Review: Basenji caps off his national tour with a heaving Oxford Art Factory

With his first full release on Future Classic, Trackpad, dropping just two weeks ago, and a tour alongside local and international heavyweights taking him across the US, Basenji has nowhere to go but up. Friday night saw the end of his Trackpad Tour, promoting his EP, which has sent him to every major city in the country. Capping it off, he of course returned to his hometown of Sydney, to wrap it up at Oxford Art Factory.

It started mega late, which we’ll get back to a bit later, with Body Promise kicking things off at 11:30. The room was pretty empty to begin with, everyone obviously waiting around for the main event, but it got down regardless. House and pop beats ruled the set, a perfect gee up for what was to come. The clock struck midnight and Kimchi Princi took the stage.

Real name Gina, Princi is a producer, singer and rapper, with spacious sounding instrumentals perfectly matching her breathy and gorgeous vocal work. She started putting stuff out earlier this year, but her performance on Friday would’ve left you thinking she’d been doing it for years. With Shisd on the decks, she absolutely destroyed OAF. Anything she did, she had complete control of the crowd. She spat bars and sang like a queen, and when she moved everyone went absolutely wild. At one stage between songs, some bloke up the front shouted something at her, and instead of just ignoring it, she completely called him out. “He just told me to show him my tits,” – and the whole crowd gave that guy fucking hell – there was no bullshit, and it was amazing. Kimchi Princi is going places without a doubt – do yourself a huge favour and get familiar with her asap.

Kimchi finished a lil’ late, so Body Promise only got to jump on pre-Basenji briefly, but she definitely turned it up just enough to get the crowd jumping even more. It’s good that she did, it was about to turn up hard.

Basenji jumped on the decks at just past 1, and there was so much love in the club. You could feel all of it radiating towards the front, and nothing could’ve wiped the smile off his face. He’s known for playing some real soulful and turn up jersey sets, and this one was no different. Bouncing from SOPHIE’s latest to a live remix of Bieber and Jack Ü, it was clearly his originals that everyone was most keen to see.

Dawn, his first major track, got one of the biggest reactions I’ve ever seen at OAF. Newer work off Trackpad got everyone going real hard, and the dance-floor was absolutely packed super quick into his set. The visuals were stellar as well, with a whole bunch of sick images and spacey GIFs by Voena getting projected onto some oriental style screens made by Tablou Collective (the minds behind the stage design at Volumes Festival, Astral People’s 4th birthday, and two OutsideIn Festivals in a row) – it was gorgeous to look at and to boogie to. It wasn’t long before it was over though, however the night had well and truly begun. There’d been some teasing about a back to back set with a bunch of his friends, and one could assume who it’d be. At 2, though his own set had finished, Wave Racer, Cosmo’s Midnight and Nina Las Vegas, who’s recently left Triple J to pursue her own other interests, all joined Basenji on stage. It got nuts. Trap bangers to jersey to future bass, they covered it all until they got shut down – it was phenomenal, and the perfect way to see Basenji off to The States.

There’s few that are more deserving of the attention they get than Basenji. His fans absolutely adore him, his tunes stay fresh and his performances are always mega fun. No doubt he’ll kill it overseas, but we wish him heaps of luck anyway. We <3 U