I love dry ice. There’s nothing more I like than a stage, nay, a whole venue shrouded in the misty stuff, preferably with moody red lights cutting through it. I once saw The Strokes play enveloped completely by dry ice for a full set with just the instantly recognisable silhouettes of the (then) skinny New York upstarts visible through the fog; I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, and since then have had a penchant for the musty smelling mist. There’s just something mysterious about it, something murky, something distinctly underground about it that I really enjoy. Walking down to the Soup basement this eve, I find the entire place dampened by the fog, and am very happy about it. Dry ice works very effectively with ambient and electronic music, the drama of the mist adding to the mystery of performances that, for the most part, are usually someone just standing behind a laptop and some effects boxes, noodling. The dry ice and moody lights lend an edge, an air of inscrutability – ‘even if you could see what I was doing, you wouldn’t understand it’.

It’s into this thick atmosphere that the tiny outline of Flora Yin-Wong appears behind a desk with, yes, a laptop and some boxes on it. The London born, Chinese-Malaysian polymath producer, writer, DJ and musician, all set to mesmerise with her haunting electronic ambience. It’s a startlingly effective set of dramatic tone shifts which all work beautifully together to present something quite unique. Passages of quiet ambience recall Laurel Halo; disconcerting string wails come from an instrument I’ve never seen before, manipulated through her laptop. Some parts remind me of the snatched memory snippets from the best of The Caretaker’s work; other parts employ deep techno beats, turning the set into a thumping Tresnor night, moving bodies that have stood stock still previously. There’s a somewhat formulaic quiet start, heavy middle, quiet ending progression to her set, but somehow she pulls sounds out of nowhere that continuously broadside me, shifting the pitch of the set and constantly keeping me on edge, no idea where it’s going to go next. There’s not a lot to look at, there are no visuals, just the red lights highlighting the haze and the occasional glimpse of Yin-Wong setting upon the stringed instrument that provides vital texture to her sound. But it doesn’t need visuals; the presentation of the music is enough to hypnotise. Ambient sets like this can be difficult to engross an audience, however Yin-Wong has no such trouble. A treat.

The stage is cleared and reset for Bianca Scout, someone I’ve been looking forward to seeing following her stellar turns for Space Afrika and on her own excellent debut ‘The Heart of the Anchoress’ from last year. It starts incredibly promisingly with an extended Cocteau Twins by Mazzy Star strung out slowcore dreampop track, which is stunning and fully realised. From thereon in however, things take a distinct downturn, and not wanting to criticise people’s art too much, I’ll leave it at the rest of the show being like three people turning up at a karaoke bar and taking over the mic, pissing about and being hilarious to themselves, and irritating for everyone else. An odd, thoroughly unsatisfying performance, regrettably.