Frieze Music 2010 presented two specially curated nights of very different sounds, one of disco and a second of exquisite song from a singular voice.
Friday 15 October saw Hercules and Love Affair perform at Debut, one of London’s most innovative new music spaces, situated under the arches of London Bridge Station. This was a rare chance to see Hercules and Love Affair play in the UK, performing an homage to the ‘90s house scene with a celebrated new line-up. Their second album, Blue Songs, which was recorded in Vienna earlier this year, will be released in early 2011, and new material was debuted at the Frieze Music performance. Blue Songs includes a guest spot from Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and a cover of ‘Shelter’ by The xx.
Support for Hercules and Love Affair came from Telepathe. The avant-pop duo’s debut album, Dance Mother (2009), was produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and was described by Uncut as one of the New York scene’s ‘most enchanting new records’. A revolving line-up based around the duo Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais, the band combines indie-electro with hiphop. Berlin-based duo Hype Williams and FACT DJs (from Fact Magazine, London) also played.
On Saturday, 16 October Frieze Music moved to Shoreditch Church for a night of ethereal music. For this one-off candlelit concert, Baby Dee – a classically trained harpist and pianist – performed with The Elysian Quartet, one of the UK’s most innovative young ensembles and the only British quartet of its generation focused exclusively on 20th-century contemporary and experimental music.
Also performing was James Blackshaw, whose instrumental pieces combine folk and classical minimalism, and whose albums have drawn comparisons with musicians as varied as John Fahey, Steve Reich and Erik Satie. At Shoreditch Church, Blackshaw performed solo.