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Now (live at The Strongroom)

3 October 2015

Anyone who’s seen London stalwarts Now play live will know that they are always different, yet always reliable (as in they will always deliver). They’ve been existing in different formations for over a decade and a half now (Now!), and have collaborated with the likes of Damo Suzuki, who is basically Krautrock royalty, for those of you unfamiliar with his name.

The pleasant yet ordinary surroundings of The Strongroom aren’t the most inspiring; yet, as stated before, Now will always deliver. Tonight’s set was purely instrumental, so we weren’t treated to any of their infectious ‘pop songs’; which was definitely a shame. However, the trade off seemed fair as instead the audience were handed candy-coloured motorik confectioneries that brought huge grins to everyone’s faces. Now bring us hypnotic grooves forged from the ashes of various mantric musical strains. For example, “The Foundry Favourite” sounds like a tougher incarnation of Zuckerzeit-era Cluster rockin’ an acid house dance floor. In fact, the spectre of the famous Chicago dance music style hangs as heavily over proceedings as NEU! does (this is a very good thing).

Along with the motorik and acid influences, one can detect the sound of minimal house, techno (in all its many guises), funk (hey, is that you Bernie Worrell?) and disco; and these all come together in the most natural and wonderful way, rather than feeling like some forced, muddy fusion. Now make it sound like all of these genres (and non-genres) are the most natural bedfellows in the world. The added dashes of acid become even more obvious when you realise that Now founder Justin Paton is performing and recording acid house tunes under his own name (an album is imminent), and it also explains the expertise that is so effortlessly sprinkled over the solid krautrock that Angela, George and Vanessa were driving home.

Other tracks, such as “The Pump Room” seem to be both minimal yet rich, rigid yet funky and fluid; everything you want from hypnotic dance music is it not? By the end of their set Now had the room rocking and smiling like idiots. They really delivered exhilarating, fleeced music; and no, that wasn’t in any way a put down.

If you’ve never seen this act live before, it is strongly advised that this is remedied and you seek out one of their gigs immediately; you really won’t regret it.

-Jay Harper-

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