Last Friday, we made our way to Whiteline to attend Popscene’s second event in 2 weeks, a smart assortment of 3 live acts including electro act oOoOO from California, singer-songwriter Hattie Marsh from London and experimental guitarist Yoshitake EXPE from Japan.
Set at Whiteline, for the first 2 acts I wish the stage had been set downstairs, but Safe Room – Whiteline’s dedicated live music space upstairs – suited oOoOO perfectly. Whiteline has been on the up recently, with a lot of great events hosted as of late. They’ve also specifically been making furors into the electronic space, with Safe Room something of an underground version of BEAM.
Whiteline has been on the up recently, with a lot of great events hosted as of late. They’ve also specifically been making furors into the electronic space, withSafe Room something of an underground version of BEAM.
Things kicked off a bit late, with EXPE up first. I’ve heard a lot about him and have been looking forward to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed. He is an absolute master of his craft and I found his guitar looping and effects work very moving, with the audience seemingly feeling similar, one couple holding each other close as they listened to the music. The room hushed as he set up foundations of looped electric guitar, then switching to acoustic guitar, layering those sounds on top. The crowd remained attentive throughout as he picked up the pace, create sounds you’d be more likely to hear at a rave, then moving guitar picking, his set carrying fantastically.
Up next after a bit of a break was Hattie Marsh. I was absolutely spellbound by her music after randomly catching her play a few songs on a open mic at Noise Pop last month, and I was really looking forward to hearing her full set. The crowd had grown by this point, but Marsh captured everyone’s attention right from the get-go with her first 2 songs ‘Poison’ and ‘He’, which I think took the audience by surprise, intense and emotional lyrics presented by Marsh’s breathtaking vocals. Albeit bashful and a bit nervous, Marsh engaged the crowd well with nice intros before her songs and there was a nice moment when he aunt came up to the stage and gave her niece a generous tip. I always find it refreshing to see family and friends supporting musicians. After her first few songs, she sang a few more casual, almost happy numbers, ending off her set with ‘Sing’, which summed up her music well, fully honest and not afraid to approach dark topics for the sake of sharing experiences with the audience.
It’s nice to have organizers like Popscene with which you are guaranteed lineups like this, lineups that are all about discovering new and amazing sounds
Last up was the headline act, Californian based live electro act oOoOO, fronted by Christopher Dexter Greenspan, who is known for being the pioneer of the Witch House genre. With 3 EPs and LP, oOoOO has been around since 2008, with a lot of solid tracks performed live on the night. After setting up his sound, Greenspan took to moving around the stage, using a wired controller to modify bits and pieces of the music, before returning back on most songs to the more traditional setup on the decks. Really interesting sound.
Overall I thought it was a really well curated selection of acts, and it’s nice to have organizers like Popscene with which you are guaranteed lineups like this, lineups that are all about discovering new and amazing sounds. We can’t wait for Popscene’s next event, and if I were you, I’d follow them on Facebook to risk missing out.
— Written and photographed by Abner Olivieri