There’s something about Wednesday nights this Fall. It’s not the usual party night but there’s been (and continues to be) some kickass shows on Wednesdays. Ott is pretty awesome, but to pack Bottom Lounge on a Wednesday night like he did was remarkable. I’ve seen awesome Friday night shows at Bottom Lounge with less people. It was a good thing so many people showed up: this show needed as many witnesses as possible, it was phenomenal. One of the best developments in the Chicago music scene in 2012 is the blossoming relationship between Bottom Lounge and Silver Wrapper. It’s the ideal matchup of venue and promoter, and this is yet another notch in their belt of awesome shows together.
The opening act was Govinda, an artist I’d never heard of until this show was announced. Turns out, his style was perfect to accompany Ott with his new live band project called The All-Seeing I. Govinda’s sound was in the same vain as Beats Antique or Quixotic, complete with live violin playing. It’s that exotic sound with deep bass that feels slightly sinister while the violin served to lighten it up and add dimension. Most acts with this sound have a few people in the band, but Govinda was doing it all on his own. It was a pretty impressive opening set, definitely well above average.
Then it was Ott’s turn, and he dazzled from start to finish. When it comes to psychedelic electronic music, Ott is a master, and with a live band his sound became even more electrifying. One of the most stunning parts of his approach was moving from light to darkness all while staying in this bass-driven groove. Many of the songs from his latest album Mir were played, but the best example of the light & dark were “One Day I Wish To Have This Kind Of Time” and “Owl Stretching Time.” “One Day” is the lighter side, with an atmospheric energy bolstered with a reggae vibe that added a certain sunniness. Then “Owl” went in a dark & murky direction and it felt like the air in the room got heavier, more dense. His texture shifts had an uncanny three-dimensional sensation that is extremely rare.
The biggest crowd reaction of the night came when he busted out the fan favorite “The Queen Of All Everything.” But it’s not like it was a rager or some bass drop parade that made people go nuts. Instead it was like an exhale of wonder, an exclamation of awe. This is just a gorgeous song that evoked imagery of floating through space, hurtling past stars at high speed yet moving effortlessly like a slow fluid. The live band really made everything pop, but at the same time it felt like there was so much more untapped potential. With the complexity of Ott’s music, it seems like he could have a whole orchestra behind him. Nonetheless, this show was a massive outpouring of love & support for one of the most unique electronic producers out right now. And this performance cemented that we will be seeing much more of this band next summer — they should be on every festival lineup in America under the cover of darkness, blowing people’s minds.