DJ YODA- Junction Shed, Cambridge 27/2/2010

Yoda is truly the king of what he does. Fact. Undoubtedly one of the most original DJ’s the UK has to offer, whose reputation precedes him, a tall, dark and unassuming man appears stage-right to the booming signature Starwars theme which, like himself, therefore needs no introduction. Though, of course, the man is not just a master of mixing audio, but the large screen at the back of the Shed tonight will also play host to the visual show that has ensured his notoriety for transforming clubbing as we know it. The huge graphics are also Starwars inspired, spelling out his name to the crowd below, who are already looking pretty excited at the prospect of what the next 90 minutes hold- which, it turns out, couldn’t be improved even with an appearance by the little old/dead green wrinkled one himself.
With a cheeky grin behind him, footage seamlessly blends tributes to Michael Jackson with a collage of Fresh Prince meets Inspector Gadget, before laughing along with more subtle political jibes at poor stupid Bush, accompanied by a backing track of sublime old school hip-hop and funk. Popular film images from predominantly 80’s classics mingle with Youtube favourites in a mass commercialisation that the audience adore, though Yoda’s talent and scope are most notable upon launching into a Johnny Cash clip cut with driving beats and Gladys Knight and the Pips interspersed with bouts of riotous scratching, providing an alternative appeal to what could easily otherwise be a standard set.

A combination of his best moments from the hugely successful ‘How to cut and paste’ collections, his humour isn’t lost in translation, a happy and enthusiastic atmosphere completely instant in effect. Highlights are almost certainly the already mentioned nods to the sixties that emerge throughout the set, catching a glimpse and wishing they were longer though desperate to see what comes next, Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix standing toe-to-toe with Wayne’s World, drum and bass and dubstep with awe-inspiring precision, a blast of Metallica perhaps getting the biggest and most unexpected reaction of the night. And, as the final bars of the Beatles ‘The End’ spill into the small and now sweaty auditorium, it provides an equally as surprisingly beautiful end to what has been a mammoth audio-visual feat, proving Yoda is not only cleverer than some would give him credit for, but far more classy than could ever be imagined. The plus-one says afterwards that once you have seen a VJ, a DJ never be the same. And how right he is.

Anna C

Thanks to Dan Gray for guestlist duties.