Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas


Ah, I put irr app (ext) on the stereo and let the shadows curl around me as I curl my fingers round some mulled wine... and dream of rampaging turkeys - I'll leave you with this lovely seasonal number from PTV...

may you get everything you wish for...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

P-arty time



... that jumbled jigsaw aesthetic, re-arranging the staple tools of rock into spiky alchemic contours of jiggle-y-tastic elastic – producing the type of free range music that makes you go mad on the dance floor showing up all those pallid shoe shufflers in true body flinging style ( call the paramedics boys this man’s fitting) …click here and shake yer booty...

please tour the UK soon Mr Wasser… meanwhile I'll be




dancin’ with the Cats till boredom takes me else where...
oh just heard that The Wire's top band of 2005 ' The Books' are coming to the Cube in early 2006 - a great start

Winter Warmth



Went for a seasonal stroll through the illuminated wonderland of Westonbirt Arboretum and dare I say it - it left me feeling quite festive...pagan worship in eelectric...




this last one gave me a feeling of deja vu (see below)
wonder where the photoshoot took place?




somebody directed my attention to some
seasonal goodies from Sufjan Stevens the other week - enjoy - i have, with a glass of Glogg or three.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fursaxa, Alexander Tucker and Sharron Kraus


@ Cube Bristol - Sunday 4th Dec

The most intimate 'Cube' show yet with only about 20 people at the gig, I suppose the combination of Sunday night and winter being too much for most.




First up was Sharron Kraus from Oxford. Not really a big fan of traditional folk but she did a good job of converting me with her fancy finger work, gorgeous vocals and tales steeped in murder and longing. Didn't feel staid or dusty at all - Loved the added bonus of Fursaxa supplying accordion and supporting vocals for the last song of her set.

Sharron Kraus and Fursaxa

Alexander Tucker

Alexander Tucker

Alexander Tucker

Alexander Tucker was next - a master of the overlay, swapping instruments whilst piling on the textures with his network of effects boxes. He supplied psyched out versions from his recent release, the song 'of late' was a particular winner with his multi-tracked voice entering the realms of sci-fi robot or the Cecil B. DeMille like 'voice of God', but the doom metal cords he added later on in the show were defiantly the cream - bass heavy depth charges that reverberated in meaty majesty. I’m liking his 'Old Fog' album more and more but live he's more enigmatic-taking Folk music far beyond its perceived frontiers.

Fursaxa

The combination of blurry accordion breeze and free-floating polyphonic voice was an incredible opener to Fursaxa’s (Tara Burke) set and it just got better with every song. Like Mr Tucker she created a varied textural base for her ethereal vocals, conjuring machine phantoms from her sound sources and distorting their vaporous shapes into unearthly drones. Lots of different instruments were fed into her box of magical effects - tiny toy guitars, shakers, Tibetan bells, whistles and flutes some warped until unrecognisable. Towards the end of her set fellow label mate Mr Tucker supplied some low-key atonal noise to Tara’s keyboard drones…an amorphous mass that swirled round those bewitching vocals like a festive garland.

Fursaxa and Alexander Tucker

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

From Quagmire

From Quagmire - Habitats in the Wound

From Quagmire - blissfully de-tuned instruments and hypnotic female vocals creating songs that are sensually dark in a very primal sense - not in a primitive racket way but the type of vibe that evolves from the essence of existence. The latest album is available from VHF, the sound-bites on the site are strangely corrupted (sort of sped up) and bear no resemblance to the stark beauty of the album... but there's an amusing essay on why Oxford isn't what it's cracked up to be...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Z'ev and Charles Hayward (This Heat) - Friday 25th Nov

live @ the Cube, Bristol

z'ev
z'ev
z'ev


It was an intimate affair with Z’ev being perched just below the stage rather than on it (in the front row – some of the front row seats taped up) with an assortment of bang-able goodies arranged around him including a few metal duct pipes.

Chain smoking with his back to the audience the man’s show was a fascinating exploration into sound creation, all acoustic too, no microphonics to sully his purity of vision – he coaxed some of the most extraordinary sounds and rhythms from what was at first glance a limited palette, The dexterity and complexity at work here was astounding, catching the reverberations, Ze’v was in a playful mood – overlaying textures and effortlessly moving through his equipment. Loved his use of the piping, he created truly industrial beats like only 'Test Department' or 'Neubauten' (circa Kollaps) could.

His suspended custom-made metal box was a marvel to listen to, as the scarred surface brought forth tonal wonders that were infinitely pleasing . However, I think the rubber balls on plastic sticks rubbed along the drum skin was his crowning glory… It just had to heard to be believed
- like something created from the bowels of a PC. If I ever get the chance to see Z’ev again I’m taking it!!!


Some sounds from the Z'ev website

Metaphonic.mp3

and Nine Chambers Divination/Mediation.mp3

charles heyward

Legendary member of that early 80’s post punk sensation ‘This Heat’ - Charles Hayward used percussion that was more orthodox but by no means ordinary.

Surrounded by at lots different drums he charged into his set, a blur of arms… Energetically cutting up rhythms and twisting them on themselves – his vocals – fiery, poetic and sometimes scary especially when he spat forth ‘Abracaaaadabra!’ - talk about ‘jump out of yer seat’ dynamics – it would seem that he’s still as disgruntled as he was when he started his musical career – which gave the performance plenty of impetus. Brilliant – He’s set me on a mission to get more accustomed to the work of ‘This Heat’ – a group that seems to have slipped completely under my radar…

charles heyward

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Magnet-o-phonics


pic from www.4ad.com

Those lovely people at 4AD have a
16+ min exclusive mp3 mix of the new Magnetophone album for download with selected out-takes (which is a sweet slice of electro-pop). It seems that the label is being rejuvenated by some interesting new blood - liking the 'Celebration' taster on offer... 25 years and still coming up with the goods - personally I'm looking forward to the CD re-issues of some of the early vinyl only releases like the Mass album (hopefully with some added extras) and Burden of Mules by The Wolfgang Press . . . prostitutes are the spice of life . . .

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I'm a fan don't yer know...

Coil T-Shirt

P16 D4 T-Shirt

Some of my own T-shirt Artwork - I suppose P16.D4 should have been in black 'n' white but i decided to add a little colour to the cheeks

7 year rabbit cycle - Wind Machines is lighting my musical pyre at the moment - love those raw guitars, solid drums and of course those crazy distorted female vocals (like a pre-menstrual cross breed of Harry Pussy / PJ Harvey). Here's cariboo.mp3 from an earlier album to get yer in the mood and Yep where blokey sings (i think)... Enjoy

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Melt Banana, Ribbon Device and Hunting Lodge


Live @ The Fleece, Bristol - 8th November

Hunting Lodge – were a primal soup of sludgey vocals, snarling guitar, pummelling drums and monstrous bass – throttling banshee turmoil that revealled in reams of feedback. The vocalist (Papa Molasses maybe?) staggered the stage vomiting vocal textures all over this testrosterone heavy beast of a performance, its saliva dripping black mouth - a vision of hell. It looked like Anton Maiof (My Ambulance Is On Fire) was contributing lots of yelling too - stoking the temperature even higher… Blistering!

Here's a mp3 from their site - Mighty, the Forward Striding Toes.mp3 (please download) and if you're curious here's some live photos of the boys in action.

After this, anybody would have been an anti-climax, but from the moment the next act stood centre-stage and squeezed an entire tube of KY Jelly into his mouth, I sort of knew something interesting was going to happen. Smashing his face into a peice of contact mic-ed glass, making the grotesquest of faces resulting in some exquisitely distorted sonics... This was Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device.

Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device

Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device

Really compelling stuff alone, but when he broke of a corner of the glass with his own teeth (with a horrible crunching sound) then dragged it across the remaining pane in a blood drenched scrape the performance entered a new realm of extreme. The squeamish (amongst us, me included!) winced. Later the glass fragmented further cutting into his neck causing blood to squirt out I really thought it was hospital time! However he seemed to avoid any fatal injuries. Blood and jelly combined and smeared across the smooth surface as the most gorgeously biological sounds were produced in great whirls of feedback. A real show stealer for definite, apparently he covered some of his merchandise in the evening’s blood – I bet fans were hesitant about a signature, especially if a pen wasn't to hand!

There's a great video of the man in action from a previous gig here. It's a bit on the weighty side (45mb) but worth the wait.

Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device

Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device


Melt Banana

Melt Banana

Melt Banana were a real highlight with their own take on 'Speedo-Thrash'. Tentacles of noise whipped the air, making my body jerk in spasmodic response, arms flinging about wildly. Playful chops in the sound and those marvellous vocals warped into unusual shapes by her box of tricks - blew all dusty predictability clean out of the water. They took the term ‘High Energy’ and ran with it, like a speeded up rock documentary or 'attention deficient' teenager (most songs clocked in at just one minute thirty). The band ploughed through song after glorious song, the small faction of the crowd in front of me became a seething mass of twisting limbs, wobbling heads and alcohol spillage with every tune. You’ve just got to love Melt Banana they left me feeling more alive than I ever thought possible.

Melt Banana - Rough Dogs Have Bumps.mp3

Melt Banana

Melt Banana


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device

Saw Melt Banana last night at the Fleece, Bristol ( more on this amazing show a little later) but one of the support acts was staggeringly brutal in a self harming performance sorta way - the name was Justice Yeldham and the Dynamic Ribbon Device... blood smeared sonics - hope he survives long enough to make a album or three...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Mixing It

Kevin Blechdom

For those of you that missed the recent UK tour of Kevin Blechdom and company you're in for a treat tonight as half of Radio 3's 'Mixing it' programme has them live at the ICA - electro-kitsch-tastic...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloweeeeen



I was looking around for a few suitable spooky sounds but thought the people at brainwashed had done such an excellent job (right click n save as target folks - 61mb) how could I possibly compete...

At least I’ve posted my pumpkin carving abilities (co-designed by the kids) to get you in the m-ooooooohhhh-d (pun intended)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Twocsinak, Planningtorock and Kevin Blechdom

live @ the Cube, Bristol Saturday 22nd October

Twocsinak

The first act, Twocsinak was all introspective comedy backed for the most part by a pre-recorded box of tricks. His lyrics were spilling over with humour and I loved his radically deconstructed remix of Bjork’s ‘Army of Me’ (if only remixes were as entertaining as this). The short set was neatly finished off by a tribute to the late great John Peel in the form of the entire Bend Sinister album ( The Fall being John’s favourite band) condensed into just over 3 mins (repeated words omitted) to the background of clanking machinery – brilliant.


kevin Blechdom and Planningtorock

Planningtorock and Kevin Blechdom (with the assistance of ‘The Organ Lady’ a little bit later on in the set) did a split set starting with a crossed legged acapella sing-song. Kevin kitted out for a celebratory barn dance, helium party balloons tethered to her shirt, Planningtorock a strange concoction of tribal head-hunter and circus ring master…


Planningtorock

It wasn’t long before Planningtorock launched into her set. And what a psycho-tropic wonder it was – her painted face twisting – and a voice that dipped into Diamanda Galas territory with menacing projections morphing in slow-mo behind. Leaning into the audience with a sensual sneer – it was a truly dark pleasure that trembled with unease.

Planningtorock

Planningtorock

I’d listened to a few albums of Kevin’s – and was semi-prepared for her wondrous sense of humour, but live, the experience was magnified into a form of surreal cabaret that showcased her bloody amazing vocals which switched from harmony to screams with disconcerting ease – and of course that mental musicianship,which was particularly demonstrated when she teamed up with ‘The Organ Lady’ for a duet of keyboard conflict - it was a real ‘Buster Keaton’ musical showdown something like two over-wound clockwork toys in a flurry of fingers and hands bouncing off the keys.

Kevin Blechdom and The Organ Lady

Kevin Blechdom and Folks

All musical styles were abused in the process of the show – they even did some wicked hip hop tunes, microphones in hand and a whirl of spluttering words… also loved the helium induced squeaky song.

Helium

Planningtorock (originally born in Bolton, now living in Berlin) did a song dedicated to Bolton Wanderers complete with a DIY riot helmet, again the voice was just astonishing and the subject matter all cathartic release.

For the finale Kevin stripped to the waist and while relating a tale of a relationship gone sour, she smeared her naked torso with raw meat – blood dripping between her fingers… speechless.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Nora Keyes



Discovered this while waiting for the Kevin Blechdom show to start at the Cube Bristol (more on this excellent performance a little later) – it was part of a DJ set that was screeeechin' from the bar and I was just compelled to ask who it was – suffice to say it’s on my Christmas list already…

Website : www.norakeyes.com
nora keyes - the show is over..mp3
nora keyes - small apart.mp3 (this is the scary tune they played – sort of like Annie on acid)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Russian Futurists and Caribou



russian futurists

live @ the Cube Bristol Friday 14th October

'
Russian Futurists' from Canada gave some beautiful pop electronica, with a pumping beat on which the vocals and funky keyboards surfed. They produced some lovely tunes - the vocals were a teeny bit reminiscent of ‘Number One Cup’ with that warm American accent working it’s magic in my heart…..mmmmmm …


caribou

caribou

'Caribou' were super-loud with two drum-kits creating a bloody massive sound. I was expecting some mellow psychedelia from the vibes of their latest release and got a whole lot more! Live, this band was un-believably beefed up,just superb! Sort of like a jet propelled hippy with flowers exploding from his eyes – those trippy electronic wobbles, mad guitar effects and some blinding acoustic guitar picking and of course that thumping drum work-out – positively pulsing with life –Shit! I even bought the album – gatefold vinyl yummy!

caribou

caribou

caribou

Loved the naïve cartoon work on screen it suited the feel-good vibe -
ahhhh those animated teddy bears in technicolor yellow…and all those cute scribbly characters tumbling around.

caribou

If you have the opportunity to catch this band live don’t pass it up… one of the best gigs this year (so far…)

Caribou - Hello Hammerheads.mp3 (this is an excellent pop song)
hosted by the leaf label website