Watching Daedelus is like being caught in a time machine. His dandy outfit appears to have been plucked from the set of a period drama, but his musical equipment looks like it should be providing the soundtrack to a rave at NASA.
Sitting beside Daedelus’s laptop is his prized Monome. This mysterious box, comprised of a hundred or so sporadically lighting buttons, hypnotises the crowd.
It allows the DJ to manipulate the tempo, beat and pitch of his tracks, and Daedelus captivates the audience as he plays this Pandora’s Box like a piano.
What sets Daedelus apart from other DJs is the energy of his performance. Hunched over his Monome, Daedelus throws himself back and forth, whipping his Victorian-attired body around the stage with elastic vigour.
His sound is deeper and darker than usual, moving away from the samba-infused beats of his 2006 album Denies the Day’s Demise and embracing meatier dubstep tones.
The crowd responds to each broken beat and clipped sample with fervent dancing, and this in turn inspires Daedelus to thrash away at his Monome with yet more gusto.
Daedelus professes to being “obsessed” with Wales - exemplified by his record Of Snowdonia - and the enthusiasm with which he performs here certainly suggests a liking to Cardiff.
The throbbing basslines are amply supported by the impressive sound system at Cardiff Arts Institute, which copes with the power of the songs with crystal clarity.
There is still a soulful core to Daedelus’s work, with echoes of gentler works such as Righteous Fists of Harmony rippling through the set.
It is this fine balance between soul and body-shattering noise which captures Daedelus’s appeal to this riotous crowd. Like the man himself, Daedelus’s music is a brilliant contradiction.