The Foundry, London - 3 September 2004

"The heaven-sent marriage between Cabaret Voltaire and Meat Beat Manifesto"

[The Foundry]Rehabilitation is a regular club at The Foundry, just around the corner from East London's coolsville (still, just) - Hoxton Square. But unlike most of the multi-million pound makeovers there, it's impossible to say when the owners of the Foundry last spent a penny on the venue's decor. Shabby Chic it may be. Bohemian it certainly is. With its combination of wall art, sculpture corners and cutting edge club nights, this former bank is always worth keeping an eye on. Like tonight.

Mothboy, aka Simon Smerdon is a local London boy, but is signed to always-intriguing German electronic label Adnoiseam. This evening was part DJ slot part live spot. Working from a pre-programmed laptop but dropping in live odd and sods, tonight was the first live preview of the second Mothboy album The Fears. In spite of his few years, Mothboy's skills suggest maturity beyond his age. With phat breakbeat electro backing and fiddly toppings and schizophrenic female voices, the set gets off to a solid start. But it isn't all beats and bass. Grinding, churning underwater soundtracks of machines pushing for more power show a darker side, and further still, there's some truly calming ambient pieces that lure you to chill out with ease. The harsher, metallic clanging suggests that industrialists will find interest here too.

Much of the night sounds like the heaven sent marriage between Cabaret Voltaire and Meat Beat Manifesto, but Mothboy's declaration of love for heroes The Beastie Boys is also evident in the few songs that rap their way around your ears. The range and quality throughout the night is impressive. Beats, tempos and styles switching - often within a single track. Looking at the slightly chubby, rosy-faced youngster at the controls, you know you are looking at something special. For there's no denying this kid's got talent.

Rob Dyer