I wasn’t sure that melding computer-generated, drone-like imagery to scorching sound design would work - but the pairing of Object and visual artist Ezra Miller transported me out of Islington Assembly Hall and out into the stratosphere.
Objekt has become a beloved name of electronic music fans of all stripes - I enjoyed spotting several of his peers in the Highbury & Islington Wetherspoons before the set - as 2018’s mind-bending release Cocoon Crush swung a severe-but-successful left turn after the all-conquering club success of 2017’s ‘Theme from Q’. After 8 years of touring as a DJ, Objekt decided to switch his focus to creating an immersive live show, with his intense, colourful output working in unison with visual artist Ezra Miller’s real-time generative art, mirroring his sounds with the vibrancy they deserve. As the night progresses, we’re brought into a world of singing bugs, environmental catastrophe, whirring machines and cascading patterns - each piece in-tune with the beautiful, textured and sometimes unsettling sounds that swirl around them.
Under a giant screen, Objekt and Ezra Miller face each other, lit by the screen towering over them. After a slow start caused by technical difficulties, we are absorbed into the duo’s warped world, treated to highlights from Cocoon Crush alongside highlights from the rest of Objekt’s discography. Cocoon Crush’s more ominous soundscapes are backed by insectoid faces warping across the screen, glacial mountain spaces and rumbling forestry, making the nigh-on biology-changing soundscapes of that album even more physical. Elsewhere, during 2013 banger ‘Agnes Demise’, the track’s stomping, machine-like power is reflected with images of twisting wires, pressurised structures and hammering metal plates. Objekt’s impressive range of genres - across breakbeat, techno, ambient, noise and even a vocoder-aided ballad where Objekt’s vocals are performed by a towering crooning, caterpillar on-screen - are even more powerful with Ezra Miller’s kinetic visuals attached. The results are stunning: like the loudest episode of Planet Earth you’ve ever stepped into.
The set’s closing track ‘Love Inna Basement (Midnite XTC)’ - which Objekt claims is in fact a ‘lost tape’ of sorts from a mysterious artist called DJ Bogdan (but it instead a reworking of ‘Theme from Q’) - gets a gleefully daft visual palette to match its relentless raving energy. Most of Objekt’s set had the audience in head-nodding revery, so the sight of the Islington Assembly Hall losing their collective marbles as images of animals warping into new beings are beamed onto us marks a joyous highpoint of the set - and a great way to end the night. ‘Love Inna Basement’s refrain of ‘FREE YOUR BODY AND MIND’ may come from a satirical slant, but when placed at the end of all we’d witnessed over the evening, it felt pretty potent. Long may this mind-bending partnership continue.