LWE 2Q Reports: Top 5 Live PAs

“Minimalism” by Noriko Ambe

For our third report, LWE correspondent Will Lynch compiles his top five live PAs from the first half of 2008.

One of dance music’s most unique features is the elasticity of the artist’s relationship with their own material. Plenty of producers never “play live” and use DJing as their exclusive means of performance. A producer may spend months sweating over the next EP, but the task of DJing is all about best suiting the vibe at that moment, which usually means playing someone else’s work. Then you’ve got your producers who mingle handfuls of their own tracks with dozens by their peers, making it damn near impossible for anyone in the audience to know who wrote what. While this makes a night out at the club much less predictable than a rock show (where the band is obligated not only to play their own songs, but often to favor their most recent material), it is nonetheless refreshing to hear an electronic artist play a set of his own work exactly how he or she intended it to be played.

There were some tough runners up to this list. Having seen Bruno Pronsato deliver a truly strange and groovy set at Panoramabar last December, it was hard not to include him here, but none of the recordings I’ve heard do justice to my memories of the night. Rummage through mnml.nl a bit and you’ll find a zany set by Donk Boys, which was another strong contender for the list. But after much listening and consideration, I’ve decided that these five are my favorites, mostly because they showcase the style and repertoire of each artist so well. If there’s an artist on this list who you’ve yet to hear, this would be an excellent place to start. So, without further ado, here are, my favorite live P.A.’s from the year so far.

01. Tobias @ Watergate
The idea of grooving to this one within Watergate’s eye-popping décor is enough to make me salivate. And I’m pretty sure that “Street Knowledge” sample is from NWA, which is pretty badass.

02. Click Box: April Live Set
These Brazilian techno hooligans have an aggressive and melodic style that sounds really fresh to me. Magda slayed with these tracks at Timewarp, and was still spinning them when I saw her in New York this June. Can’t wait to get my hands on a few of these bad boys…

03. Mikael Stavöstrand @ Watergate
As I’ve said before on this site, I love this guy’s style. Much like his releases, this set has grim overtones to contrast its lush, balmy textures. Funky, too!

04. Move D @ Robert Johnson
These two hours glide through some of the best moments of David Moufang’s exquisite discography, to predictably sublime effect. Very smooth and gentle, this is perfect to put on first thing in the morning. Highlights include a slimmer rendition of “Between Us” and perfectly serene closer (which is, incidentally, my favorite track by this guy).

05. Elon @ Old Cave
This guy gives Heartthrob a run for his money. Slamming bass, hard, steady beats and totally evil overtones — it’s hard not to have fun with this one. My favorite bit has to be when he works in a house vocal cliché without diminishing the gloom one smidgen (but I won’t give it away).

Joe H  on August 20, 2008 at 5:45 AM

That click box EP is out to buy now on items & things, i think it came out on Monday. I too have seen these guys live with Magda in leeds & it was a really good live techno show full of technical wizardry in a club the size of a shoe box.”Fun k mouth” is lethal, somewhere in between Audion & Troy Pierce with a bit of extra added funk.

Simon  on August 20, 2008 at 11:40 AM

That Tobias set is brilliant, such lovely tunes, makes me want to check out more of the guy’s stuff since I’ve only really got the Can’t Fight The Feeling EP.

harrison  on August 20, 2008 at 2:45 PM

nice to see that stavostrand set included.

krul  on August 21, 2008 at 11:54 AM

@ Joe:

The one just released, is that Items & things 003 or the one with “stripped” on it?

Joe H  on August 21, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Click Box – Espaço E Tempo EP – items and things 003 http://www.wordandsound.de/article/54740

teleost  on August 21, 2008 at 5:06 PM

My top liveset of the year is Eric Johnston live on the leapyear date from Zurich:


one of my favourite producers right now. ploughing his own furrow. and it’s daaark.

cheers for the clickbox and tobias.!

Jason Rule  on August 26, 2008 at 7:49 AM

No Cobblestone Jazz? Srsly?

littlewhiteearbuds  on August 26, 2008 at 7:50 AM

Hook us up, Jason!

jorjio  on August 27, 2008 at 3:17 AM

allthough not well known, skinnerbox from berlin are the most amazing live act i saw this summer….


they have a live set on the page,,,

thanks for the ranking!


Let your mind be free……house your body  on August 20, 2008 at 8:22 PM

[…] Two beautiful sets from Move D (aka David Moufang), both have been on extremely high rotation of late (hat tip to Joe and Will) […]

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