Natasha Kmeto keeps pretty busy on stage. She cues up her beats, manages that wall of synth and bass that keeps a crowd moving, and simultaneously delivers instantly memorable vocal melodies and catchy hooks that serve as the entry point for tracks that have bigger ambitions than just dance-floor fodder for the club scene. She’s trying to be a pop diva, a DJ, and a hypeman all at the same time; she even throws some dancing into the mix when she gets a chance.
It’s a lot of roles to play at once, so its a good thing that she plays them so enthusiastically. It’s probably fair to say that most of the people at the Works last night weren’t looking to dance too hard, but Kmeto did an admirable job with a crowd that looked more ready to close out TBA with a mellow nightcap than with one last big party. Her particular hybrid of unrushed, bass-heavy production and ‘90s R&B vocals isn’t going to conjure much movement from resolutely immobile hips, but the grin that spreads across her face when she drops an especially heavy beat could certainly win a few converts from the edges of the dance floor.
The end of the set saw enthusiastic reception for “Take Out” and “Prideless,” two of the better cuts of her recently released LP Crisis. Those songs prove that Kmeto is at her best when she lets her ear for a melody guide her songcraft. That’s not to disparage her talents as a producer; her tracks are instantly engaging without relying on easy dance music tropes, and sounded impressively massive yet sparse when pumped through a subwoofer in a giant warehouse. But she’s also got a lot of personality going for her, and it can sometimes be hard to see when she’s stuck behind a computer screen.