GILLES PETERSON @ The Rechabite gets 7.5/10

Gilles Peterson @ The Rechabite
w/ Alex Rita & Errol, Kuzich, Alien
Friday, January 31, 2020


Raised in South London by French/Swiss parents and brought up on urban pirate radio airwaves, soaking in the exotic melting pot of sounds coming out in the 80s, Gilles Peterson has been a radio and club DJ, adventurous soundseeker, tastemaker and highly respected all-round musical legend for four decades.

A key figure in the recent rise of the jazz-infused sounds in dance music, he’s always on the cutting edge, still hosting his weekly three hour BBC Radio 6 Music show, pushing new artists ranging from jazz and world music to hip hop and experimental electronica. The man behind the legendary Talkin’ Loud label (alongside Norman Jay), the Worldwide brand and festival, and his current Brownswood Recordings, was in town to put on a clinic and that’s just what he did, rocking the magnificent Rechabite with a fresh bag of wax.


Melbourne-based label and artist collective Mandarin Dreams, who have had material released through Brownswood, were in support, with Alien kicking things off before talented Perth-based drummer/vocalist/producer Kuzich took to the stage with his band. Accompanied by guitar, bass and keys, their funky, low-slung grooves were a nice chilled warm-up.

Meanwhile, up on the rooftop bar, some of our finest and funkiest locals were providing appropriate vibes – Rok Riley, Charlie Bucket, Coco Morrison and Jaxon Lamond all paying homage to a musical hero. Just after 11pm, as more numbers spilled inside, Gilles Peterson MBE took the stage in the grand main room. With it’s two tiered, wrap-around balconies (reminiscent of the Shakespearean Globe Theatre) mostly empty, the majority of people headed down to the ground floor to secure a position.

Sporting his own Brownswood Recordings t-shirt, and not looking like a man in his late 50s, the veteran really knows how to pace a set, an absolute eclectic master. Starting slow, he took almost an hour to really build it up to a big groove, as swinging breakbeats really started to get the dancefloor moving. Dropping tunes you’ve never heard, that instantly sound familiar, a handpicked selection of records taken from probably one of the best collections in the world.

Gilles Peterson

Starting with smoky, jazzy vibes that suited the dark room – there were splashes of colour from the lights and minimal backing visuals. Looking perfectly at home behind the decks, Peterson deftly blended in some upbeat, swinging Latin, tropical beats, changing things up. The wonderfully renovated, old high-ceiling hall seemed perfect for such a gig. It’s so great to have the new Rechabite finally finished and open, a sprawling, multi-level venue, filling a hole in the Perth scene that has been there since the demise of the Bakery.

Gilles really started working things up with the awesome Japanese duo Dazzle Drums’ rolling percussive beast Ijoigbo (Afro Stomp Mix). The funk and soul moved into more heavy territory with the intense sounds of Young Fathers. Alongside Gilles was MC General Rubbish, adding very subtle vocal touches. Less prominent rapping or singing, and more just adding another layer of depth to the soundscape, with his heavily effected vocal styling.

Gilles Peterson

Some straight up jazz was mixed into UK bass music, and percussive global music that could be from anywhere. It was a friendly and mature crowd, who were there to dance and appreciate the rare records being spun. Obscure and unreleased records is Peterson’s speciality – exposing you to music you’re unlikely to hear most other DJs playing. Such is the power of this musical jedi, your shazam-ing tricks do not work on him.

Alex Rita & Errol

His music is such that you become fully immersed in it, and soon the whole dancefloor was moving as one, smiles on faces, as they let the music take over. Then sadly, before we knew it, he was finishing up – leaving us to rapturous applause. Taking over on the decks were London’s Touching Bass heads Alex Rita & Errol – who had the room handed to them on a silver platter, but sadly lost the crowd. Perhaps they started a little too slow with some minimal, mid-tempo beats. It may have been better to have Peterson play last, and longer, as he seemed to take the vibe with him.

Alex Rita & Errol

However, those that stuck around were treated to a unique, eclectic set of downtempo, jazzy delights, in a similar vein. Once people got back in the groove, there was a nice bit of movement on the dancefloor. It was just about half as full. Their set just lacked Peterson’s well-crafted cohesion and seamless mixing, and was a more just a selection of interesting tracks, blended into each other.

Playing for around an hour, they dropped some real slinky, funky tunes, picking things up with some heavier bass tracks, but was still a bit light on the bpms. They had the opportunity to blow it out after Peterson, with a crowd that was gagging for it, but it wasn’t their style, bringing the night to a gentle, blissful landing with more atmospheric grooves, finishing early around 2am with the lush sounds of Yussef Dayes’ Love Is The Message, things seemed a little premature, but the remaining crowd gave them a warm round of applause. A great night for music aficionados all round.


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