopping the track dead.
Suffice to say no one was impressed, and the show went on to end on a high note after he had shuffled away.

But onto the tunes… the set mainly consisted of material from None Shall Pass, one of the best hip hop albums (or if you really want to play professional reviewer:
Alt-Hip Hop albums) of 2007. Big Wiz was amazing as always, and the larger than life Rob Sonic had his moments in the spotlight.
However it was Aes Rizzle who carried the whole night, even with the booming sound quality being just about passable in the tiny room. Even after admitting they were all suffering from massive jetlag, the energy from the stage had been absorbed by the crowd by the end of the night.

The set up was also well planned and executed, projections of music videos to accompany tracks, weird stock footage from the 1950’s somehow connected to Big Wiz’ turntables, being cut up during the DJ’s solo spot.
In fact all the tings sadly missing from the recent GZA / Liquid Swords debacle at KOKO, where the stage was empty – save for a rapidly disappearing bottle of Cognac next to the 1210’s.

After last years Mr Lif gig at Jazz Café, and the aforementioned EL-P at Lock 17 - this was a solid showing from real performers that continued to confirm that Def Jux are as much a hardcore touring crew as they are makers and innovators of top end studio tracks.
Now if we can only get some kind of Cannibal Ox reunion sorted.