Preceded by a respectable set by the forward-looking producers of DJ Dodger Stadium, SOPHIE (real name Samuel Long) entered the room with a jarring, ethereal drone. Building to the beginning of the set, this starting sonic wash could not be more different than the glittery electronic textures to come. With a 180 degrees spin, we found ourselves in a house of mirrors highlighting every gaudy cliché of pop.
Throughout the evening, DJDS and SOPHIE harkened back to the passing of musician legend Prince. There was no doubt both artists wanted to celebrate the music icon through performance, and both succeeded to great effect. To many in the audience it seemed a very fitting tribute that these genres, contrasting in so many different ways with Prince, reveal very personal attachment to his works. But not for more than a brief moment did the show reach a somber level; the pace and punch of SOPHIE was simply too much for the dampened spirit.
On stage, Long reduces all music apart from what pours through the speakers. His tightly packed dance numbers cascade on one another and it’s impossible not to catch very evident segues from pop and from EDM to his repertoire. But even within the context of genre-blending that leaks from today’s popular music, Sophie has found himself a gem niche. On stage, it’s very clear that he is very particular about his presence in general, and in the sonic quality of his work. SOPHIE may be a perfectionist and we won’t count it against him.
Article by Darius Kay