Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Aranos Colin Potter and Stimulus - Saturday 6th August @ The Cube Mircoplex, Bristol

I'd never heard anything by the Bristol electronica trio 'Stimulus' but they provided a decent stab at creating a suitably dark soundtrack for the 1920's projection of ‘Dante's Inferno’ that filled the screen behind them. The vocal moans that cut across the prevailing dronage and sporadic electronics seemed to echo the naked twists of the tormented figures on screen.

Colin Potter's set started in the distinctive darkened hues of 'Nurse with Wound' and then worked up to something altogether different with the surprise addition of live guitar fed into the mix - played my Colin himself - layering riffs over the top of each other, scraping the fret board and general string abuse. I liked the theremin action too with Colin’s hands hovering over electro static plates in true magician style, giving the sound that slightly queasy edge. In all it was difficult to describe the music except that it was well textured and pushed all the right emotional buttons, as the geometric shapes on screen morphed to the multiform stream. The overlaid Hiroshima monologue was a timely addition with it being the 60th Anniversary of that dreadful show of American superiority. In the latter end of the set straight-ish beat patterns were introduced with the other electronics being allowed to gather momentum to finally end in a cornucopia of sonic distortion...

The bare-footed Aranos was the headliner for the night – he provided a one-man show contributing live violin and vocals over pre-recorded treatments. Generally I’m not a big fan of backing tapes but on the night it was very spontaneous with both live and pre-recorded running seamlessly in tandem (except for maybe one song where the levels were quickly reduced to make his extra violin sounds more audible).

His gravelly voice was a real winner with me, seeped in a deep Eastern European accent. The subject matter of the songs ranged from surreal association to funny observation and I particularly loved the one that critiqued our increasingly commercial existence called 'Steady Job' taken from his ‘Making Love in Small Spaces’ release.

After his set Aranos convinced the other two groups to return to the stage for a jam session - the resulting mass of noise was just superb lasting for a good 10 minutes - a tasty treat that definitely brought a very wide smile to my face...

Thank you Abrasive Productions for hosting a mighty fine show.

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