Simian Mobile Disco brought their minimalist A-game to the Henry Fonda Theater over the weekend. Composed of James Ford and Jas Shaw, the UK duo known as Simian Mobile Disco started their North American live tour out with a bang last Friday night. What is most amazing about this duo is their ability to stay relevant via continuously coming out with material that pushes the boundaries of electronic music. From their party anthem album Attack Decay Sustain Release, to their techno-based release Delicacies, the UK duo has managed to stay relevant in an electronic music landscape that eats artists up and throws them out faster than D-list reality shows.
The set Friday night included reimagined versions of old songs and relied heavily on songs off their brand new album Unpatterns. What was amazing was how the group was able to blend their older slower more party oriented material with their newer stripped down minimalist take on techno. Simian Mobile Disco mainstay songs such as “Hustler” and “It’s the Beat” were strikingly different from how they sounded on their record. The great part about it is that it worked. The songs blended well with the faster more beat driven sound that Simian Mobile Disco has been going for in recent releases.
After a somewhat dud of an album, Temporary Pleasure, we saw the group move much more towards beats rather than vocals. This has led to music that works much better in a live setting. “Delicacies” was techno at its finest. The setup they had at the Fonda worked perfectly for the type of music that they are currently coming out with. The last live go around the band had a huge honey-comb like structure behind them which was not really in-line with their new minimalist sound.
The Fonda worked as the perfect venue for the duo. Gone were the seizure-inducing lasers and in their place were simple spotlights that focused on the music rather than visuals. Simian Mobile Disco powered through new tracks such as my favorite “Cerulean” and single “Seraphim.” Playing an amazing version of “Aspic” off of Delicacies, the crowd went nuts. The night was ultimately a really fun night of dancing and music. Shout out to JDH and Dave P for playing an amazing opening set.
Check out an interview we recently did with Simian Mobile Disco about their upcoming live tour and what you can expect from them in the future.