Wolfwolf @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights – Romantiek
11:15pm, Fri 15 Feb 2013
“Born of a moog-synth and wicked vocoder, Wolfwolf has evolved from the dance heavy beats of the 1980s to bring a new flavor of funk to 2013” promises the précis, and I’m intrigued; a two-show run has me buying tickets for opening night nice’n’early. But I’m a little saddened to see a relatively frugal crowd lining up for this event – it’s (inevitably, given opening night issues) running late, but the queue barely reaches back to the path from the Romantiek.
Once the doors open, it becomes clear that this won’t be the thumping dance-fest I half-hoped it would be; everyone, myself included, clung to the nooks around the entrance to the venue, leaving the wide expanses of the dance floor depressingly empty. And when Brisbane-based Wolfwolf – the unnamed performer rendered anonymous with a wolf mask – took to the stage whilst pumping out samples of a wolf nature, there was no rush forward… more a sense of hang-back curiosity.
Wolfwolf created some great beats with distinctly eighties-ish punches, perforating them with more samples and the occasional wolf howl; he also worked some tuneful keys to create nice melodies to sit on top, and the occasional dub-ish wobble was fantastic. He was joined onstage for some live vocals by Alianah for a great track, before closing the set out with some more big retro-tinged beats.
Wolfwolf’s constructions remind me of my beloved eighties pop remixes – and that’s almost enough to get me dancing, except that (a) I’m a shithouse dancer, and it’s only the last year or so that I’d even vaguely consider getting on my feet, and (2) literally no-one else was on the dance floor to provide me with cover. Well, the (relative) youngsters who caused the table in the booth we shared to collapse (netting us free drinks) got up whilst the table was being repaired, but apart from that there was no real audience activity.
And that’s a massive shame, because I reckon Wolfwolf was pretty bloody awesome… but I’m also pretty sure I was the oldest guy in the room (except for, maybe, Wolfwolf himself, who remained hidden behind his mask). Read into that what you will.