The Cube, Bristol | June 1st
In a time when so much of what we see is formulated and intentional, it’s increasingly refreshing to find individuals who exist genuinely free from boundaries. Lucky Dragons – Los Angeles Artists Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara – bring their singularly fresh and inspiring musical collaboration to this tiny independent cinema, transforming the place into a Fluxus-style experiment where music and visuals seems to evolve by the subtle movement of a sheet on top of a light-box.
This art project-cum-musical venture defies all the usual expectations we have of ‘live’ music, as well as the role of the creator. Shapes and lines up on the screen move as they move, coaxing the music in slightly different directions. Kneeling in front of their laptops, the electronic melodies and effected vocals mutate and develop throughout the set but never stray far from the original blueprint of sounds. There are no songs or typical structures, but one continuous, fluid arpeggio. It becomes trance-like and ceremonial, a ritual to freedom.
Everything about this collective is utterly intriguing. That they hail from Los Angeles highlights the diversity that lies beneath the surface of any location. Even when you think you know what a city is about, scratch the surface and you will find subcultures and outsiders, banding together to form loose communities in which they can experiment and turn any preconceptions on their heads. Presenting a new form and vernacular, Lucky Dragons confound expectation and yet still make sense on a very instinctive level.
The show ends with a free-for-all, the crowd invited to become part of the process. Gathering round, everyone touches and moves, smiles and feels a part of the night. This is a psychedelic experience in which the listener engages and becomes the work, influencing the outcome and timbre. It’s rare to see such an experimental gig becoming so awe-inspiringly inclusive, the crowd leaving feeling fully integral to the experience as a whole.
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Words: Philip James Allen