t’s no secret that January is a tough month for the local event scene here in Perth. As an organiser you’ve got to deal with the impending onslaught of Australia Day events, leftover hangovers from Christmas, the crippling debt and brain damage thanks to NYE, and if that wasn’t enough, you’re bang in the middle of festival season when the only music anyone cares about are their Hottest 100 votes.
With all that stacked against you throwing a decent event can be harder than trying to convince the Prime Minister his holiday was a bad idea, so I have to give credit where it’s due. Venturing into January can leave much to be desired, but it’s clear the crew at Syndicate weren’t going to let a little bit of debt & regret slow them down.
Kicking off the year in admirable fashion, flying in Disciple reps Infekt & Virus Syndicate gave Perth punters little choice but to kick 2020 off with a bang. Killer energy, lethal MC’s & all sorts of wonky goodness - there wasn’t really any other choice.
Anticipation building, bodies bouncing around the dance-floor and rails packed with onlookers - the venue lit up like a spotlight as the hulking figures of Virus Syndicate stomped up onto the stage. Cramming one behind the decks and two in front, the British collective demanded the crowd's attention from the second they entered, inspiring a surge forward as the MC’s began their back-and-forth on the mics.
Jumping headfirst into their aggressive blend of Grime & Dubstep, the trio dove into a performance that felt refined down to a tee. The two frontmen handled the mics perfectly over the live mixing, forgoing the typical MC bullshit and letting the music do enough of the talking.
Hitting every bar of their own tracks perfectly, bouncing lyrics off one another and monologuing without interrupting the music, they stand as living proof that there’s more you can do with a mic than just yell “yo” and count down from three on every drop. I hate dubstep MC’s with a passion, but this was more than someone grabbing at the mic for attention, this was a proper performance.
The music underlying the set didn’t stand out as anything too incredible, but it was the live spectacle that made this set what it was. Spitting out the likes of ‘Gang Shit’, ‘93 Style’, Gang’ & ‘Show Up’ with lethal precision, with a viscous performance on the mics turned what could have been a missable set into one far more memorable than you could have hoped for.
Inspired by the deep, raw designs of old school riddim, Infekt spent years developing the wickedly experimental sound design we’ve all grown to love. Spacious, raw, dark and wobbly, Infekt embraced his minimalistic style in dramatic fashion in delivering an emphatic live performance.
Compared to the booming figures of Virus Syndicate you could barely feel his presence as he stepped to the decks, but while the others demanded attention through their in-your-face energy, Infekt was more than happy to let his music do all the talking. Man of few words following the men of many, he had a job to do, and he was going to do it right.
No unnecessary monologues, no irritating reloads, just an hour full of adventurous mixing & unparalleled wobbles - Infekt played it just right. Delivering an hour of raw, barebones, underground riddim kept the crowd in a constant frenzy, and his perfectly timed deliveries of ‘Sectumsempra’, ‘Captain Crunch’ and ‘Orgalorg’ caused a ruckus big enough to bring the house down.
Going into the night I was unsure how well his minimal sounds would translate to a full-house live set, but everything from the bassy reverb to the enigmatic energy just felt so right. A set as far from typical as you’re ever likely to see, it was incredibly refreshing hearing an hour of pure, undiluted riddim that didn’t rely on Zomboy or Svdden Death to keep the crowd alive, and if there was ever uncertainty about his abilities, Infekt most certainly put them to rest.
The man really is on a different level, and while Virus Syndicate rocked the house with their electric energy and viscous ciphers, it was absolutely Infekt who stole the show.
Massive thanks as always to Syndicate for bringing us down, we’re keen to see you all at the next one. Remember to party safe, stay hydrated, and we’ll see you next time.