Concert Review: Talvin Singh


Richard Thomson reviews Talvin Singh at the New Zealand State Opera House:

As you’d expect, the festival promotion machine took care with their advance description of Talvin Singh’s set. “Low-fi electronica” was bang on, but while the audience was appreciative, you had to wonder whether many of them might have been unexpectedly challenged by the sounds produced by Singh and his Powerbook-shaking partner Oscar Vizan.

Live laptop techno is something fans of electronic music are going to hear a lot more of in years to come. But while the new technology regains something of the excitement of live performances, it comes raw and without the smoothing and compressing of harsh sonic edges that goes on in the studio.

And for people who quickly grew bored by the lush yet soporific noodling that typifies much electronic music, that can only be a good thing. Although Singh’s earlier work, such as the album OK which led to his winning the Mercury Prize in 1999, could never be described as noodling, its washes of synth chords and smooth drum’n’bass styles were rarely less than easy on the ear.

Read the full review: Arts Festival Review: Talvin Singh

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