ICA, London - 28.08.2008
Armed with a laptop and screen presentation that would pulverise the heads of everyone in a boardroom meeting into a pulsating pulp, Portland electro crunk-pop wizard, Jona Bechtolt and his girlfriend Claire L Evans, aka Yacht invite all in the ICA to join in on the warped revelry.
As their heaving bass and twee bleeps throb aggressively through the feet and bowels of all those in the room, followed by broken glass sounds that obliterate all the senses, the pair render the tunes from other boy/girl ensembles, Scissor Sisters and Crystal Castles as mere nursery rhymes. Speaking of which, there’s even a Simon Says moment when they demand jazz hands from the audience, and if that wasn’t enough, their friend, Steve Schroeder joins them via a supposed live webcam link for a sing-a-long involving a disturbingly amusing dance from his cat.
From, So Post All Em, to I’m In Love WithA Ripper and Summer Song, it’s clearly a mixed bag of nuts, bolts, and tooty-fruities with this band- in one flash they are raving cartoon-pop, Bis and in the next flicker they resemble MIA and Beck collaborating for grungy-grime.
The Q and A session mid-set offered as a break from the music does backfire, after they become swamped with lame questions and the room goes quiet in shame. Regardless of the numbing effect they have had on the crowd, Yacht sail on un-phased bopping and dancing in sprawls about the stage as images flash behind them, demonstrating that tonight isn’t just about the music, or the art, it’s a mish-mash workshop that everyone can enrol in.
All of a sudden the e-numbers mount as the sweetness takes over and the shape-shifting spreads beyond the stage for final song, See A Penny (Pick It Up) and it’s as though all that is sinister and sad in the world has momentarily disappeared until the punters are sent back out on to the streets again.