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*Attendees are encouraged to wear masks while not actively drinking*
7PM – Doors
8PM – Show
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
Cultural appropriation and racism. Social media vanity. Post-colonialism and political correctness. These are not talking points that you’d ordinarily hear on the dancefloor but Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul are ripping up the rulebook with their debut album Topical Dancer. The Ghent-based duo, who broke out with their 2019 Zandoli EP on Soulwax’s record label DEEWEE, are rare storytellers in electronic music: they take the temperature of the time and funnel them into their playful synth concoctions – never didactic and always with a knowing wink.
Their new studio record – which cements them as a duo under both their names for the first time and is co-written and co-produced by Soulwax – is both a triumph of kaleidoscopic electro-pop and “a snapshot of how we think about pop culture in the 2020s.” It captures Charlotte and Bolis’s essence as musical collaborators and the conversations they’ve had over the past two years on tour, as well as their perspectives as Belgians with an immigrant background, Charlotte with Guadeloupean and French-Martinique ancestry and Bolis being of Chinese descent.
Conceptually, the pair wanted to put these observations and ideas about culture today and the zeitgeist into a “time capsule shaped like an egg”, with the idea that you could “bury the album somewhere”, says Bolis, for future generations to find and figure out what the 2020s were all about through their eyes. The egg is “a visual shorthand,” they say, “for new life and unhatched potential.”
Zandoli was partly an exploration of what it means to be a woman of Caribbean heritage growing up in Belgium – Pitchfork called it “striking, playful electro pop with a sly sense of humour”. Topical Dancer, however, expands their worldview outwards. Songs like “Hey” question the shallowness of ‘wokeness’ and searches for a utopia of “equality, harmony and integrity”, while ‘Reappropriate’ is a fluttery R&B-ish song about liberating oneself from sexual trauma. Charlotte sings across English, Dutch, Creole and French, her signature deadpan delivery at times recalling a vogue house vocalist or a Black Mirror-style virtual assistant, giving the album a hypnotic, fourth-world quality.
Rentboy is a Philadelphia-based collaborative project founded in 2016 by Bobby Brown. Their last album, Memory Forever, is a meditation on body memory and queer musical history.