Review: Giraffage and Hotel Garuda warm our hearts with fluffy puppies

House | Thursday 8th February 2018 | Cristina

We weren’t sure what to expect when seeing Giraffage and Hotel Garuda at the Jazz Café for a midweek session. 

Both artists are well loved in the US - but how would their dreamy, bay area brand of electronica go down in the near-baltic temperatures of Camden in February, in a venue best known for booking alternative acoustic and jazz acts - on a Wednesday?

We were pleasantly surprised to find a warm, buzzy venue filled with a well dressed, anticipatory crowd. Whilst Hotel Garuda - comprised of previously solo producers Manila Killa and Candleweather - are primarily known for their bombastic brand of pop house beats, we found them playing a surprisingly eclectic and party starting set.

Having warmed up with some laidback Kaytranda, the duo bounced effortlessly between party classics like ‘aNYway’ by Duck Sauce and the now ubiquitous Camelphat and Elderbrook ‘Cola’ collab, to edgier house like the universally adored Yaeji’s ‘raingurl’. After bringing their set to a hands in the air close with Bicep’s ‘Glue’, the duo were visibly elated to have received such a raucous reception in London.

After a quick 10 minute changeover, Charlie Yin - better known as Giraffage - took to the stage. A diminutive figure dressed in a sweatshirt and beanie, his slightly shy presence belied the beats he was about on unleash on the eager crowd.

He kicked things off with ‘Slowly’, the first single he released from his recent album, ‘Too Real’. This mixed effortlessly into the airy album opener ‘Do U Want Me’, before ‘Green Tea’ - the attendees bouncing and singing along raucously to Angelica Bess’ vocals.

With the crowd thoroughly warmed up, Giraffage then launched into an inimitable blend of RnB and hiphop classics, mashed up with choruses of synths and sped up basslines, from Soulja Boy to Mariah Carey. This style is what first helped Giraffage burst onto the global scene back in 2012, and it’s hard not to love it. All the while, a brilliant blend of visuals were projected onto the screen behind the stage. Possibly the most fun VJ set I’ve ever seen, Frenchies in baby swings, reversing corgi puppies and kittens in the sky mixed with old school VHS style aesthetics in a show reflecting Giraffage’s animal loving personality.

Stepping back out into the bleak streets of North London, our fingers might have been freezing but our hearts had been warmed by one of the most unashamedly fun musical experiences you could have on a wet Wednesday. We can’t wait to see what the rest of 2018 brings for these talented producers with the rest of the world primed to discover them.