With their debut album dropping this March, you get the feeling that Finland’s KXP have arrived in London about 12 months late for a media orgasm. The band’s black-clad Germanic disco channels the essence of yesteryear’s ‘edgy’ clubbing and would’ve sounded so very au courant in a Dalston basement in, say, April. This year though, leather ear-muffs and slave-wear are out, with crucifixes reverting to their upright positions and, going on the evidence of the crowd tonight (not to mention the drummer’s one-glove-two-watches combo) this band will stay resolutely unfashionable; the object of affection for music fans who couldn’t care less.
Obviously that’s a good thing and it’ll mean a good deal less distraction from tracks that deserve close attention. Whether KXP are provoking instant air-punching in ‘18 Hours (of Love)’ or in Gary Numan-meets-Suicide mode for ‘Pockets’, these minimal, motorik numbers maintain a balance between danceable simplicity and deep-if-erratic wealth of screwed-up ideas. For the live show, their songs are re-shaped into slow-building monoliths that reach heights of Kaos-pad fuckery and flirt with GABBA rhythms. Again, not so cool, but considering the praise they’ve garnered from Optimo DJs and the audience tonight, they don’t need to be.
By Edgar Smith
Originally published in issue 25 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. February 2011