On Saturday, January 12th, Ratking played i&i, a curated night of music covering art rap, rock and dance music. Ratking's Wiki was a victim of the flu, so in-house producer Sporting Life and vocalist/rapper Hak held it down by themselves; reminding people that Ratking is more than just Wiki. Sporting Life did not have the full Ratking table of equipment, instead paring down to an Ableton controller, laptop and effects units. Hak acquitted himself ably by showcasing several songs we hadn't heard before while also playing Hak-centric selections from the Ratking catalog.
Joining Ratking was Salomon Faye THEiLLUSION who acted as host and impromptu MC for DJs who spun a combination of grime, streetbass, nu bass (Black Mack) and hip hop classics. EDIT: THEiLLUSION is both Salomon Faye and Enasni Leber. Thank you to Elira Roe for the correction.
Also performing was Normally Important, a Letter Racer affiliated three piece band which takes the history of New York's underground music scenes, examines them and refracts it through their own experiences. In their short set, there were elements of metal, thrash, new wave, no wave, plus that early 00s garage sound. While this displayed a breadth of knowledge, it made the set sound somewhat unfocused. I think that if the band had restructed the set list a bit, the sounds would have had a better flow. I missed this act when they played with Ratking during CMJ but I'd have loved to have heard them then so I'd have a basis of comparison of how this young band may have evolved.
Apostrophe is also a relatively new gallery and performance space in Bushwick, having events only since October but already it has the view of an old hand with an amply tagged basement. The downstairs performance space features a small stage (enough for a three piece band if everyone stands still) and also featured a DJ booth set up off to the side. The sound was able to handle the aforementioned bass heavy DJ sets but unfortunately, the frequencies flattened out on Sporting Life's production.
Apostrophe has the feeling of attending a Williamsburg DIY venue about 5 years ago. It's close to the subway and is in a residential rather than industrial section of Bushwick. It's this location which makes me concerned for its longevity unless they have a very good relationship with their neighbors since even as we left in the wee hours of the morning, the bass was clearly audible from the street.
Ratking and Normally Important both play Mercury Lounge at a late show on Feburary 1st.