Richie Meldrum
Richie Meldrum

mail@richiemeldrum.com

‘New’ and ‘exciting’ are words we hear a lot, yet rarely are they due. Thankfully, with the latest instalment of their nomadic club event Espionage, Melbourne promotion crew The Operatives dared to be different, those in attendance reaping the rewards.

The choice of venue for the night, the intriguingly named St Ali’s Roasting Room, was located down a dark alley, off a dark street down in South Melbourne. A pop up bar, stacked sound system and outside portaloos all contributing to making the whole thing feel just that little bit illegal, always good when it comes to creating atmosphere. The main draw of the night for most was Sam Barker from Michigan, more widely known as Samiyam. Producer, DJ and part of the respected Brainfeeder record label, Samiyam is one of the main players in a group of artists championing a spattered, instrumental form of hip hop. His set on the night certainly delivered what you’d expect to hear, with punchy beats and bleeps set to a mild, but absorbing tempo.

Where Samiyam differs from some of the other artists in this chameleonic little sub genre, including Flying Lotus (with whom he records as FLYamSAM) the Gaslamp Killer, Lorn and others, is in his penchant for the sounds of yesteryear. Cuts of funk, soul and early 90’s hip hop are readily thrown into the mix, an ‘ode to the old skool’ that went down nicely with a responsive crowd. On after Samiyam, support act Fugitive deserves a mention for reading his role well, stepping up the pace up with accuracy and making the dance floor his own with some hefty bass led tracks.

Credit where credits due, there aren’t too many parties that will try something different and pull it off as well as this. Here’s hoping the new space can be used more in the future.