SOHN – Rough Trade NYC – May 10, 2014
Hailing from South London but now calling Vienna home, Christopher Taylor, aka SOHN, immersed himself in the mountainous setting of Austria and its burgeoning electronic- music scene. Although his early training was on piano and guitar, Taylor has since traded in those classical instruments in favor of analog drum machines and synths. Having worked his production prowess for fellow countrymen Kwabs, Disclosure and BANKS, he has set aside time to foster his own songwriting.
With the recent release of his debut, Tremors, the Brit graced a sold-out Rough Trade NYC on Friday night to enamor the Brooklyn crowd with his latest. Hooded and cloaked in black, Taylor took his place behind his array of loops, pads and knobs as he tucked into “Ransom Notes.” Taylor didn’t waste any time before digging into his back catalog to unearth “Red Lines” from his EP, The Wheel. Appropriately, the forest of upright fluorescent lights glowed bright red for the tune. Lighting was a main fixture for the evening, as white lights drowned the producer-singer during his debut’s title track.
Following a pair of oldies, “Bloodflows” and “Oscillate,” the James Blake–like ethereal falsetto intro to “Tempest” entranced onlookers. Midway through the set, Taylor sincerely thanked everyone for coming and supporting his new album. And then pulsating illumination matched the beats of “Lights,” while his command for Brooklyn to move sent a sea of bodies into motion. A cadence of claps ensued for the set’s final song, “Lessons,” before an encore with fan-favorites “Artiface” and “The Wheel.” It’s clear that Taylor has eclipsed his behind-the-scenes role as a producer and that he should assume a position at the forefront as a bona fide talent in his own right. —Sharlene Chiu