M+A LIVE @ Bedroom Bar, Shoreditch 31.07.14

The Glastonbury Emerging Talent winners follow their Worthy Farm performance with a sterling showcase of cool Summery sounds.

Even if it the UK wasn’t experiencing such a warm and hazy spell as we are right now, this electro-pop duo from Italy would have no trouble in introducing the feel-good summer vibes to an audience. Starting their nine song set with a laid back intro which morphed into ‘Freetown Solo’, they gradually upped the pace as the night grew on and the bar was squeezed ever more full, to the point where punters were standing on chairs to get a glimpse.

The pop charts are currently dominated by dance music which all too often relies on sterile rhythms and the kind of synthesisers which, as the 1980s should have taught us, will soon become aged and cringe-worthy. M+A are a very welcome breath of fresh air in this stale and rotting environment, because artists such as Disclosure have proved that the dance genre has huge potential to be intricate, thoughtful and a world away from the monstrosities the likes of Avicii and David Guetta manage churn out year after year.

Songs such as ‘When’, ‘Festival’ and new song ‘Bounce’ are infused with R&B beats reminiscent of early Michael Jackson, and unlike many dance music creators M+A do not have to rely on sampled or guest singers. Michele Ducci’s (M) voice is understated but deeply soulful, a blanket of cool assurance that fits smoothly to the jaunty rhythms and house-style piano coming from other member Alessandro Degli Angioli (A). Together with Marco Frattini, who plays the drums live, they present a confident stage act. They beat six thousand others to become winners of Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent 2014 contest, and no wonder; their ridiculously catchy songs (try ‘Down The West Side’, for a start) makes the urge to jive along irrepressible. There is nothing guilty in the pleasure of listening to such pure, unadulterated pop.

If you’re looking for a summer soundtrack other than what Radio 1 can offer you, M+A are here to whisk you away with their sunny yet melancholic, unfussed yet upbeat tunes. They released their second LP, These Days, in September last year on UK label Monotreme Records, and their next UK date will be at Brownstock Festival in Essex, August 31.

Zoe Black