Live Review // @MYBABYwashere prove that a Prehistoric Rhythm has never sounded so fresh https://t.co/ANPyDYOQ3q

MY BABY @ STYX BAR, LONDON - 03/08/17

by YasminRoss
YasminRoss
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on 10 August 2017 in Live
Record Label Glitterhouse Records
Release date 11 August 2017
Rating 9/10

Mid festival season, it's easy to let the dazzling array of new, emerging acts slip through your fingers as you divert your stamina, time, and money to the headliners you already know and love.

Yet once in a while you might just stumble upon something quite wonderful, realising you arrived just before the rest of the crowd come in like moths to a flame.

Such is the sheer hypnotic, raw brilliance of MY BABY. On this, their first headline UK tour, Dutch/New Zealand trio are releasing their third Album ‘Prehistoric Rhythm’. Describing their style as “roots driven hypnotic dance”, the group draw on influences of psychedelia, rootsy blues and dub with a handsome measure of afrobeat (just incase you were left wanting!).

On stage, MY BABY inflict such a delectable trance, you can't help but wonder why on earth you haven't heard of them before. Experimenting widely with textures and sound, the three-piece’s output and presence is formidable: “The three of us have played together for years and had gotten to know each other's strengths. Our individual musical approaches blend very well. And we found a way to enlarge our sonic output by the use of delay, octave pedals and gated drums. There are no loops, samples or backing tracks! We discovered new sounds by playing a lot of shows and experimenting.”

MY BABY take to the stage so naturally, seemingly so at ease in their peculiar tapestry of genres, that the show becomes fluid, and the crowd immerse themselves into the sound, into the performance, into MY BABY.

As ‘Electrified’ begins to emerge into the live mix, the group’s various influences become all the more apparent. Such a varied melting pot of genres makes one wonder how they make the sound gel. The band explains, “Luckily we all have a similar taste in music so we agree on many different levels regardless what style of music has been influential in creating our material. But Blues based elements generally come from Daniel, African rhythms and groove ideas from Joost and Cato has a particular liking for ancient shamanic or folkloristic melodies.”

MY BABY’s performance reflects that of a narrative; the crowd are taken on a journey through the use of their music, to which end has an unquestionable effect. “We try to interweave and connect our songs with a narrative we came up with that revolves around a character, a phantom muse if you will, that journeys through a series of dreams. Sometimes songs reflect the struggle that character goes through in search of her identity. Other songs are merely offering parallel to themes apparent in the story. It started out by writing scenes and sketches that somehow expressed and summarized the color and mood of the album and help us to define the artistic core. On the next album we would like to connect these sketches together to form a comprehensive narrative.”

The crowd are later taken onto ‘Sunflower Sutra’; a track that continues to showcase their psychedelic and tribal influences that leaves the audience reeling. When creating such tracks, MY BABY explain, “Repetition in rhythmic patterns and melody is likely to be hypnotic. We aspire to make music that has a mystic atmosphere. We found taking away a lot of musical information and leaving stuff undefined can create tension and allows for the listener's imagination to fill in the gaps. We often look for modal tonality rather major /minor keys and repetitive beats as the foundation for the compositions.”

Just as MY BABY leave the stage upon finishing ‘Seeing Red’ - yet another Blues/Indie/Dance classic in the making - the audience becomes tense. Surely they can’t leave so soon? They have only been putting their blood, sweat and tears into this performance for over an hour: The crowd must have more! Luckily our prayers (and hard to ignore chanting) were heard and we were given one last opportunity to lose ourselves into MY BABY live with ‘Mad Mountain Thyme’, taken from the band’s debut album. Soulful, soft vocals, hardened by a grassroots blues riff and cutting chorus sends the crowd into chaos, and it is clear to see why the group have been a clear choice for Larry Graham and Seasick Steve on tour earlier in their career. “It was a great honour to be touring with them. Perhaps they did not influence how we play all that much since touring but rather inspired us to continue to do what we do. Like a reaffirmation that having a life that consists of making music is a blessed journey.”

From that initial, awakening, point of discovery, it seems we are destined to watch MY BABY grow and grow.

 

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