by Irene Lo
Friday the thirteenth was a lucky day for those in Vancouver this year because a certain R&B cat made his long-awaited debut at the Shine night club. Cashmere Cat, real name Magnus August Hoiberg, has been catching fans with bona fide remixes (bootleg or official) for artists as varied from Lana Del Rey to Miguel, besides releasing a well-received debut EP Mirror Maru last year under Pelican Fly Records. While Cashmere Cat’s record features songs that take a futuristic and electronic spin on hip-hop, the live DJ set was much more amped and grimier than expected. It was awesome.
Cashmere Cat did not come on until one in the morning, and due to close quarters of this particular venue, he was in clear view chilling behind Heartbeat(s) and Expendable Youth doing their thing. One of the indicators of a good night out at a club is a sold out show with a crowd faded and ready to dance. The waft of BC bud, a familiar fume, also helped tweak the atmosphere jolly. Even before midnight, the front of the stage was littered with bodies jerking around as strobe lights alternated between flickering pulses of white, purple, and red beams.
Wearing a black snapback that said “Sad Boys” with a favoured jean jacket, Hoiberg’s distinctively soft-looking blonde mane rested on his shoulders as he set up and started his set with a little piano ditty that changed into “Kiss Kiss.” A slick song off Mirror Maru, “Kiss Kiss” showed off his manipulation for R&B melodies equipped with turbo-charged crescendos that drop clean. With everyone dancing on the stuffy floor, it soon became a sauna as girls told each other “I am sweating my balls off”, and the one fan sitting lonely and in effect superfluous in the small hallway.
Playing tracks invested in slow, sexy bass beats, the minimalistic use of vocals was a trend that carried on through the night. There was a nice moment, however, when Cashmere Cat played a distorted vocal sample of “Barbie Girl” from a one-hit-wonder band Aqua. It was barely discernible to the sugary spasms of the original but the chorus was recognizable as none other than that.
Taking a turn for the trap, Cashmere Cat progressively maneuvered the crowd for harder and dirtier dance moves. A shot of endorphins surged through the partygoers that cheered. Behind Hoiberg, several blonde women mirrored the crowd in the exuberance of the moment. At one point one of them flicked flyers at the crowd that at first grabbed them thinking they were free goodies.
An impressive set that was only enhanced by Shine, the venue of choice for a performance geared towards the night club aesthetic sans douche chills, it was a night for dancing as all hell get out in intimate quarters to a sound system that did justice to the DJ and his pick of the songs.
Cashmere Cat is welcome back to Vancouver anytime and hopefully we don’t have to wait for another Friday the thirteenth to make that happen.
Image courtesy of the artist