Saturday, April 29, 2006

Smegma, Runzelstirn + Gurgelstock and Deep Kiss 720

Smegma Tour Poster

@ the Cube, Bristol - Friday 28th April

Deep Kiss 720

The solo Deepkiss 720 warmed us up with some agreeable noise –his throbbing stick bass conversion lacerating in unearthly reverb, producing a sound that shook your insides and opened your mind up with its roughly finished rhythms. Floor bound boxes endlessly twisted and contorted the sound into delicious shapes, which he further refined using hand-held jacks. Liked the beheaded doll head with flickering horns glowing satanically on the floor...

Brutal, awe-inspiring but too bloody short … left with the feeling that I wished he’d used his voice more as on this video clip courtesy of YouTube...

but splendid show of strength all the same.

Deep Kiss 720

Runzelstirn and Gurgelstock

Runzelstirn + Gurgelstock be warned if you enter the world of these guys be sure to enter with an open mind, as they take their collective performance art to a very disturbing / sickening place indeed, as clicking on the 'aktionen' section of the above site will demonstrate. (Don’t go there if you are easily upset – some of this is pretty extreme).

I wasn’t sure what to expect, fearing that me and DJ Baz were too close to the stage as bodily fluids are often used in their performances. Thankfully the auto-vomit chorus was restricted to the screen alone (an actual video of a event in Kobe Japan). It still was ‘to pardon the pun’ sickening in both vision and sound, with a lurid buzzing of flies that continued into the rest of the show.

An ominous feeling grew, made no better when the duo graced the stage, one wired up through his mouth and arms, pressing a number of noise switches attached to his latex gloved hands- every time to a tortured grimace, as if the electrical charge was being absorbed bodily. Joke Lanz (Sudden Infant), latex masked, wandered the audience offering the most blood curdling screams in between the cut-up noise out-bursts Rudolf (Schimpfluch-Gruppe) was creating.

Sound wise it was deliciously sparse and explosive, with the wired man’s expressions casting a scary hue. Sat centre stage, his eyes rolled white, mouth bizarrely stretched Maori warrior style, motionlessly psyching us all out – Shit the atmosphere was so tense I could hardly pluck the courage to photograph it, thankfully DJ Baz whispered in my ear take a picture so I obliged, at which point both stared threateningly back (check the below pic) - Chilling stuff!

Check out the disturbed artwork.

Runzelstirn and Gurgelstock



Smegma were fun, and tremendously tuned into each other, as you’d expect from over 30 years of playing together (for the most part).

Strange sounds floated round from their Frankenstein collection of odd instruments, novel shapes that formed into amazingly rhythmic slabs of sound that were foot-tapping(ly) great. At times, quiet and reflective, at others driving a monstrous howl of jazz/funk/punk fusion, Smegma really cooked up a heady brew with loads of things going on in the sound - too numerous to mention in detail. Loved the spacey harmonica, created from what seemed to be a humble elastic band; that Theremin vibe was the winner too with plenty of scratchy record sampling ( loved the ‘Marijuana is the flame , Heroin the fuse and LSD the bomb’ loop) and bastardised toy action - they rightfully deserve their place on the free-noise throne.

A must see (again) band...


Noise Cubed

Rudolf - Hate Operation
Runzelstirn + Gurgelstock were just evil,
but more gig going action for you
after a bit of shut eye meanwhile
enjoy the yummy artwork.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Review : Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

Well, Mr Olivetti visited yesterday and left a few reviews with me. Here's the first and as it's pretty lengthy I've included some snaps of the beautiful artwork that accompanies this release...

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky lp on Constellation.

It’s been a while since I put keys to paper, but this album is possibly the most important releases of the last couple of years. It’s the fourth outing for Efrim & his merry bunch and with the apparent demise of GYBE!, they are Constellation’s most powerful and emotional vehicle. The grandeur of the vision has expanded over the releases and this particular album finds six tracks spread over three sides of vinyl, with a lovely etching on the fourth. It’s not all volume and racket to get the point across, though. There’s seven people listed as contributors and it’s the usual suspects playing violin, piano, cello, drums etc. But in a lot of places, it’s the use of tired, weary but hopeful voices which gives the album it’s emotional power.

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

First track 'God bless our dead Marines' starts with a list of lost people; lost to drinks, drugs, marriage etc. ending with sparse drums and sombre piano notes, Efrim’s ragged chorus singing about a dream they had where they were all beautiful and strong. It’s the usual despair draped with hope that we have come to love from these guys. The familiar fearsome guitar gets an opportunity to frazzle the ragged chorus on 'Mountains of steam', where 'Horses in the sky' itself is a slow sad lament to acoustic guitar of the state of Canada & the US. It’s truly extraordinary what an emotive vehicle Efrim’s fragile cracked vocal really is. Certain motifs repeated ad infinitum get the point across; “Canada o Canada, I ain’t never been your son” they drone in “Teddy Roosevelt’s guns” as sickly strings circle and piano drops land in the well.

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

Side three starts with more chorus over an accordion line, jaded and distant , the vocal lines splitting covering different ground, Efrim weaving over it all, somehow creating order as the three seemingly random vocal lines dip in and out making a delicious brew. Honestly, it’s fantastic how simple yet so powerful this album has turned out.

The final track 'Ring the bells' is a full band work-out and after the relative calm of the preceding tracks, it’s exhilarating to hear the juggernaut sound building up. It drops until just a low bass-line is left and the sound then starts to build again, this time with a lesser intensity. You’re left feeling that although it’s great to hear the band stretch their legs, the true strength is in the subtlety and shading of the more emotive vocal-led tracks and it's so exciting to discover all these strengths at both ends of the sonic spectrum.

Silver Mt Zion – Horses in the sky

There are no attempts to follow in the footsteps of GYBE! and that's what makes Mt Zion all that more personal and special. It’s a subtle, fragile beauty. “Imagine the view, hit that switch and cut that man in two”; double bass, one note piano & guitar scree usher that final image and the album out. Efrim is still despairing about war, the modern world, our effect on it and translates it into this quite beautiful sound.

This is without doubt one of the greatest Constellation releases.

by Mr Olivetti

Serenade to a dead machine

Do you smell burning
...after 13years the washing machine died...

In a way I’ll miss that Airport ambience it had on spin cycle and the way it flung itself around the kitchen – in a similar way that the fridge did in 'Requiem for a Dream'...

Condemned to rot in the garden until I could be arsed to take it to the tip, the kids turned upon it with evil abandon, and after a few hours the wreckage resembled an Einsturzende Neubauten hoe-down. The kids, Dickensian black were grinning from ear to ear surrounded by crumpled metal, wire and plastic. Sifting through the debris I nabbed the retro door for a future project. Mr Olivetti (a very groovy friend and sometime reviewer on rottenmeats) discovered a pebble-smooth £2.80 in the trap

Washing Machine Fifty Pence
Washing Machine Fifty Pence

and my youngest, with a keen eye on recycling, constructed a Dalek ray gun from the motor complete with vocal cries of Ex-term-in-ATEEEE just in time for the Saturday family get together at 7.15 with a scary werewolf on the loose.

Midaircondo - Shopping for Images

Anyway, the stereo was playing this track Serenade (dwld expired) from Midaircondo somewhat at odds with the distant crashing outside which made it sound like a possible musical direction for Blixa (transgender nightmares). Nice track though (plus/minus the clatter), that piano motif seeping through like soft drizzly rain, and those honey-like vocals smoothing all disappointment… strangely enough you can catch some metal rattling at the end…

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Summer Goodies

Lisa Germano
That bitter sweet songstress Lisa Germano is to release a new album for Michael Gira’s Young God Records this June/July. I’ve loved her introspective tunes ever since her Inconsiderate Bitch EP on 4AD, with the conceptual Geek the Girl being within my top 10 favourite albums of all time. Her post 4AD career offered us the seriously gorgeous Lullaby for Liquid pig and hopefully this new release entitled In The Maybe World will be picking up from where she left off…

Tribute to Necktar

Yu-Gi-Oh Japanese Structure Deck
It's a monster of a download (over 200mb) but worth it, and if my initial skim-throughs are anything to go by it holds plenty of discordant pleasures. Another Earsheltering gem, be sure to give it your full attention.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Review : Rothko - A personal account of conflict CD single

Rothko - A personal account of conflict EP

Bespeckled in Mark Beazley’s (Rothko’s founder) own blood, the cover reads like a starry constellation or drifting pollen caught in sterile white – ‘A personal account of conflict’, is a new 3 trk offering from those guitar masters Rothko and a taster for the forthcoming full-lengther hopefully out later this year, artwork permitting.

The title track A personal account of conflict, is like a sound collage that’s been left deliberately awkward - direction is not only jolted by disconcertingly loud crashes throughout, but each segment is texturally opposed to the next. Beginning with a loud blast, quickly followed by a mournful violin shanty that acts like a slow-mo scattering of debris, time is suspended or stretched along bowed reverberations. This poetry is short lived, as the whole thing is tarnished by a menacing rumble, drowning out colour in mechanical relentlessness. Another blast sweeps everything clean, the void filled by some characteristic ‘Rothko’ stepped bass and the lightest of violin backing - a delight cut short as the track is terminated by the same means as it started, like a epitaph to something unresolved.

Sit in silent thought, possesses lovely darkened hues, fuzzy guitar spreads like the magnetised sway of iron filings, twilight cleaving a slowly shifting drama, circular guitar snaking within itself as reverberated percussion shadows its even strokes. I’ve had this track on repeat and it just gets better every time, a masterful atmosphere that never tires in revealing something new. I beg you to turn those lights down and listen.

Sit in silent thought.mp3 (dwld expired)

Burn darkness in fires is a simplistic guitar motif that is built upon, overlaid – a repetitive blissful lustre of tightening and rolling textures, swollen, modular and very physical, you can almost feel yourself rocking 'boat-like' along. This soon loses intensity as isolated bleeps signal to fade out and the EP ends.

According to Mark these last two tracks echo the bands recent live exploits and I’m eager to hear more as they certainly mine a rich emotional vein, a free floating semi abstract world that demands your attention - something they thankfully show no signs of losing even after all these years...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The live sounds of Smegma

Smegma - Belgium --- Portland

Why not introduce a bit of Smegma into your life.
I just love their distorted notion of the jazz vibe...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

New Paavoharju EP

Paavoharju - Tuote-akatemia Unien Savonlinna EP

Those Finnish psych folksters Paavoharju deliver a brand new EP for the netlabel Miasmah, including a live version from their debut album Yha hamaraa and more experimental leanings.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Free sounds from Brainwashed

Some golden oldies from that foxy little siren - Annie Anxiety are available to download from The complete Barded Wire Halo single and some other rarities...

No answers only questions...

Click here and type 'Nurse with Wound' into the search bar
and you get somebody's scary term project?

...there's also a video of a recent Current 93 gig