The Null Device
The Architecture in Helsinki CD launch was rather fun (in places). The first set (by Qua) was the usual obtuse laptop music, though not too bad. Jeremy Dower's support set, however, had a cheesy 80s-lounge-music (think Kenny G meets some cop show theme or other) feel to it; he's apparently abandoning the laptop-glitch side of things, though I'm not sure I like where he's going. And annoyingly enough, the music between sets was all booty R&B and commercial hiphop from the 90s (they had MC Hammer there, for "Bob"'s sake); not the sort of music that you'd expect the crowd, in their op-shop shirts and pastel jumpers, to get into, and there was too much of it for it to be ironic.
Architecture in Helsinki were good though (despite the place being so packed that it was hard to see them). In their usual so-twee-it-hurts vein, as soon as they got on stage, an accomplice opened a door releasing dozens of red balloons (one of which had a feather tied to it, and a prize for whoever got it). The performance was good too, in the usual xylophones-and-brass-and-reed-instruments vein. Most of the time they didn't quite rock, but played some very nice and somewhat quirky quiet pop. They ended the gig with a rocking rendition of The Cure's Close To Me, complete with heavy-metal-style guitar solo, and for an encore, one of the guys sang over an electronic backing track while the three girls busted some synchronised dance moves.
Oh, and their new single, like a call, is pretty good; especially some of the remixes. Apparently the limited-edition 10" vinyl version has an extended version of one of them too. I eagerly await their album, Fingers Crossed, which is due early next year.