SXSW Review: College and Anoraak, March 14

It might be a bit unfair to lump them together, but both French electronic acts Anoraak and College were playing showcases on Wednesday and I was there for both.

These bands caught my eye in the mid 00s when a host of French acts exploded into the blogosphere. They were probably all friends and called themselves the Valerie Collective. While this explosion never really caught on stateside, their music remained constantly good. The genre recently received a nice surge due to the popularity of the Drive soundtrack and maybe that (along with College’s new release Northern Council) factored into the bands decision to visit Austin

It was a strange decision to slot Anoraak in a mid afternoon slot but the 3 piece act made the most of it with a surging set that featured the band frequently interchanging between synthesizer and guitar/bass. The drummer provided tracks like Nightdrive with a nice additional kick and the crowd was moving their feet by the end of the set. Judging by the amount of times I overhead the term “who are these guys?” in the crowd, it’s safe to say that these retro synth poppers gathered a few fans that afternoon.

Anoraak plays Malverde on Saturday at 12:15 AM

At the other end of the spectrum was College aka David Grellier. No doubt used to playing night clubs, College’s solo laptop act seemed a bit of a stretch for Mohawk’s massive outdoor patio setting. The crowd was packed for College’s set, which consisted of laptops and some dj-ish devices on the table with projections in the background. Aside from the glow coming off the projected screen, it was pitch black. The synth driven set sounded good and as one track melded into the other, one couldn’t help but feel that with a more intimate setting and some complementary lights, College’s synth-laden 80s summer sounds would have been a bit more effective.

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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