about the gig
The second act to take to the stage were 'Krautadelia' outfit Warm Digits. To say that the crowd were suitably warmed up is an understatement. They kicked off with a restrained intro of light synth, before widening out into the name of the tracks title "Warm Welcome", which is exactly what it was. A mix of fuzzy and clear, with building momentum to suitably persuade carousers to do just that, carouse.
Opting for smooth transitions, there were no breaks in their set, instead flowing from one to the next, utilising elements to subtly blend and kick into the forthcoming track, making for the ultimate dance. Quickly ascending and descending single stringed riffs enticed arms to be thrown, before sliding in what can only be described as 'Happy Robot' sounds. Keeping a merry old pace about them, there was a feeling that in their breaks, they wanted to veer into off pitched tangents but was halted as they brought each (element) to collaborate as one, with surprising precision. There were still however, slight pitch bends, with a taster of simple keys before a final fury, agitated on by the fans.
Even though each track delved into the next, it was clear when "Trans-Pennine Express" emerged. Crashing drums booted the main room up a notch before an absolute corker of a bass-line. This really did feel like you were in an intro to an 80's TV show, a hard concept to grasp but most definitely an exciting one, and judging by everyone else, they had that same anomalous feeling. This transcended straight into a battle between nebulous and spotless reverberations until they regained harmony, highlighted by appropriate twinkles.
"Here Come The Warm Digits" was a pulsating, threatening hyper speed track filled with constant fun. They were really toying with the audience at this point, winding synth to its peak, almost overpowering, but being releasing just in the nick of time. Again, they really threw elements together, playing on the dominance of their sound.
An abrasive transition must have meant one thing; they were sliding into "Weapons Destruction" cascading the room into pure energy. More computer based than the rest of the set, it was highly strung, but allowing itself and fans very quick breathers, utilised as breaks. This was the first time in the night we saw them throwing in the unexpected. Xylophone synth reverted them to their friendly ways. This was a heady mix and resonated throughout with faultless precision.
The previous efforts were all in aid of their final push. A wash of "Digits", speedy up and down synths, cowbells and much heavier distortion running through guitar riffs replaced previous clarity. The rudiments were the tightest they had been, throwing us into a solid wall of sound, but still managing to keep the components noticeably separate.
This could go down as one of the 'tightest' sets we have witnessed. Not to mention that it put a smile on each and every person in the room. Not many bands can boast that, but Warm Digits certainly can.
Warm Digits are the duo that emerged from Newcastle's underground with a sound like Neu! and Cluster formed a supergroup with Giorgio Moroder, Emeralds, Kevin Shields, 70's Eno and Keith Levene. Their first album proper, "Keep Warm... with the Warm Digits, came out in 2011 on Newcastle's Distraction label, in CD and also double vinyl gatefold formats. As Andrew Weatherall recently described them - "machine funk kraut-a-delia. It's rather lovley!"
Warm Digits are Steve Jefferies and Andy Hodson. Jefferies you may know for his 2 albums and various singles and EPs as Cathode, with releases for static Caravan, Expanding and others. Hodson, as well as producing Cath and Phil Tyler's modern folk classic "Dumb Supper", also produced Maximo Park's Paul Smiths's solo album "Margins", and toured Europe as a key member of Smiths band.
2011 also saw Warm Digits support the legendary Goblin, play Berlin's kraur/prog fest Polyhymia, remix UNKLE and Maximo park, and get a heavy dose of adoration from 6Music, Steve Lamacq on Radio 2 and others. They've also supported Modeselektor, Field Music, Barbra Morgenstern and others (Field Music's David Brewis also appears as guest bass player on the album).
Live, Warm Digits are a motorik epiphany of Drums, guitar and pulsing hardware complete with mesmeric kosmische visuals, all that on-stage multi-tasking makinf their live sets a dynamic kraut disco experiience.