Live review from Electronica 3:
1. Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
5. Roads (Portishead cover)
It’s unusual for a band to start a show with a cover, but Fabel aren’t your run-of-the-mill electronic group. At first, it wasn’t clear whether electronic duo Fabel would be simply sampling Massive Attack’s Teardrop distinctive beat and piano melody, but it was soon clear that they were performing a very faithful version of the original.
The pair then presented an original, 安多酚, a soup of soft electronica exploding into something that sounded like it could have been a Eurovision entry, with its belting lyrics and techno beats. The dynamism between singer and producer’s intricate pad work recalled the duality of fellow Hong Kong act, Deer.
A hollow, tropical drum effect gave 困獸都市 a Jasmine Sokko feel alongside singer Lolo (盧祝君)’s emotive singing. Choppy, syncopated vocals led into a pop drop that sounded like a honking goose over skittering trap beats as Lolo imbued her lyrics with an almost defiant passion.
Jimmy Fung (馮慶聰), aka the beats master, then took to the mic to reveal he studied in the UK, where he gained exposure todifferent music styles, especially drum and bass, as demonstrated on next song 夢花鏡影. High, echoey vocals over trap-inspired hi hats wove with snatches of heavier beats. When the frenetic drum and bass element came through, it sounded similar to Chase and Status’s classic track, End Credits.
After a long pause caused by technical problems, the duo presented their second cover of the night: Portishead’s Roads, before closing with the pacey, dramatic Earth. Filled with different textures and influences, Fabel’s set exhibited the chemistry and creative flair between Lolo and Jimmy, who will be an interesting act to keep an eye on as they continue to develop their own sound.
– El Jay