M For Montreal 2012 – day four review

Mykki Blanco at M For Montreal 2012 by Mike Burnell
Mykki Blanco at M For Montreal 2012 by Mike Burnell

Chris Swindells searches through a new wave of talent at M For Montreal 2012.

Mykki Blanco (7/10) is a cross dressing rap star. Mykki Blanco has forgotten to take the medication. “If you ain’t bisexual, this shit ain’t applicable” or so the alter-ego of 24-year-old Michael David Quattlebaum Jr proclaims early in an set that is as artistically compelling as it is challengingly. Blanco has a natural gift for poetry and makes headliners Death Grips seem positively philistine.

By the time Mykki‘s in the crowd to go ‘Wavvy‘ it’s starting to fill the venue and he uses the additional bodies as part of his ammunition. Sadly the more he reverts to pop-hop stereotype and club-fuelled chorus the less his lyrics bite.

The stage entrance that follows by Death Grips (6/10) is remarkably in how unremarkable it is. In black parka’s they kick start a set of electronic accompaniment, and what appears to be two giant iPads going with a set of psycho-hypnotic visuals. Behind his simple drums set-up, a bass and two snares, Zach Hill is ferocious, a deep concentration overcomes him as he hardly acknowledges his surroundings.

Conversely A Place To Bury Strangers (9/10) are all about big first impressions. Taking their instruments in hand they send guitar necks through the stage lights above, ‘disabling’ them as the shattered bulbs break onto the ground below. A sensory overload proceeds, in a smoke filled venue whilst projectors stream patterns across the walls and ceiling.

With old favourite ‘Keep Slipping Away‘ a psychedelic trip serving as a highlight, the band seem in typically boundary pushing mood. By the time their finale is readying the room is so smoke filled the fire alarms go off. A strobe light then breaks all health and safety etiquette and fires flashing lights across the sea of heads for what feels like hours as band members climb amp stacks to finish the set in the fashion they intended, with all eyes firmly fixed on them.