Pollen Ekoplekz live review

Posted on 15 October 2011
By Samantha Maine
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Pollen is where it’s at for Bristol music lovers in the know, holding court every Thursday at The Bank in Stokes Croft.

In the vein of Bristol drum and bass lynchpin Drive By, Pollen is fast becoming renowned for showcasing some of the freshest and upcoming DJs and producers, main man EFA never fails to disappoint with his lineups.

In the past, the likes of The Kelly Twins, Diss Miss, Kahn and Asusu have taken to the decks. Tonight, EFA has brought something special to the table – Bristol’s very own Ekoplekz.

Peverelist’s label Punch Drunk was keen to exhibit music that doesn’t necessarily adhere to the rules, and its 20th release came from Ekoplekz himself.

Now, whether you like techno, house, dub or dancehall, you can be sure that you’ve never heard anything quite like this man.

As he takes his place round about midnight, there’s an air of nerves and excitement exuding from the audience. The setup is a ridiculous mix of synths, pedals, something that looks like a cross between a typewriter and a Nintendo and god-knows-what-else.

The spectators are largely made up of the who’s-who in the Bristol music scene, therefore there’s plenty of chin scratching and intrigue.

Ekoplekz starts off with some noise, some more noise and then finishes with noise.

No need to worry, that’s not the review.

That is pretty much what it is – noise. But there’s something so intruiging about it that makes it one of the most exciting sets in Pollen history.

The way he darts from synth to synth and pedal to pedal, Ekoplekz creates a dance that you simply can’t take your eyes off.

Usually, you’d see plenty of folk swaying to the tunes but tonight’s headliner has managed to create a theatrical atmosphere. The onlookers have slowly congregated to a makeshift seating area, which makes the rest of the regulars look slightly out of place.

The highlight of the set has to be the tones that those machines make. The crowd are treated to a rollercoaster ride of a musical journey and gasp at the sheer level of intelligence protruding from one of Bristol’s geniuses.

And the bass! As if the synths, mixers and pedals weren’t enough, Ekoplekz adds a droning bass so infectious it’s as if the music is trying to crawl out from your chest. Much like that of Kane in Alien but somewhat less painful.

As the set draws to a close, Ekoplekz asks for one more. One more what? There were no gaps, no breaks and no sense of a ‘song.’ But you can tell that this man knows what he’s doing and it’s all a carefully constructed exhibition of some of the most exciting music in Bristol.

Photo by Pollen