Bebeluna is an artist who addresses the chaos in self-progression by matter of unvarnished virtue, and their debut EP ‘Ecdysis’: a physical embodiment of ‘the process of shedding old skin’, confronts the “idea of having to change every part of your life” in your early twenties by embracing the beauty in vulnerability, and the queer and cyber-cultures of which Bebeluna traverses through with ruminative outrage.
All Our Tomorrows - Jockstrap
Words by Al Mills
For 2020 our new music weekender goes online as we transport you – virtually – to our beloved 100 Club. With performances from Bebeluna, LCYTN, Louis Culture and Jockstrap, Al Mills tells us why Britain’s still got it.
It goes without saying that we’re all in an existence dominated by a need for change, and yet Bebeluna, North London’s ‘Emo’ inspired Imperator Furiosa, presents socio-defiance not for the cause of angst or provocative disorder, but to aid navigation towards a long-term sense of personal-peace.
Standout number ‘Reclaim’ is a meshy marvel of wolf, sweat, and resisting the powers that be which culminates in the introduction of Taliable; a fellow collaborator and collective ring-leader to whom Bebeluna currently rides, and thrives, beside.
“Information overflow fuels creativity” cites Bebeluna. When music is a universal language that connects us all, it’s imperative that in order to showcase the true creative-collectivist that is the UK, broadened diversity must be at the helm.
Raised in our nation’s big-smoke, Lucy Tun (who goes by the name of LCYTN) is a classically trained, British-Burmese songwriter who connects her adolescent spent indoors, with an innately ‘Gen Z’ exposure to culture and influences.
Here in the comforts of bedroom pop and daydreaming’s disco, drag and video games all blend together to form a uniquely LCYTN hybrid of euphoric lo-fi that melts mindfully, and delicately, like hearts drawn into the sultry-steam of a bathroom mirror. Dancing on your ones has never quite looked as blissful, as LCYTN on the ‘100 Club’ floor.
This year is the first to experience such generational solitude and so it’s fairly apt, that AOT strove to highlight “the emerging story of British electro” - the self-produced storm that’s passionately claimed ownership of this turn of decade.
Pre-conceptions are outdated, forces are to be reckoned with and few combine tireless re-development with such regenerative intimacy, as South London’s Louis Culture. A name-call dodging (‘Being Me’), sonically smitten member of ‘Elevation Meditation’ (a Lord Apex project), Culture is an essential voice for London’s Alternative-Hip-Hop scene as he showcases tracks off his ‘Smile Soundsystem’ EP in an act of genre-bending thematics, and “taking electronic music back into the hands of black people”.
Captaining the stage as a master of foundational misrule, Louis Culture is a door-kicking purveyor of protagonist wooze - a 22-year-old incarnation of dextrous beauty with as much underground ambience as a cavern built of stars.
Slickly self-assured, “Shit’s taken off, but we still have so much to do”; a statement of intent from a performer to watch out for in the future.
Tonight’s headliners Jockstrap, despite their refreshed-nature, are no strangers to AOT. The Guildhall duo formed of Georgia Ellery (of last year’s headliners Black Country New Road) and electronicmusic student Taylor Skyle, defy description with their idiosyncratically dystopian candidness, and table-crawling bravado.
Taking theatrics to their now signature heights of transgressive autotune, they channel “a thousand thoughts for a thousand times” with two renditions of their critically acclaimed single ‘The City’, and a plethora of radical mindfucks, and performative hyper-reality.
Narrating a passage from postmodernist Kathy Acker’s ‘Blood & Guts in High School’ whilst simultaneously encouraging an electronic rampage is no feat for the lyrically light-hearted; yet Ellery navigates synthy perverse, with an unnerving sense of second-nature brilliance.
If it’s answers that you’re searching for then Jockstrap’s interview with Black Midi drummer Morgan Simpson and veteran crooner Ethan P. Flynn, is undoubtedly an additional bonus worth turning on and tuning in to.
Alternative creativity may be a statement too close to heart this year but if today’s event was anything to go by… we’ve still got it, and there’s certainly plenty more to come.