Friday night, Butterclock and oOoOO stopped by Killing Spree, the monthly party at Medusa Lounge dedicated to dark, electronic music. The event was a good chance for local to check out two incredibly interesting, up-and-coming artists perform together. The problem was, though, if you weren't in the first couple rows, you weren't going to see much of anything.
Butterclock played with oOoOO in the back room of Medusa Lounge, which is where the DJ booth and dance floor are situated. They were set up in a corner off to the side of the elevated DJ booth, standing behind a low table with two laptops. Up at the front, where I stood for the first two or three songs, the crowd was tightly packed. The room was dark, much of the light surrounding the two artists came from their laptops and a candle placed between the two MacBooks. Butterclock went back and forth between her laptop and microphone, a wig attached to the sleeve of her shirt swaying back and forth.
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The duo more than made up for the lack of visuals with the set's sound. You could hear Butterclock and oOoOO's set clearly no matter where you were in the club. Butterclock's voice is big, clear and eerie, reminiscent of Hope Sandoval. The beats flirted with dubstep and the kind of experimental hip-hop sounds you would hear at Low End Theory. It's a progressive sound, but at the same time, it does make us flashback just a little to the 1990s.
Last month, we had gone to Killing Spree just for fun and noticed that the biggest dance floor hit of the night was "Justify My Love" by Madonna. That song seems to be functioning in much the same way that Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" did in the electro boom of the early 2000s. It's not so much a template as it is a launchpad for the new sound we're hearing at clubs. Throughout the '90s, we heard beats that were more hip-hop than disco, frequently mixed with warmer vocals than the cool '80s variety. This was something that crossed genres. Curve, Massive Attack, Switchblade Symphony, Aaliyah, and even Garbage (the original version of "#1 Crush") had all embodied the sound at various different points during the decade. That's the direction we seem to be hearing most now, at least on an underground level--though the new artists, like both Butterfield and oOoOO, are definitely updating it.