Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lava Thief Presents - Deej Dhariwal, The Brackish, Vena Cava and Repo Man

10th April - The Scary Canary Stourbridge

I’ve really loved Deej’s solo appearances in the past and the devotional moaning of this new material (soon to be released by Zam Zam so I hear) was certainly hitting the spot. Revolving the ear in tonal overwrites, looping shadows roasted on antsy spans of stretched guitar. A canvas that excavated some lovely intensity, as sticky keystrokes were added and things became symphonically templed. A contemplative vibe, banked in some beautiful chordage that in turn incubated the return of noisier climbs, the Walkman additions clawing nicely at the pick-ups, full of swamping swirling creatures dying to a refrain of fading guitar energies.

The Brackish were the surprise of the evening, having never heard them before. Essentially a battle of two guitars, with bass and drums stretching the improvised tangle, they exerted some lovely tight knots of intrigue. A union of bouncing multiples that bled almost seamlessly with the on screen Patrick McGoohan trampoline fighting his opponent. Weird chemistry indeed, cubist thrown, shapeshifting fragments of jazzy rawness, Arto curves caught in the lock groove twang of Reich and Can wriggling with bouts of three-fingered lightning - bloody superb.

An action packed night and there were still two bands to go.

Loved the way Vena Cava’s melodies seemed to dangle on the promise of explosive noise, the bass ploughing the leaping percussions, a furrow buzzing with gliding chord and a hazing of light caught crystal. Tightly wound atmospheres steeped in Eastern promises and released in wholesome MBV grit, a post-gothic sensibility crawling in deliciously dirty wah monkeys that burned all sacrificial in your lugholes. A persuasive force to be reckoned with!

The chaotic love of Repo Man ended the night superbly with everything converging, chewing at its figure head vocalist. His vocal nails scratching poetic visions, panoramic dystopias, and spittle rich comedies between belches of queasy saxophone. The two guitarists veering like drunkards, dishing out a barrage of jarring energies that filled you head with delicious tangles whilst the drummer attempted to hold majesty over a salvo coloured sky.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gainer - Dead Gum

The fold out sleeve holding this baby together is a delight for the eyes. Its overprinted black imagery singing from beneath a golden glow of textured stock inkling at the album’s corroded essence. The struggling definition of the half buried vocals, that healthy scouring of frustration eating into the machined percussives. Tastes forged in Dead Gum’s Lost Decade and a myriad of other releases, a mood finely focused and now purring your ears in song like chunks. The type Sonic Youth used to make back in the 80-90’s, gnarly pearls that held you in their imagination, tore into your complacency, and telescoped your soul.

A shimmering dissatisfaction that the albums opener Float holds so dear. It’s vocals like a suitably forlorn Thurston Moore knuckling round a cyclic growth of frets, kisses of Bakelite percussion and hand claps holding the momentum beautifully as it cruises through some gorgeously hammered plummets. A crafted beast that is caught in an eerie tractor beam of vortexing saliva that’s Black Glass. A disintegrating circus of desolate texturing with a moaning spectre wandering through the rubble of its heart. A brief experimental verve, climbing from its knees and then straight into the razored drums of Afraid of heights, at its core a wobbling undercurrent that seems to be tracing uncertain feet along the edge of a multi-storey, those snared percussives constantly prodding and poking with guitars (all noisy and barbed) swerving around hungry for catastrophe. A carmine red bite of delicious geometries vertigo(ing) the pelvic slide of words. A vibe that’s economical, evocative and spot on to which the following Regain ties to a spiralling melody banked by suitably strung out beats. Something deliciously Ian Curtis like chased by fret sirens - visceral termites gnawing at the cooling skin of the song.

A gentle dip into flickering ambience breaks the tension in the form of At Poseidon's Beach, a lower case Sargasso withering into a ribbon of migratory starlings, tourmalined rotaries that set you up afresh for the brilliant Dare. A song that takes the adrenaline of Afraid of heights machined edgings and repurposes them onto a pounding foetal ultra sound as the vox oxidises on iridescent guitars that seem to be pulling at reddening scabs.

It’s deliciously dark, forlorn fayre bristling with brittle rhythmics that stab attentively. Cross cut in textures that brew up plenty of energy and suck you into deciphering the lyrical mysteries that run though it all like a pivoting skewer. Keen’s guitar yarnings casting shadows over the sobering half lit delivery like a tangled forest dripping with its frustrations.

The Asphalt Smell is another highpoint…kicks out the tempo like a spinster winged runaway chewing over some manic episode, hotly pursued by a weird howling underbelly and beats scarred in guzzling electronics. Electronics that continue on Thread in a drool of elastic and wincing wave lengths succumbed by the echo chambered stagger that plays Paul Daniel buzzsaws with your brainbox. By the time everything signs off on a Jesus and Mary Chain homage that is Out of My Mind you’re left with a definite need to re-immerse as Pan yells incoherently from the centre of the carnage and the whole caboodle finally grinds to an abrupt halt.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Autotistika, Kostis Kilymis, Dead Gum and Embarker

20th November Power Lunches , London

Power Lunches had undergone some changes since I was here for Stereocilla last year. The side walls of the cellar space were now fitted out with full length mirrors on both sides, their multiple reflections milking a certain Fripp and Eno 'no pussyfooting' vibe in my head, full of Logan's run like distortions running the spaces proportions. Caught a distorted eyeful of myself masked up in the gloom and attempted to divine those bizarrements in my Autotistika slot, suffice to say, had a lot of fun in doing so, derailing into some diced n sliced techno agitations, finally squeezing in Anna's ergo toxin fragments before abrupt sign offs.

Following on after me was Kostis Kilymis (label boss of organized music from thessaloniki)whose machines seemed full of chewed billiards, a pulsing soup of skipping envelopes, chattering teeth and weathered sweeps. Minimal architectures that rumbled through the blue hued darkness superbly. His poltergeisting beats and irregular mutations seemed almost three dimensional as he mutated the betweens. A tease of frying circuitry that at one point was the machine equivalent of an Aztec priest holding a freshly pulsing heart arterial spread in sonar encrypts.

Regular readers to Rottenmeats will know I've been a fan of Pan's for some time, ever since snapping up his Reverse Mouth Ballades Pour un Patriote CDR on Tanzprocesz in 2007 and the sodium soaked hues of his Dead Gum persona were simply superb on the night. Brandishing a guitar and a nefari of pedals his back to audience throughout... he needled a strange sorcery of Joy Division snares, slashed in irradiated guitar and woeful (barely audible) vocals that sort of limped out from underneath. A faithful rendition of his impressive GAINER album, that wowed me completely. The tensile shapes of ‘Afraid of Heights’ itching with fret caked oblivions, the slow ache of Regain and it’s sycamore descents burning a Curtis-like bewilderment, that Reverse Mouth apocalyptia still smouldering within... lucid lights pushed begrudgingly into sobriety landing into a forlorn twilight of broken stars, shimmering loops, and a superb drug addled spoken word piece.

Last up was Embarker who produced a gloriously mangled set...a deranged spira-gira of whir-shanked aberrations, collaging the comic and damn right unsettling...literally flying at you in whip crack angles verging off happily into uncharted multiples, an array of noises that startled and illuminated like fire crackers reverberating your skull, snookering into some sinister lab experiments full of delicious deformity. A bloody brilliant sign off to the night... and a creaking start to Dead Gum and Embarkers twelve day tour that cumulates in Athens on the 5th of December.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Caermaen - Ian Watson

An investigation into frequency shifted feedbacks, this oozes a minimalist vibe of shimmering metallics. A catalogue of machine phantoms and eerie tones that dimensionally ripple, feather cymbal-like across a stutter of desiccated mechanics. A highly tensile affair, it's mirages prey on your mind, keep you on the cusp of some macabre anticipation, as if an unseen magnetic presence were hovering disconcertingly over your shoulder, a sense of foreboding the cleverly entitled track titles milk perfectly. Totally loving the way the industrial flutter of The Silhouette of a man, rendered in ash and soot stands at the window seems to suggest just that.

Three Imposters continues the vibe, an unsettling of hertz, neatly divided into three. The first lingering in a tuning fork high, spectrum shifted, enveloped, it's sub atomics cannibalised. Pulsing out a chemical soup of slipping tones, finally delving into the lower registers puckered in slithering silverfish that séance-span some beautiful UFO’s and sawing mandibles.

The last track wrapping things up in a compendium of the first three, as gliding textures skim a grain-silo echo, and angry tremors buzz-saw, spark, and finally skid into silence – a worthy addition to horror’s growing vocabulary.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ZamZamRec - Supreme Ritual Noise Action - Tipex Orchestra, Silver Waves, Ewa Justka, The Digitariat, Dave Philips

A great, if a little cramped night over at the old police station...couldn’t bear to miss another noise night and the chance of catching Dave Phillips in action sealed the deal... First up were the Tipex Orchestra an ad hock ensemble of arrhythmic fun... and the first time I've seen a step ladder used as an instrument... later thrown across the drums as things descending into a mosh pit pyramid of bodies, guitars and food...Henry Collins, a squashed plastic pagan beneath it all horn calling a truce.

Silver Waves – Shifted some satisfying noise and a bit of cymbal thrashing too, as grating abrasives were cut into wholesome chucks... the semi-sequenced candy, dynamically swinging the momentum into a fist of a finale... just like those 2nd Gen guys used to

Ewa Justka... flashing strip lighting and strobe...a hacked TV monitor giving visuals to the abstracts flowing forth... maybe adding to them...loads of tones colliding, colluding...skuttering your ear in curious rhythmics, eaten into by interference, a host of cross pollinating shapes weaving plenty of synaptic shocks and dronic blurs. The tempo joysticked around like a rag doll gouging a semi-realised techno before dicing it into a stutteridge of machine mirages... the flashing lighting adding further to the feeling of malfunction...In a word 'Brilliant!'

The Digitariat was Paul Knowles from Islington with numerous axes to grind and the most violent of the nights action... with his razor blades of high pitched squeal...and uber-harsh panel pins... screaming into the microphone backed by dense storm of atonalities...steep slabs of attack that reminded me of Phillip Best, minus the licked scrapbook of little children.

Dave Philips (Schimpfluch Gruppe pioneer) stole the show in abrupt machine smarts impeccably choreographed to screen splashes of Helvetica bold pointing the finger at our complacently / selfish consumption... a host of animal cruelty zapping the screen bathing us in the despicable stench of being human ......A dervish of drone curdling underneath, launched in sudden shocks of sonic violence... that image of a dead monkey with the word 'crap' tattooed on his shaven forehead sticking with me forever ...the room trembling to the onscreen horror of a bulldozed trench full of live pigs running blindly over each other to escape a tide of swallowing earth......DP's sniping mousetraps echoing the electrified spasms of test animals. Slit throats, abattoir scenes to a fizzing of wires... a repeating machine crunch that seemed to be screaming accusingly 'Use your eyes...your eyes...your eyes... as a trainered foot pushed firmly into the head of a wolf, it's jutting jaw crushed to a barrage of screeching wares... An amazingly powerful experience that left you hollowed out and wordless.

Friday, September 26, 2014

How To Organise Your Life & Get Rid Of Clutter - Various Artists

This is a brilliant eclectic mix, offset by interludes from some self help seminar on the subject of relieving you of the burden of clutter. Personally, I love to wallow in stuff (clutter that is) finding neatness a teensy bit too sterile, but here the advice (given with a glinting smile no doubt) is the perfect foil for the fragility and jaded beauty on offer. A place where the shiny world of productivity meets the more human in break-beat, post everything flavours, shaking the tree in off-kiltered teenbeat tatters. Starts with 'Hidden', an intoxication of Mazzy Starr-esque vapours, Sofia DeVille's sultry vocals and candy curls of tabla making out with the creeping condensation of hypno strings and swirling breathe. Ab Jackson and his cheesy seminars kicking in straight after, his reverbed charms separating each track, sometimes blurring simultaneously in some weirded schisms of wasp vocals twisting your noggin in imagined tomorrows mixed with peculiar bends of flamenco.

Smiling Disease stabs you in the chest early on with that amazing vastness - all splashed hand claps and symphonic choirs mincing over a dervishly additive baseline....closely followed by Mewlips piano melancholics... words stagger-stepping over broken beatitudes chewing over disaffections in asymmetrical poetics. The glorious technicolour head crashes of Lizzard Bleach are wholesome too... as they ply their 'cat swung' approximation of rock n roll / surf whatevers in glinting telecaster and thundering percussions, the ampage hissing like a deep fat fryer... and that's just half of side one!

Compilations can be hit and miss but I'm hard pushed to find anything laggy in this collection, everything gleams a plenty, it's easy to see why this artefact has slipped into sold-outs-ville, but as ever the digital can be attained over in bandcampland for all eternity

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lutine - White Flowers

I'm staring at two colours, their colliding edges are vibrating like the harmonium of Espera - the opening song on Lutine's debut album, that glassy warmth of vocals they're plying just 'takes you back' with its dazzling purity... A hyper-real glisten where words are tied on shimmering currents, mixed with the cold tinge of Autumn... the approaching aperture of Winter drawn round a crackling fire...the perfect time to let this curl your ear.

Propped up by minimal tinder-sticks of piano, zither, the odd fluttering of Casio, the voices here are the main showcase... the sparseness of the surroundings emphasising a fragility that's hard to shake off...brings to mind the haunted ilk of Vashti Bunyan, Anne Briggs or the more recent Larkin Grimm or the Unthanks... but the crystal natures here are more a mirrored pool you can see the distorted bottom of, an Ophelia bound in the harmonics of love and tears, where piano fingers echo the vocals like falling blossom. Emma Morton and Heather Minor have certainly wrought a delicate debut that weaves quite a spell.