French producer and multi-instrumentalist FKJ headlined the sold-out Novo in Downtown LA this week with support by Ross From Friends. The performances were nothing short of impressive both sonically and visually.
We entered the club in time for Ross From Friends, the lo-fi house project spearheaded by Felix Clary Weatherall. His music has gained a ton of recognition in the past year with a debut album released by Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label. Ross From Friends performs as a three-piece group with Felix on controller and mixing duties complimented by a live saxophonist and live guitarist. Together they occupied a small table aside from FKJ’s setup. The small space of their live setup made their performance feel like an intimate Boiler Room set and they quickly gained the trust from those in the audience by making everyone dance for the entirety of their performance.
Between Ross and FKJ we took some time to tour around the venue. There were three levels of viewing that were all accessible by elevator; each with a packed bar. We could feel the energy in the room as people continued to party in excitement for FKJ. It was an interesting vibe seeing people turn up in excitement for a chill jazzy electronic artist.
There were three transparent curtains that lowered along with the lights and the music. At this point the floor was packed and everyone turned their attention to the stage.
Environments can change you. I needed a change.
These words were projected onto the middle curtain as ambient music slowly built up. Soon there were stunning images of nature projecting onto the stage. The projections were over the entire setup but their transparency let the audience view what was going on behind them. Finally FKJ stepped in front of a piano and a yellow light beamed a giant shadow of his figure over the curtain and projections. Right away we could tell that this stage design was something incredibly unique.
The piano he used was faced away from the audience and it was placed against a sound-activated LED wall. Each time he hit a note there would be dots of lights which only added to the magic of his show. He quickly introduced himself via an amazing piano solo and went on to sing, play bass, and saxophone.
Our favorite parts of his performance had to have been his live looping. He would create a beat with his voice and overlay it with layers of analog synths, funky bass lines, and then continue to perform the song by muting and playing different elements. Each track he played was completely different and he chose from a variety of instruments to perform with.
Overall we were beyond impressed with each part of the performance. The visuals continued to evolve with the music and there was a stellar amount of variation between genres. FKJ put on a fantastic show and we look forward to catching him again at future festivals this year.