For an electronic aficionado on a city break, the words "live minimal techno band play in the Zoological Museum" present a proposition that's far too curious to miss. This unusual gig saw Austrian outfit Elektro Guzzi perform as part of the city's multifarious Wondercool festival, which included events ranging from cook-offs hosted by famous Danish DJs to a plethora of jazz concerts, and plenty of other music, art and design events besides.
Sitting on the outskirts of Copenhagen's centre, the museum was a brilliantly unusual setting for a gig. Two organ grinders, complete with toy monkeys, soundtracked our entrance to the building, whereupon we were greeted with a free beer and a chauffeured lift (complete with gramophone) into the bowels of the venue. We walked through a maze of dinosaur skeletons, taxidermic bears and models of birds to reach the arena, where the band was situated in a clearing facing a step-terrace semi-circle. A couple of skeletons were jauntily positioned among the crowd, while a stuffed chimp hung above the dance floor, holding onto a projection screen drawstring with an outstretched arm. The setting made for a wonderfully surreal experience, but somehow Elektro Guzzi's music didn't quite make sense of this unique scenario.
Comprising a guitarist, a drummer and a synth/sequencer operator, the band put forward an intriguing concept, but one that was somewhat lacking in musical spark. At first, the funky 16ths the drummer dished out recalled LCD Soundsystem in full-on jam mode, but this nu-disco / punk-funk flavour was soon broadsided by thundering techno thud. The force of their sound in this live arena certainly didn't bring the word "minimal" to mind—it was an intense, throbbing assault. A limited sound palette meant that their free-flowing, seldom-pausing set quickly became monotonous. Little dynamism was displayed, nor a captivating musicality. Overall it felt like a missed opportunity for an electronic act to make some sense out of these wondrous surroundings.