REVIEW: Kon and The Transatlantics at The Basement [21.8.2010]

Thanks to Niche Productions, The Basement hosted a night of great live soul music from Adelaide band The Transatlantics on the 21st of August, later to boogie down to the disco sounds of Kon, one half of Brooklyn based highly esteemed internationally renowned vinyl connoisseurs Kon and Amir.

Adelaide 8 piece The Transatlantics

The night began with live music from the 10 piece band The Transatlantics who are essentially an 8 piece band. Visually, you would expect a thunderous sound with two guitarists, bass player, drummer, trumpeter, trombonist, a baritone saxophonist, vocalist and two backup singers. To my surprise, their sound was incredibly tight  and powerful in a self contained manner.  It wasn’t about ostentatious solo’s or belting out tunes, rather the finer details, accents and the subtle call-and-responses that could have easily  been dismissed as repetitive nuances. I couldn’t help but be transported into a different epoch – the late 50’s and 60’s.  Their sound not only transported me to a different era, but it was like soaking in southern American heat (I used to live in Texas), waiting for the cool change of breeze, when all you could do was play by the river till late in the evening without a damn care – youthful bliss . In other words, their dynamic sound makes you feel carefree!

No doubt you’ll be hearing more of this band leading into summer festivals. Keep a good ear out for them!

And then there was Kon…

The night follwed by a DJ set from Kon of  legendary duo Kon and Amir. Kon’s musical background is deep, knowledgable in multiple genres, with vast expertise in the world of vinyl ‘diggin’ and production. Some claim his DJ sets are an historical musical journey from beginning to present, seamless and rare. It was good to see a crowd had remained to hear Kon’s set albiet increasingly drunk the crowd came to be and not what I had expected Kon’s crowd to attract.  Kon started on shakey ground that evening playing tracks to a room full of music lovers set to hear the DJ play rare disco boogie/soul tracks, instead with difficulty mixing one track into the other, he started off with electro hip hop, to radio disco bangers, dropping tracks that you wouldn’t expect a man with such musical depth and knowledge to drop.

My eyebrows were slightly raised at his musical selection, nonetheless as the night advanced, so did his musical crate and skills. Let’s just say it was a smart move on my part to espouse patience and stay past 1am. It did take him a while to warm up to the crowd, dropping classic tracks like “Candy Girl” by New Edition,  De La Soul’s ‘Me, Myself and I’, Michael Jackson, Four Tops’ “Reach Out”, then flawlessly beat juggling a number of times throughout his set, scratching in between tracks, then finally sticking to rare ghetto disco, to soul and african boogie.

He eased into his role as the boucing musical conductor, orchestrating an unrivalled disco boogie set with a dash of rare soul. This was what I had been waiting for – the commanding conductor. His known reputation as a fierce crate diggin’ aficionado was well put to the test with grooves that took us all to –  yet again, another era. That evening proved that music can make you travel through time. I felt I had traveled through  4 decades of music to come back on the other end in of the present time scale, only wanting more of the nostalgia.

Music was better back then. With the help of DJ’s and producers such as Kon, it’s longevity will remain in the hands of those who have an insatiable hunger to protect it’s genre from becoming extinct, protecting it by means of playing the genre out to the masses, travelling oceans, hand-to-hand, fibre optics and cables to keep the genre alive.

Definitely worth the wait….

Off Track Vol III ” by Kon and Amir is out now through BBE records.

Click play below to give it a listen or find it on mixcloud.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Kon interview press image.