Jakwob @ Sticky Mike's Frog Bar - Thursday 22nd March 2012
Words & Pictures by James Kendall
He might be only 22 but Jakwob is already in the second stage of his career. After making a name for himself remixing others – first crafting a huge blog hit of MIA’s ‘Pull Up The People’, then grabbing 17 million YouTube hits for his Ellie Goulding’s ‘Starry Eyed’ and more lately working Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ for the dance floor – he’s now ready to concentrate on his own songs. And we use the words songs intentionally, as this stage show of original material is very much based around the vocals of Rocky Nti.
As a DJ Jakwob can get pretty rowdy, but this new live set up is more of a nod to his complete musical history that has included jazz bands, folk and even death metal. As full on as his tracks can get – many will wobble out your windows if you give them the chance – don’t worry about him grabbing an axe to relive his metal years. This is pure 21st century soul music, a very modern take mixing up the emotional voice of Rocky and the high technology of dubstep. Beautiful pianos, ethereal electronics, filthy basslines are all given differing prominence at different time in a set that starts a long way from the dance floor.
The whole thing is sequenced with a deftness of someone who has been doing this for years. Jakwob knows when to slam things down and when to get his swoon on. Happy to stick in the shadows and twiddle at the knobs while a guitarist strums low in the mix, the stage show is kept alive by the easy charm of Rocky, a man who is heading swiftly to stardom either with Jakwob or on his own merits.
Jakwob could have come out all guns blazing with basslines to rumble your insides out, but instead he’s done something much more interesting. He’s taken James Blake’s road into dubstep-soul and made it actually enjoyable to listen to.
Date: Tuesday 10th April 2012