Tigermoth welcomes those taking shelter from the monsoon with dubby muddy* beats emanating from laptop and decks, sometimes even syncing the two. The semi-competent mixes fail to excite the soggy punters – “Wait, that wasn’t the house music? This is better…” comments a companion after – and as the mix fades under a robot announcer, he coaxes a meagre applause from the crowd with the classic cupping-ears gesture.
Quan Yeomans’ hip-hop project Disaster!, featuring the ‘Gurge frontman and girlfriend Emilie Goegan, come on stage with a slideshow of celebrity/lizard photos and 50-degree ghillie suits keeping them anonymously sweaty for a summer night at The Zoo. The MCs bounce off each other admirably, with Emilie’s manic energy nearly stealing the show from Quan’s adept flow as they charmingly chant “Gimme the mic/That’s my mic!” at each other. Material from Quan’s solo album makes an appearance, along with All Fake Everything from the latest Regurgitator album, but it’s the original material like chant-along F-A-I-L that shines through here. Consistently filthy synth-ridden production, dagger-worthy 2-step, a touch of dubstep, and timely samples of cowbells and East 17 classic House Of Love shows that Australian hip-hop can be so much more than J-friendly Hilltops ‘n’ Eso.
“My name is Lakutis, I’m a male rapper from America” quips Brooklyn’s Aleksey Weintraub after striding on stage with leather jacket and straggly mo. The gut-churning bass music, industrial noise, and sampled screams are all kept somewhat coherent by Das Racist’s Dapwell, as Lakutis references Dennis Quaid (bitch), death sharks, Ja Rule, and ‘real hip-hop’ with songs such as Lakutis In The House from his I’m In The Forest mixtape. It’s not actually good in any traditional sense of the word, but he balances charisma and absurdity so damn well that we pay attention anyway. Lakutis ends the set with I’m Better Than Everybody, and we wonder what the hell this dude just did to our ears.
Das Racist come on stage to high five everyone in the front row, before the trio effortlessly launch into Who’s That? Broooown. Heems, Kool A.D. and Dapwell are hilarious, casually grabbing proferred joints from the audience, though it becomes clearer that their considerable talents aren’t going to improve this muddy* mix. With the sound as it is, the greatest entertainment is the banter (closely followed by the psychedelic Bart Simpson projections) – DR get a call and response from “When I say Sandra, you say Bullock!”, quip about Jim Carrey (“Jim Carrey wrote some letters in prison, if anybody gets their hands on them email them to dasracist at gmail dot com”), and get a cheer from “make some noise if you’ve used a computer before!”. They duck off stage after a tight Michael Jackson (“We’re gonna pretend to do an encore, we’ll be right back”), before returning to close with Rainbow In The Dark. As Heems and Lakutis finish the night by singing over Simply The Best , we consider whether the shitty sound is a bigger disappointment than the obvious omission of Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell; probably not, but it’ll all be worth it to see the reactions to all the white people wearing Das Racist t-shirts in daylight.
* Blame the rain.