Passive/Aggressive

Dedekind Cut – Ruly ambiance (live report)

English November 22 2017 IMG_20171108_182305_986

Review by Ivna Franic, Dedekind Cut @ Mayhem, 8.11.2017.

With one of 2016’s finest albums, an excellent recent EP, two great mixtapes and a record deal with Kranky under his belt, Dedekind Cut was easily one of the most significant names to have played in Copenhagen this concert season.

A packed venue on a regular weekday testified to that, the fixed up Mayhem also proving to be a near-perfect setting for Dedekind Cut’s absorbing ritual.

Red candles and the lack of reflector lights set the mood for an intimate evening not quite as ominous as it might have appeared at first, yet not necessarily gentle either. Dedekind Cut, real name Fred Warmsley, starts the set off with a wash of ambiance that doesn’t lead to a potentially expected outburst of noise. Instead, more abrasive parts appear as razor sharp cuts through the ambient (as well as the literal, fog machine generated) haze.

Recognizable parts of familiar songs float into the set like teasers before dissolving into the ether. Beatless tracks mesh with more rhythmic ones, caustic industrial parts mutate into disco diva samples, breakbeat segments are cut through by throat singing pieces, and so on.

Warmsley never opts for predictable solutions, building his set on the tension between different dynamics, moods and genres instead of going for the regular ambiance-noise/beats-ambiance dramaturgy. At the same time, he doesn’t come off as someone trying particularly hard to surprise and move from one thing to another; everything seems to occur effortlessly, due to some internal logic the listeners perhaps can’t quite grasp but can definitely feel to make perfect sense.

Dedekind Cut may be getting invited to play both experimental music events and club nights but he seems to occupy his own space, merging or shifting between different approaches rather than bothering to try and achieve a middle ground. This works in his favor as Warmsley delivers a captivating and convincing performance that only heightens the expectations from his forthcoming LP. It also wouldn’t hurt to see more shows like this going down at Mayhem, or anywhere else in Copenhagen for that matter.

The concert was organized by Soundings, Proton and Mayhem. Picture is from soundcheck, as it was not possible to get photos from the set.