As the Abstract Orchestra makes an inevitable return to the city, DJ2Kind watches them triumph in a re-imagining of a hip hop classic.
Anyone unfortunate enough to have missed the Abstract Orchestra’s last visit to Liverpool ensured that they weren’t gonna be caught slipping this time around.
They are by far one of the most exciting orchestral collectives, and their return to 24 Kitchen Street was practically inevitable.
This time around they were paying homage to Madvillainy, the ground breaking classic album from supergroup Madvillain, which saw a collaboration between producer Madlib (Quasimoto) and M.F. DOOM.
The scene was set beautifully by DJ ‘Illson’ (No Fakin’) and a stellar opening support from the illusive Nelson, who performed in the middle of the crowd. His laid back underground vibe was the perfect way to prepare the audience for what was to come. With lyrics like ‘I don’t know where this is going, like a Coltrane solo,’ he gained appreciative nods from an audience which knew a thing or two about this thing we call hip hop.
With their conductor at heart of it all, the 24 Kitchen Street stage appeared to glow as the 16 piece Abstract Orchestra – which included a brass section, keys and incredibly tight percussion – brought the 2004 classic album to life and while these guys were certainly not here to mess around, the entire orchestra appeared to be enjoying themselves just as much as the watching crowd, with their MC getting involved in the banter between spitting bars.
The crowd were also given a treat when the conductor would chop in accapellas of MF Doom joints like Air and Vomitspit while the Leeds based Orchestra where in full flow.
As the show came to a close and the shout of “ALL CAPS” came from the audience – the Abstract Orchestra duly obliged to bring the end to a night that some say was even better than their last visit.
To call the evening a triumph would be an understatement. There was a feeling throughout that we were seeing something truly special, and being so close to Halloween made the Madvillainy all the more appropriate.
Pictures by Shelique Braithwaite and Niloo Sharifi