12th October | The Island
Having quickly cemented a name for themselves in London, Manchester and Oxford recently, it was about time that Goodness held their first night in the UK’s most eclectic city for electronic music. As soon as you find your way down the steps into the overwhelming darkness of The Island, it’s immediately evident how the disused police station turned highly sought-after space was the right choice for such an event. The naturally dark nature of the cells suit the anxious and intense nature of what’s on display tonight, and as the swampy atmosphere heightens with the arriving crowd, Goodness begin to cement their place in a city full of distinctive creativity.
Ifeoluwa provides the sort of set that is ultimately euphoric, but not without ensuring the crowd have been thoroughly shaken and agitated first. The way she juxtaposes extremely fractious, heavy breaks of industrial clamour with infuriatingly captivating pop songs – like an uninterrupted, proud play of Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’ – succinctly strikes a seamless balance. The pace retains a certain punchiness that’s cleverly overshadowed by the clanging blasts of sharpened, mechanical kick.
Happa is the most interesting prospect of the night: atmospheric, foreboding, almost emotional swathes of wallowing synth weave themselves amongst slowly enveloping beats. While a more full-on, active set than his traditionally experimental and deeply-evocative work, the way in which he moulds his penchants to suit the aesthetic of the night is commendable, creating something palpable and utterly engaging, either for those that want to stand and experience it or simply let loose. The producer teases the crowd for a sense of release, only truly letting loose briefly and with pinpoint precision within his two-hour set, making everything building towards it much more emphatic and pivotal.
Overmono are sadly one-dimensional in comparison, and the lack of something tangible to really grasp onto following Happa is underwhelming. While the vigour of their harsh, hyper kicks and spurts enlivens the energy in the room further, it makes for an unsettled space, only heightened by the crowds restless energy as they flit in and out of the room. Where previous sets of theirs injected at least a sense of harmonic sweetness into their pressing structures, the lack of this on such an occasion may have suited the grittiness of the surroundings yet perhaps not the night as a whole. It can’t be denied that Tessela & Truss pack an uppercut when it comes to their low-level frequencies, the off-kilter and uninhibited bass shaking the walls for the duration, creating a colossal, primal sound. While the set does begin to open up as it reaches its latter stages, it’s a disappointing one that suffers for being devoid of a sense of melodic emotion.
With their broad openness to all manner of experimentation, it’s clear that Goodness have made a name for themselves for a reason. The night is a success, an engrossing mixture of sounds that focuses first and foremost on capturing the energy of its crowd while evoking a hypnotic atmosphere for those willing to delve down into the cells.