State sent Olga Kuzmenko to get her camera up close and personal with Cork’s WIFE (aka James Kelly) when he played the Workman’s Club in Dublin last weekend. Report on the gig by Alan Daly.
James Kelly’s electronic music project WIFE is a change in direction from his contribution to Irish black metal group Altar of Plagues, who recently announced that they are to play their last ever show this month after seven years of making music together. After setting up his own equipment, the stage lights dim except for a few red spotlights, and Kelly starts by sampling his own voice, and builds upon this foundation with layers of samples until the result is an amazingly catchy, bass-heavy electronic mix. It’s hard to believe that just one person is creating this complex music. Throughout the performance his emotion and passion are evident and he almost seems oblivious to the presence of others in the room. The sound in the venue is surprisingly clear and the vibrations from the bass can be felt though the floor and in the chests of the fifty or so fans that are here.
It’s not the kind of music that would get an audience jumping around, but they move gently in unison to the rhythm with an aura of approval and appreciation. There are no pauses for applause between tracks in his set, and he performs uninterrupted until the end, albeit disappointingly early, after only 45 minutes.