Music review: Tim Exile and the Heritage Orchestra, Village Underground, London

2.00

 

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn't believe,” maintains Rutger Hauer’s expiring replicant in Blade Runner. This extraordinarily bold experience, involving The Heritage Orchestra, famed for their moving interpretation of Vangelis’s “Blade Runner” soundtrack and for working with electronic artists, is somewhat unbelievable, too.

The second-half of the concert is the brainchild of the electronica pioneer Tim Exile, a classically trained violinist who switched to DJing and sampling. Here the well-spoken knob-twiddler from Cheltenham live edits, using his custom-built instrument/box, the Heritage Orchestra in a performance of his work Bardo EP. He fastidiously and deftly samples, loops and re-arranges their orchestrations.

Beforehand Exile, an artist for Warp Records, promised that “the night will go strange, challenging your preconceptions, before going mental at the end”. He’s right. Frankly, this “club-style night” felt mental from the start, with the 30-strong outfit becoming the first full classical orchestra to appear in the cramped environs of the Village Underground. They don't look comfortable but their bouncy conductor, Chris Wheeler, seems game.

Firstly, we're treated to a lively DJ set from Plaid before the Heritage Orchestra take to the tiny stage and perform Arvo Part’s evocative meditation on death, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. It starts with a tubular bell being struck three times before building through violas and violins, on a descending A minor scale, to a cinematic climax. It’s a perfectly acceptable six-and-a-half-minutes, apart from the venue's bar sounds - the loosening of bottle tops, opening of cans and the ditching of bottles and cans in bins. There are plenty of shushes and tuts. It heightens the anxious mood.

The Orchestra are then joined by the concert pianist Will Dutta in a world premiere performance of Max de Wardener’s Piano Concerto – which is semi-improvised and slightly more challenging and jarring than Part.

After a desperately long lull, Exile appears with the Orchestra and the mash-up mayhem begins. It turns out, frustratingly, to be an experiment full of sound and a furious amount of bleeps, beeps and beats, signifying nothing, or very little. The energy is faultless, it's highly charged and, occasionally, pulse quickening, but the actual orchestra is too often drowned out by Exile and many of the musicians remain superfluous for vast swathes of time. Pockets of the sparse crowd occasionally whoop, while others make an early exit.

It's a relief when this disorientating and dispiriting experience, with its headache-inducing strobe lighting and flashing lights, finally comes to an end.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on