Music Live: The beat goes on

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The Independent Culture


LA2'S CLUB night has a special wallflower spot. In a quiet corner, a nondescript tank-topped DJ in flat cap is playing records. The stage show comes from live musicians. You would be forgiven for thinking that the last 10 years had not happened.

This is dance culture with a hankering for the past, and it comes courtesy of the Phil Spector-inspired Wall of Sound label. The label's roster is a sophisticated package representative of our clubbing age: special guest rappers Sense Live and Season from New York, label merchandise, a huge guest list and an after-show party for all. But no matter how loud each generation protests, youth culture always looks backwards for inspiration.

Which is a fact not lost on the Wall of Sound guys. They work in several modes, including Seventies funk, Northern Soul and Eighties electro. First up on stage are The Wiseguys, two crowd-working MCs who liven things up no end.

Next up, Les Rythmes Digitales stun the house with a shock of crimson hair, freak-image lights and one man with enough personal projection for a whole band.

Some may argue that Wall of Sound brings dance music to a natural conclusion, with its studied conflation of fractured dance sub-genres. This imaginative live show demonstrates that the label amounts to a lot more than a front for a clever gang who can spot a marketable style.