Real Live Action

Solis Steel Tour: DK, Strictly Kev, Bonobo and Fourtet


Sonar; December 6, 2001

review by Cyrus B

Solid Steel Tour:
DK, Strictly Kev,
Bonobo and Four Tet
Thursday, December 6
Days to Come
The Ninjatune website is one of the best elements of the Ninjatune clan. They have about 10,000 sub-sites and years ago, I discovered their forum. Trying to write this review for the show I attended, I surfed their forum and learned about some crazy world leaders cult called the “Bohemian Grove.” George the monkey, or Bush JR, is a member. Supposedly it’s a sort of pagan-thang where they dance around a giant owl statue… I refuse to research further. But the ninja-provided knowledge brought back my enthusiastic support of Ninjatune.

The Solid Steel Tour, which was meant as a promo tour for both the DK & Strictly Kev hip hop mix CD (as well as Four Tet’s new album Pause) was what decreased my bowing to the mighty ninjas. This useless reporter had a few moments to chat with Mr. Four Tet and Kieran, but I’ll get into that in a moment.

First off, let me say that Ninjatune has a huge following. It’s not hard to sell out their shows. And for good reason, they get it going in so many ways from Kid Koala to Scruff. DK and S.K. did too, but in a “let’s play the hits with two neat tricks thrown in” kind of way. The hits were not a lot of Solid Steel hip hop, but top tracks from many genres of electronic biz. The two nice tricks I remember were: (1) Pharoahe Monch turned into Addams Family theme, and (2) the Beat’s “Mirror in the Bathroom” with added jungle beats. I expected more continuity within their set and just more interesting things; they had four turntables and two talented guys up there!

Four Tet was an interesting fellow. His second dj set was a waste of time, to be honest. It’s too bad I missed his first set when he played mostly all his own tracks. His own music is rich in creativity, mood and thoughtfulness. BUY HIS ALBUMS!

Speaking with the guy (who I don’t remember having a goatee, though The Straight reported he did), I learned that he is just as influenced by experimental techno of the Vogel-style as he is interested in classical jazz and folk. Opera was not to his liking, but his interest in hip hop was based on his love for its inclusiveness. Hip hop he felt was an open-minded approach to hybridizing music to build tunes bigger than the some of their parts. I suppose that’s what he meant by playing music from Britney Spears to that “whoop, there it is” song, not to mention some Joni Mitchell.

Overall, DK and Strictly Kev should have put more work into it… oh yeah. Bonobo, who went on just before them: thanks for coming out. Nevertheless, long live Four Tet and Ninjatune, but better luck next time.

Cyrus B