- Paper Tiger
Some things taste better when you come back to them after a while away: last night’s pizza, that novel you started a month ago, whatever album you were raving about last year and haven’t touched since. Inkarta is sort of like that. After months hibernating away, the only night to cater to the more esoteric dance-but-not-dance makes a stylish return in a venue increasingly used for niche nights. The (temporary?) move from The Kazimier to the Blade Factory is also an interesting choice. Whereas the Kaz lends a carnival-esque atmosphere to any occasion, the closer, sweatier confines of the Blade Factory tends to give any event a more… DIY feeling.
And for Wolverhampton-by-way-of-Leeds opening act PAPER TIGER, this works well. Their “future bass music” translates live into Warp and Ninja Tunes-infused, sparkling post-everything electronica. Jazz flourishes? Check. Glitchy hip hop beats? Check. Errant MC? Check. True to the Inkarta style, Paper Tiger stay close to head-nodding and gentle bopping vibes, rather than the outright rave zest preferred by the venue’s new upstairs residents Haus. While conceptually interesting at first, this is a case of artists proving more interesting on record than on stage; while the music itself is good, it doesn’t quite have enough gravity to pull through in the live arena.
The main man, BINKBEATS, is a different kettle of fish entirely. Famed of late for tearing apart and rebuilding from the ground up tracks by other dance-not-dance heroes (from Caribou to Lapalux and Shigeto), Binkbeats has landed himself a Beats Deconstructed series for Boiler Room. Live he uses a dizzying array of instruments and equipment to tweak and rearrange to giddy effect. Once again, however, this proves to be conceptually more intriguing than in the flesh; watching a man in a dark room hunched over his contraptions only works if the music itself moves you in some way beyond the intellectual. Previous Inkarta visitor Shigeto managed this through heavy use of percussive experimentation, but with Binkbeats it winds up feeling insubstantial. Considering Inkarta’s previous efforts, this night winds up a little underwhelming, but then they have been away for the best part of the year, so we can forgive them the odd wet kipper of an event.