3rd August 2019
Review by Demitri Levantis
Alternative club night Exit the Grey brought a beautiful evening of dark electronic music to the capital this evening, and at no finer venue than Elecrowerkz – home of Slimelight, London’s biggest and longest-running alternative gothic club night.
The evening began with a decent crowd gathering on the second floor of the old Islington metal works to catch Mirexxx, a Belgian outfit fusing the ferocity of punk with the haunting atmospheres of electric tunes.
Mirexxx definitely had a punk feel to their performance, the vocalist did more than simply sing and shout into the mike, he moved around the small stage making use of the space to reach full expression and say this band really weren’t happy at whatever themes they have written about.
The music echoed well from the speakers and the synthesiser and computer were in perfect sync with the vocals, so these guys knew what they were doing, but I felt the whole performance was betrayed by the volumes of the speakers.
If the music had been turned up a little louder, then perhaps the crowd might have begun dancing and swaying more as I felt I couldn’t hear all that was being sung and ranted from Mirexxx. Nonetheless, it was a fun opener overall.
Next up, greeted by a bigger and happier crowd than before were Machinista, a dark EBM group from Sweden. This band came armed with guitars and synths as well as ghostly vocals that had the crowd dancing the moment the first note rang from the PA.
This was a band who were certainly enjoying themselves and deserved the long set time for their delivery of catchy electronic songs that reminded me a lot of the 80’s New Wave and Synthpop numbers I grew up on.
Machinista are a band you’d appreciate a lot if you’ve spent many years enjoying the numerous electro genres that are played in the likes of Slimelight and other big alternative clubs around Europe. This band knew how to make the crowd dance and cheer to the type of darkness only a synthesiser can create.
The use of the guitars also solidified Machninista’s rock side, so I felt there was something here for the alternative types who enjoy synth or guitar-driven genres. Rolling two ends of the spectrum into one is never a bad move in my eyes and I felt the audience appreciated this too, so well done Machinista for a brilliant performance.
The final act of the evening took a little longer than scheduled to arrive, but this was to no avail for the audience were already hyped and dancing to the music coming from the PA, ready for the band they’d all be waiting for.
Hocico, are no strangers to playing here and tonight again have come all the way from Mexico and have spent the last quarter of a century putting Mexico on the electronica map and again show they have not mellowed in their musical output.
To begin with, was a tribal act showcasing the sound of indigenous drums which hyping up the crowd with his war-like percussion; performed with nothing short of excellence. Dressed in the clothing of his native people, this opening act had everyone ready for action in the only way a tribal performance can do.
Then Hocico took to the stage with a sound they meant more than business.
Vocalist Erik Aicrag spouted angry and exciting tunes about sex, violence, anger and desires into the mic, accompanied by Racso Agroyam working his magic on the synthesiser. This was a group whom you had to see to know just how strong a grip they had over their audience.
It was fun watching a group who have taken elements of their homeland and projected it in a way that only electronic music can do so.
Hocico, in my opinion, are the Sepultura of the Electro-Industrial scene; men who took the music, culture and attitude of their native land and set it to some of the most gritty and dark alternative music to put their nation on the map for something different to its long and fruitful history.
Hocico achieved the true beauty of alternative music by making everyone happy through the toughest and angriest of tunes. By the time the performance was over, I knew everyone was going to be partying all night long throughout the night.
Please come back to the UK soon, Hocico.