This was a show that I had been very excited about for a while. Four Door is the electronic duo of Jonathan Hochman (Holy Balm) and Matthew Hopkins (Naked On The Vague, Half High, solo artist). They previously performed, recorded, and released music together under the Hochman & Hopkins moniker, where their output was quite possibly improvised and certainly much more experimental in nature. The one release that I do have from this era of their collaboration, a Night People cassette titled Live NYE, is strikingly playful at times; good-natured electronic psychedelia that freely meanders wherever it may.
Four Door is a stark contrast to that material; at first it is clean-cut and ordered electronica to the point of near parody. In his review of their debut 12″ for Crawlspace, Shaun Prescott wrote that the “EP’s opening tracks sound like music to control whole accountancy firms and call centre floors; functional ambiance designed to numb workers to the interminate processes of capital.”
But little by little, the duo introduce little disruptions into their tracks. In the opening track to both their 12″ and this performance, the wonderfully titled Meeting Rooms, the machine-like composition is suddenly interrupted by Hopkins’ grotesque bleating. There’s something ugly hiding just under the surface, and every now and then it pushes through.
It seems fitting that my first experience of Four Door as a live band was in a store. One of my favorite performances of the year.
01 – Meeting Rooms
Total time 29mins.