Live Review

Jakwob, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

The young producer’s talent shines through.

Producer of the moment Jakwob has had his name increasingly pushed to the forefront of the British music scene; his remixes of Ellie Goulding’s ‘Starry Eyed’ and Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ have earned him a thumbs up from some formidable heavyweights, including Zane Lowe, MistaJam and Annie Mac. His style is a tricky one to pin down, as this 22-year-old snatches elements from a plethora of genres, which just demonstrates how wide his musical palette stretches.

This makes his live show at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire a mixed bag, with the crowd unsure which way the music will go. ‘Right Beside You’ combines a soft dubstep beat with rapping and pop vocal sensibilities to create a track that sounds like what the first formation of the Sugababes could have produced if they’d been a tad edgier and formed just a few years later. There’s just a hint of his Indian heritage here; just a few strands of popping out from the vocal edges, but these come to the forefront when the opening bars of ‘Electrify’ kick in, although this is soon smothered by a Caribbean-tinged drum n bass beat, which gets the crowd decidedly more mobile.

‘Let It Fall’ is one notch dirtier on the dubstep-o-meter, with its grinding bass contrasting beautifully with laidback vocals and background synths. There’s no denying that Jakwob can mix and match styles, effortlessly sewing them together in the same song like a musical patchwork quilt. Seamless, if you pardon the pun. However, there’s just something that’s not quite right about tonight’s show; perhaps it’s the overly bright studio lights that adorn the sides of the stage, or perhaps it’s the Empire’s acoustics that don’t do Jakwob’s sound justice. There’s just something amiss; the bass isn’t deep enough, the vocals not clear enough to discern the words in their entirety. Regardless, the young producer’s talent shines through these glitches and we’re sure that, given the right venue, he would bring the house down.

Tags: Jakwob, Features

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