Live Review: Slow Magic + Oliver Tank + Oisima + Oscar Key Sung - Arcade Lane, Adelaide (01.03.14)

Saturday night saw Arcade Lane rife with hat-adorned hipsters for a night of smooth beats, courtesy of Oscar Key Sung, Oisima, Oliver Tank and Slow Magic.

A perfect escape from the madness of The Fringe, the hideousness of The Clipsal and the overwhelming artiness of The Adelaide Festival, Arcade Lane is tucked away in the business district section of Grenfell Street (and damn hard to find if you/your Smartphone don’t know North from South). The vibrant venue is basically a grungy alleyway brightened by fairy lights and paper lanterns, more than suitable for the evening’s proceedings.

Arriving in time to catch the end of Oscar Key Sung’s dreamy, soulful and a-little-on-the-sleazy-side set, it’s clear this experimental prodigy has matured outside of his duo, Oscar and Martin. Playing with minimalism, he produces sophisticated RnB sounds paired with a smoky croon that could melt the hardest of butter.

Local producer Oisima was up next, with his distinctive brand of glitchy yet melodic white-boy hip-hop. Engaging with the crowd using a visible connection to his music, he danced his way through his set with such enthusiasm; it was almost impossible not to reflect as an audience member, though the crowd was no match for his acid-trip-like moves - we mainly just nodded our heads and awkwardly swayed. I also spent a good chunk of his performance wondering what he’s hiding in his beard. If I had facial hair like that, I would definitely use it to store snacks.

Oliver Tank came next, with a set full of feels. During the highlights, his music is like silk; hypnotic and emotional, but during the low points, it can be boring. Still, it was a set that the crowd seemed to really get into, particularly radio hit, "Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion". Tank definitely seems to have a cult following.

Slow Magic appeared on stage as the last performer of the night. Bursting into ethereal beat-jam "On Yr Side", he had a strange, ritualistic connection with the audience. A quarter of the way through the performance, consisting of a florescent wolf mask, African drum inspired beats, hazy synth and a zombie-like crowd I took my leave, feeling a bit like I was stuck in one of those weird dreams you have when you’re sick with the flu. Not that I didn’t like his sound, it was just that by this point, gazing over the crowd of swaying beanies and vintage snapbacks was starting to make me feel a little dizzy. Plus, all that thinking about beard snacks had me craving a cheeseburger like nobody’s business.

Despite all efforts to transform the gritty Arcade Lane into a charming venue, I’ve written this review stopping every few seconds to frantically stroke my left arm, haunted by a filthy COCKROACH which scuttled up as I waited at the bar for a Bloody Mary shot. Not even a hundred of those delicious concoctions could remove the memory of that horrific event. That, and the rockabilly couple making out with their pants down in clear view of the entire crowd have me questioning whether I will be making a second visit to Arcade Lane.

But, emotionally scarring occurrences aside, after Saturday night I can see that unique atmosphere it provides for live music, particularly electronica, will be enough to fuel my return. At least I’ve learnt the valuable lesson that a thorough cockroach check is necessary before sitting/leaning on anything (I’m usually pretty tough when it comes to creepy critters, but this motherfucker was on some serious steroids).