Thursday afternoon at SXSW: Bulgarian-German rapper Dena and Le Sphinxx | Bleader

Thursday afternoon at SXSW: Bulgarian-German rapper Dena and Le Sphinxx

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Le Sphinxx
My Thursday afternoon has been off to a slow start partially because I went to sleep last night feeling a little ill and needed some time to recuperate, partially because of the usual showcase scheduling snafus. I spent a good chunk of time waiting to take in a set from Bulgarian-German rapper Dena, whose set ended up getting delayed nearly an hour. Fortunately the time wasn't totally wasted, as I stumbled upon a set by Brooklyn's Le Sphinxx, whose music sounds like darkwave derivative of Grimes; despite lacking any great sound or style, their stage show included a dancer wearing a creepy crescent-moon mask who twirled about in a way that captured my attention for at least a few minutes.

Dena offered a nice midafternoon pick-me-up with her bouncy pop-rap tracks; she blends rapping and singing in a loose manner that allows her to switch up her flow with ease. It's part of the reason why she's been favorably compared to M.I.A., and it's helped her amass a bit of buzz; the cavernous space at the Elysium felt imposing when about a half dozen people watched Le Sphinxx, but Dena got enough bodies in the room to make things feel a little more comfortable.

Things are looking up for the rest of Thursday: Fake Shore Drive's Red Bull showcase is starting up and later Lawless Inc. will host a showcase packed with Chicago rappers. Here's hoping I spot at least a few more seapunks before King Louie takes the stage in the wee hours of the morning.

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