Live experimental music in a cinema

It is a slightly odd experience, live experimental music in a cinema. Ordered rows but disorderly beats, punters hemmed-in far from the bar, things can get a little fidgety.

This may be a celebration of all things audio-visual, but the audio element very much takes precedence at Optronica Lab. Opening act Vitascope, for example, makes mesmerising sounds, but the black-backed improvised images are a little too abstract and repetitive to really hold the attention. Similarly, brothers Ultre and Flat-E do some fascinating work with their home-made quasi-violin, but the dust-and-bones graphics seem a bit of an afterthought, by comparison.

Thankfully the Reactable team are up next, with a genuine synthesis of sound and vision. Their self-named table is a sort of futuristic chessboard, on which differently shaped, coloured and symboled blocks interact, conjuring a rich smorgasbord of sound. It’s captivating viewing.

Finally, Rechenzentrum’s classy, sometimes soulful electronica and hypnotically chopped footage lulls the audience into submission. Well, it’s been a long night.

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