Knxwledge @ Goodgod Small Club, Sydney (07/07/2012)

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It’s pretty safe to say Sydney’s made a sound for itself. We’ve followed in the footsteps of the L.A. instrumental hip-hop scene, and London’s underground raves, and made our own out of it. Internet sensation and astral traveller Knxwledge dropped in to Goodgod on Saturday for a party that brought the newest sounds of the city together.

Names like Nakagin opened the night with gentle, head-bobbing beats, full of sub. Every swell of kick drum and synth caught the audience’s attention to dance. Fishing was up next, bringing a fresh live approach to the computer music scene. The pair were hard at work on the pads and keys, letting bright, watery, calypso beats flow through. They even took to the mic for some chipmunk rapping. Although it’s kind of jarring to hear these guys rapping angrily about rolling doobies and cash in their wallet.

Oscar + Martin followed, giving us a feel for their sparse take on R&B, even covering a favourite from R&B superstar Miguel. The lead vocalist from Martin’s other band, The Harpoons lent her warbly, bluesy chorus too. Gardland finished up the night with his take on techno and house: warm, pulsing and physical.

But now to our main man, Knxwledge. He’s been in and out of Tumblr and every other internet avenue, feeding around loops and beats and mixtapes to hungry bloggers. Now, in his psychedelic shirt and Supreme cap, Knxwledge materialised.

The beats were chopped but smooth, raw and sultry. Head down and focused, he mashed his pads with precision. You could keep dancing or swaying or skanking to whatever he threw out. He cut swiftly between loops to keep the set alive. Every now and then he mixed in acappellas from the rap game’s newest voices, like Danny Brown. It was a DJ set, but one which the crowd could see.

The club was packed and sweaty, as Goodgod usually ends up past midnight. The night was hypnotising, sometimes raw, and sometimes lush. Knxwledge just kept leaping effortlessly between every niche of hip-hop and electronic music. If anything, Knxwledge is saying something about the new sounds of hip-hop, and Sydney seems to be following suit. Judging by this night, we’re doing it right too.

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