Elevations 280: Bentley Rhythm Ace and the Freestylers

After some discussions on Bloggers.SG 2005, some of us folks headed over to the Elevations 280 party being held at Market Street carpark, where we caught Bentley Rhythm Ace and the Freestylers.

BRA were lots of goofy fun as always - they played what sounded to be a mashup of Garbage's "Androgyny" and Blur's "Girls and Boys" (obvious connections between the songs there), their own "Bentley's Gonna Sort You Out!", and a remix of "Billie Jean" among other things. "Bentley's Gonna Sort You Out!" was one of the songs that kept me company as I travelled through England and Wales way back in 1998, when I only had 2 CDs with me, and it felt oddly nostalgic to hear that "I love it" refrain. Big beat's died out, pretty much, but this set was a fun throwback to that halcyon pre-millennial musical moment when everyone was listening to goofy, over-the-top songs. I ended up digging out the BRA FSUK3 mix album that I had in storage.

The Freestylers, on the other hand, seem to have lost their edge. "Ruffneck" sounded great, with that dirty sound, but their new stuff sounded weak, particularly when they brought out MC Surreal, this female MC whose sound totally didn't fit the raw aggro that the Freestylers' best songs have.

Speaking of MCs, the other MC for the Freestylers kept asking the crowd to fill out the phrase "from their new album, Raw As...", but clearly no one knew what the album was. Raw as War, as in wrestling? Raw As Sushi, a vague Neneh Cherry reference? Turns out the album title is Raw as Fuck. Looking back, I presume he thought the crowd was too shy to swear, so he kept egging us on, only to meet with bemused looks.


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