There was a time not too long ago – well, okay, about a year and a half ago – when every other club seemed to have a night that mixed art with music. These events were great fun, mostly because that magic combo often attracted the city’s most interesting and flamboyant characters, particularly folk that wouldn’t otherwise set foot in a club. Even if you hated the music, you could at least find something interesting or weird to talk about on the walls. Then, like fairy gold, they vanished.
But now – cue dramatic drum roll – those crazy times are back, courtesy of art kids The Black Sheep. They’ve been involved in a couple of nights like this, as well the ace rock and metal night The Strong South, so we’re inclined to expect good things from this new one, which they’re naming Mass Assembly of Sound and Aesthetics (or Masa).
That vaguely astronomical name is appropriate considering that, much like the space cadets at Nasa, they’re aiming high with this one. First off, they’re offering a feast for the eyes courtesy of arty designers Dozign and Deep Fry. Dozign’s work combines organic strangeness with a dash of political satire, while Deep Fry creates bold and arresting – and sometimes disturbing – images (below). They’ll be joined by Dogboy, who is promising ‘audio-visual insanity’ – quite what that involves we’re excited to find out.
But this is the music section, so let’s not forget the tunes. As well as soul and funk from DJ James Mccranie, the ears of Masa’s audience will be graced by aural oddities from a pair of outlandish outfits. One of them is Tugpak, a tremendous rock band who’ve been touting their guitars/drums/vocals/harmonica combo around Dubai for a while now, and always manage to impress.
The second are quirky Japanese electro-hip-hop duo Tokyo Towers, whose (intentionally) broken-English biography is too beautiful for us to change. ‘They are Tokyo Towers and they are space certified. Jonaz make fishsticks in the morning, and love at dawn, to many a blossoming petal. Salaryman Kisame must make money for company, for there is no other way. Jonaz lost package belonging to Yakuza. Salaryman Kisame lost package belonging to company. How do they save their lives? Must make money back somehow. Enter the magic of hip hop. And the promise of cash. And b*****s.’
We’re sure it’ll be a night to remember, and we look forward to seeing more of this kind of thing in the future.
Masa is at Alpha, April 24, free