Live Review: sigma kurrupt foxley barsoma

1 April 2012 | 10:20 am | Matt O'Neill

Barsoma is almost completely deserted when relative newcomer Olaf 'Foxley' Simmons steps up to deliver tonight's opening performance. There is a handful of seated onlookers and an occasional friend or supporter but little else. Impressively, Simmons forges on undaunted and delivers an absolutely masterful set regardless. The young DJ paces himself admirably – opening with lush, melodic numbers and gradually segueing into harder, more volatile cuts over the course of his two-hour set. His mixing is sharp but uncomplicated while his ability to stretch from jazzy vocal cuts to brutal techstep without forcing the transition or actually venturing too far outside drum'n'bass is indicative of both considerable ambition and serious talent. It's genuinely disappointing so few people get to witness him work.

Local d'n'b veteran Corey 'Kurrupt' Russell suffers a similar fate. While there are more patrons around to witness his set, it's still scant numbers and few seem inclined to actually show their support on the dancefloor. Doubly unfortunate, in this instance; Kurrupt more than earns it. Following the hard-edged thread laid down by the second half of Foxley's set, Kurrupt ratchets up the volume and intensity of the night to a level that can only be characterised as brutal. In truth, the veteran initially struggles to find his feet but, with a one-two blast of Knife Party's Internet Friends and Noisia's world-destroying Diplodocus, Kurrupt is fully unleashed and wavers not in the slightest for the remainder of the set. Fantastically aggressive, Russell's performance runs the gamut of harder styles – from lashes of techstep and neurofunk to glimpses of grime, glitch and brostep. Initial fumbling aside, it's an otherwise blinding showcase of passion and expertise.

Indeed, following such performances, Sigma actually prove somewhat underwhelming. Their arrival does finally prompt some serious dancefloor response from attendees (though local MC Kitch deserves at least partial credit for invigorating the crowd between sets) but, while exceptionally delivered, their set doesn't really seem to suit their surroundings. Heavy, frantic and electro-tinged, the UK heroes' set seems designed more for festivals than a small club in Brisbane. It's certainly entertaining – no-one could argue with the response garnered by Chase & Status's No Problem – but, after the eclecticism and brutality of the openers, Sigma's polished stadium drum'n'bass can't help but seem a little hollow. It may be sacrilege to say as much for genre stalwarts but, tonight, Sigma just seem to have been outgunned by their local supports.