Birthdays – April 1st
Flako’s music traverses terrain like a National Geographic photographer pushing the boundaries in order to snap that perfect shot. Natureboy, his latest record, is like a rampant river that flows within the stormiest and harshest environments and yet still retains a poignant sense of beauty. There’s a lot of weight to it, but at Birthdays tonight, Flako’s rampant river of jazz doesn’t quite sit in the eye of the storm.
That’s not to suggest it’s a bad set in the slightest – Flako’s got his tunes locked down and it’s refreshing to see a producer perform with a looper and a set of keys rather than just rocking up with a laptop, and his globe trotting projections do a great job of assigning his jazz-fused rhythms and hypnotising, off-kilter noises to striking landscapes. People are buzzing for him – there’s a real electricity in the air as everyone starts bobbing along – and perhaps it’s partly the uncomfortable venue, but it’s clear Flako is capable of more.
The main issue lies in the flow of the set, which strangely hurtles off at a hundred miles per hour with gripping single ‘Kuku’, and struggles to gain a sense of direction from herein. It’s a set of sharp left turns and a roller coaster-esque erraticness, disappointingly leaving the brooding, slow-burning moments on Natureboy behind. Clearly skilled and with an excellent album behind him, it’s only a matter of time before Flako’s live set grows into the mountainous beast it’s destined to be.
Buy: Flako – Natureboy