Planet Jumper @ Revolver Upstairs, Melbourne (17/03/2012)
Fri 30th Mar, 2012 Event Reviews 170 viewsin
Planet Jumper are duo Steve ‘Funk’ Ford (effects, loops, production) and Drew Schapper (drums, production). They met about a decade ago, and sharing a mutual love of the low-slung and wilder end of the funk spectrum, they decided to do something about it in 2006 and started making music.
Arriving at Revolver’s front room around 9:30pm, we managed to just catch the end of Rainbow Serpent mainstay, Circuit Bent. Their bass heavy form of glitch-hop was as meaty as ever, but unfortunately at this stage, only a smattering of punters were there to appreciate it.
Next up on stage was a new live outfit from Melbourne electro / house stalwart T-Rek: Volatile Ram. On closer inspection it appeared to be a who’s who of the local electronica scene. On acid/effects/keys I noticed acid techno veteran Honeysmack, while Ehsan Gelsi was on synths and none other than Davarj manned the bass.
Davarj has great stage presence, and is a natural choice for front man. Jokingly stating that they would try their best to ensure their noise levels would impede the ability for polite conversation, they proceeded to make good on his promise. Fusing acid techno, funk, and psychedelia, their set had much more in common with a punk rock aesthetic, as opposed to anything you might hear at a bush doof. If anyone were in doubt of this, Davarj donning a balaclava during the first track certainly put any end to that.
In between sets DJ ADM kept the groove going, and wasn’t afraid to mix things up quite literally. Going from the sublime deep house of Floating Points Vacuum Boogie to the epic rock of Led Zeppelin. The crowd had built quite a bit by this point, and was an odd hotch-potch of people who actually knew the music; St Paddy’s day drunks; and of course your regular Revolver munters.
Next up, Planet Jumper hit the stage. Steve Ford was proudly sporting a Parliament T-shirt, which more-or-less sums up what the duo are trying to inject into their version of electronic funk. In comparison to their recent Rainbow Serpent set, it was much looser and jammier affair. Drew was going berserk on the kit, adding in fills and getting quite jazzy at times. The change on Mr Ford was even more noticeable: he seemed a much more relaxed, and positively relishing his time up on stage: pumping his fists in the air and bouncing about like a man possessed.
The set was constructed almost like a DJ set: One long, ever-evolving track. Running the gamut from the more familiar bottom-heavy grooves, to squelchy psychedelic synths that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a progressive set. All melded together, however, it was a sound distinctly their own.
Tonight was a showcase for the first of three EPs to be released this year on their fledgling label Slap Gravity. The first 12 inch Leave This Place Behind features a spaced-out, and techy remix by none other than JD Twitch, one half of the hugely successful Scottish DJ / production duo Optimo. With producers such as this taking notice, 2012 appears to be looking bright for the Melbourne lads.