For a lot of fans of modern electronic music and a large section of 405 staff, the date for this show was frantically penciled into the diary the second it was announced. The recent wave of sample heavy, stirringly fast and shockingly innovative producers has escalated quickly. XXYYXX, very much the lead name on the bill, has risen more rapidly than anyone could have perhaps predicted amassing millions upon millions of YouTube views and a burgeoning devoted following (not just within the stoner community, although his contingent there is as strong as ever.) The venue size is evident of this rise, the last time XXYYXX played in London with his cohort Giraffage they had just about crammed full the relatively small Birthdays venue in Dalston, but now 1,500 devotees lay waiting in KOKO soon to find out tonight's acts fully justify the upgrade.

First on, playing to an unfortunately under-sized crowd is Stockholm producer Niva. He plays a light and colourful set with his soft vocals riding atop the buoyant electronic swathes of tracks from his 2011 EP Feverish Dreams of which the understated anthem of 'Boy From The Sun' is most enjoyable. The set is short and pleasant enough, but you get the impression that much more of a reaction would have been stirred had a few more people been present in the audience.

A deviation from the MacBooks and mixing desks comes second on the bill from London's Mt. Wolf, who blends an electronic production style with live guitars, drums and vocals. Singer Kate Sproule really takes the reigns in the performance, her powerful yet inexplicably ethereal vocal talent manifests itself excitingly atop the dreamy soundscapes conjured by her bandmates with both acoustic and electric guitar used innovatively alongside a more electronic core. The material from their EP 'Hypolight' dazzles, but it's a choice cover of Usher's unstoppable smash 'Climax' that really seals the crowd's attention, with Kate's vocals providing a more sensual and minimalist interpretation that is nothing short of captivating. It is certainly encouraging to see a British act like Mt. Wolf pioneering an eclectic sound on the big stage, in times to come hopefully their experimentation will be as applauded on a larger scale similar to the likes of Alt-J and Mount Kimbie, they've certainly got the ability.

Mt. Wolf @ Koko, London 13/05/13

With two stellar self-released albums already released on the internet, Giraffage has quite a few tricks in his locker giving him the opportunity to really come into his element on a live setting. And that he does, as track after flawless track of chilled out gems are pumped throughout KOKO. A less remix heavy set than one might expect from Giraffage, he relishes the opportunity of the large and steadily growing crowd with gusto reeling off his prime cuts. Giraffage's manic and stuttering style caused some confusion in KOKO punters, as many seemingly questioned how to dance to many of his songs changeable nature but after picking things up about midway through following delightfully sweeping tracks like 'LUV', everybody was moving, even in ways they didn't necessarily understand. More bass heavy tracks were dropped in the latter half of the set, marking out a new more accessible future direction possibly in the pipeline, reinforced by the reception to new track 'Money' which tore the place apart with it's teasing stuttering build leading to a trap-style catharsis.

The real secret weapon in the line-up revealed itself next, as the mysterious tribal mask brandishing Slow Magic took to the stage armed with just a laptop, a launchpad, a large drum and boundless energy. On a night where many of the artists are simply standing behind a desk twiddling knobs, Slow Magic is a welcome burst of life and quickly gets KOKO buoyant with his undeniable stage presence as he wallops his drum to an inch of its life, knocking it off its legs several times while dancing along furiously to his own style of up-tempo beat music . The interaction between himself and the crowd is one of mutual appreciation and understanding for the music he's playing, as he brings his drum into the audience and even allows punters in the front row to have a go triggering some samples on his launch pad. It's strange that a man who hides behind a mask can come across as so sociable and interactive in his performance. Perhaps the most notable moment of the set is Slow Magic's remix of the XXYYXX and Giraffage song 'Even Though' as both contemporaries watch from the wings as Slow Magic continues to pound the drum tribally as if his life depended on it. At the end of the set, the crowd are bowled over and screaming with delight as Slow Magic pulls out his iPhone to capture possibly the largest crowd he's ever played. The fact that a producer in a mask is playing such a large venues still confuses some drunken revelers, one of which after the set enthuses to his girlfriend "how amazing was SBTRKT?"

Slow Magic @ Koko, London 13/05/13

Out of all the acts tonight, it is perhaps Blackbird Blackbird who is the veteran. Initially being hailed as a pioneer of 'chillwave' by every blogger in about 2009, he's come a long way. His set is one of pure distilled warmness, acting as probably the most emotionally resonant performance of the night. He nods his cap towards his bill sharing cohorts with another remix of 'Even Though', this one a lot less frantic and more languorous than Slow Magic's effort. Blackbird Blackbird also notably bucks the trend of standing stationary, as he weaves elegantly around the stage reeling off line after line of his harmonious voice while his bubbling smooth synths dance underneath. Samples of the likes of Kate Bush are thrown into the mix effortlessly, and KOKO seems lulled into a state of charm as they prepare for tonight's main event.

Blackbird Blackbird @ Koko, London 13/05/13

At only 17, being simultaneously the youngest and arguably most successful performer on stage tonight is mightily impressive for Marcel Everett aka XXYYXX, particularly as he still can't even buy alcohol legally in the UK. His set is by far the most anticipated of the night, and his name is surely the one that has boosted the crowd to sell-out. The roar when he comes on stage with his visuals man to his left is explosive and the dancing starts immediately. It's at this moment when you realise how big this movement of producers and their style of music is. While none of the acts tonight are particularly new, the euphoric reaction and giant crowd really is testament to the expansion and popularisation of this style of beat making and sample heavy production, and signals that these artists have legs too looking towards the future. Marcel's set leans predominantly on chopping and screwing samples, with an added touch of ingenuity and spaciousness that he is becoming known for. His influences are clearly broad as is widely known through involvement in his teenage years with punk, but tonight it's the hip-hop/r'n'b side to XXYYXX that roams free. Samples of Wacka Flocka Flame and TLC are dropped to mass sing-a-longs and frenetic movement, as Marcel relishes every second of his fame in KOKO tonight. Looking at the crowds reactions it's clear that XXYYXX is becoming a figurehead, something that clearly bowls him over when he looks up to the rafters of the Camden venue with disbelieving yet entirely appreciative looks. Ploughing through material from his self titled effort, and other standouts from his catalogue like the heart-stopping 'About You' Marcel is having fun, stopping and starting the crowd and dazzling them with psychedelic visuals on the big screen behind and indulging the clarity of sound booming through the speakers. He ends to rapturous applause, as Salva appears to take the devoted through to the early hours of the morning with pounding Jamie Lidell and G.O.O.D. Music reinterpretations.

You can call it a movement, or a trend, but the audience at KOKO don't care, they're too busy dancing and losing their minds to a really exciting collection of fresh and inventive producers.

Mt. Wolf

Mt. Wolf @ Koko, London 13/05/13


Giraffage @ Koko, London 13/05/13

Slow Magic

Slow Magic @ Koko, London 13/05/13

Blackbird Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird @ Koko, London 13/05/13


XXYYXX @ Koko, London 13/05/13