Rhythmic Darkness: SCALPING shake Belgrave to its core
When Belgrave shared that the Bristol Band’s mere warm-up was causing ashtrays to be shaken off the rooftop tables, it was destined to be a heavy night. Once SCALPING got started, they didn’t stop. The band delivered a pummeling set of their signature fuse of techno, industrial and post-punk without a single word spoken. Their message of welding live electronic music with guitars and acoustics was conveyed purely through their immense performance, and all the better for it. SCALPING created a truly otherworldly experience that everyone should experience.
An initial sign of the oncoming sensory tsunami was the visual screen that preceded the opening track. The large, visceral backdrop that encompassed the band served as a perfect compliment to the SCALPING’s music, whilst helping to transport the crowd out of Leeds and into a horrifyingly vibrant other world. The combination of Sci-Fi elements, body horror and branching electrical patterns was utterly entrancing, locking those watching on into a mechanical flow of motion.
The choice to mix the set together vastly helped to accentuate the electronic aspects of the band’s sounds. If you could only hear the show, it would not be hard to picture an experimental, underground DJ set. During an interview with NME, SCALPING explained that this is intended to further differentiate their live sets from personal listening, further emphasised by their choice to play songs live that you cannot find elsewhere. One track almost immediately recognisable during the set was ‘Chamber’, an intense piece centred around an already iconic, metallic synth partnered with a driving kick drum. The song currently stands as the band’s most popular, even featuring during Bruce’s 2019 Boiler Room set in Dekmantel, which serves as a testament to their growth into the electronic music scene whilst simultaneously driving in their own lane.
SCALPING’s debut album Void will be arriving on April 29th. For the moment, the debut single ‘Flashforward’ is available to stream now.
Words by Elliott Booth
Image Credit: Jamie Harding