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February 26, 2006
Radio Fryer: Mike Relm blinds us with love and leaves a trail of smoking decks in his wake
Who rocks the party that rocks the body? Mike "it's 3am in Vancouver and I love my life" Relm. Gracing Richard's on Richards with his first headlining show last night, Relm took the stage after shit-hot opening sets by Montreal's Skratch Bastid and Vancouver's No Luck Club (see story below). Playing to a sold-out crowd peppered with indie kids, hip hop enthusiasts, and night club hoppers who didn't expect to be treated to 90 minutes of the golden goods from one of the best turntablists of the year, Relm pulled out all stops to deliver an audio-visual powerhouse of scratched DVDs and sampled ecstacy to make the most fastidious crate-sifter jealous. Standout moments included scritch-scratched visual materials from Fight Club, Office Space, and the Chemical Brothers, with audio samples running the gamut of Jay-Z, UB40, and Rage Against the Machine. We were cresting 4am when he finished with a singalong rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine."
Mike Relm is a rare gem when it comes to charisma; regardless of your affinity with turntablism or DJ culture, the spectacle of his visual show knocks the wind out of any audience. Attired in his signature black suit and spectacles, Relm's unassuming stature renders the delivery of his music all the more powerful. It isn't often that you see an artist walk onstage, throw down, and own the place, free of any pretentia; it was obvious that Relm was as excited to be there as his audience was to see him. The energy of Vancouver crowds has been likened to that of a loaf of canned ham, but Relm's show had the entire house jumping and woke me up the next morning with the chorus of "Josie and Relm" ringing in my ears.