Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kassette Kulture #1

Inspired by KEK’s current fascination with the cassette underground – I’ve dusted off my old ‘Boots’ walkman to sample a few delights from the current renaissance the humble tape is undergoing and maybe unearth a few floating around the house.

First up is this attractively packaged one from the Sick Head label - A split 30mins of music from Birds of Delay and Nackt Insecten.

The first side is a live recording from the Birds of Delay of a recent gig in Cambridge. It comes across like a slow contraction strapped to a murky drone – a drowsy incantation sunken in heavy vapour, with devotional howlings cut across in sparse feedback, the topography of crumbled skin. In the half light, shadows play with your mind, something moans it’s last before being swallowed in electronic crackle. Creepy, deliberately sloth-like, the sound twists itself in your consciousness like environmental pollution. Somewhere in there, a mutated Tarzan is thrashing his torso into ugly shapes as chemicals eat into his skin.

The second side is from Nackt Insecten and is split into 4 trks that sort of blend into each other so I’m guessing a bit here

Hollow-skull Spekter
- is an unholy spew of overloaded guitar(?), the air tasting metallic in the fizzle n crack – like a screaming beast of burden writhing around in slowly decreasing and gratuitous circles. St. Mary of the Storms – supplies a welcomed reprieve from the torn noise onslaught, a rippling of bass fuzz, a low prairie of shimmering glass-like reflections. Yellow Wraith – is blistering noise bubbling up and expanding in explosive release, a sickening cyclone that cuts away to reveal the last trk - Still Tide. This is Gregorian moan over a gorgeous bed of metallic wreckage that slips queasily through your ears, and dies off to a few sax squeaks.

excellent stuff...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Serfs, Thoughtforms and MV + EE Medicine Show

Monday 20th November @ The Cube, Bristol

Hooked up with KEK again for this show, lovely to meet a guy who shares the same enthusiasm for music especially the live variety, even though he hadn’t slept well for a number of nights due to an ill household. As usual, the Cube was on hand to smooth all troubles away with a particularly fine, string heavy, line up.


The Serfs were first up, a guitar duo from Manchester (I think), one manipulating feedback, the other containing it in a filigree of delicate guitar work saturated in delay and cloudy echo. The result was really vivid, rippling oscillations that took root in your chest and spread outward/inward like sonic surgery, your mind riding all the shapes/contours that evaporated, tantalisingly just out of grasp. The guitarist who looked remarkably like ‘Efrim’ from ‘Silver Mt Zion’, hovered an electro magnetic device (later found out this was an ebow) across the pick-ups to produce a slowly shifting drone that he carefully maintained through their performance. The Other guitarist worked within and around this with some gorgeous improvised guitar work. Polyphonic colours and textures flooded out, producing highly meditative stuff that glowed under the ruby stage lights.




Thoughtforms the next band, started with ambient washes of effects driven gtrs hovering in the air like a vapour of nocturnal shadows, tangled lines of fuzzy/fizzing electronics. The girl guitarist was hunched over her amp coaxing divine squalls and bass heavy rumbles. From these tranquil beginnings they launched into a deceptively jangly detour that quickly ascended into some marvellous pyramids of sound complete with cut up junctions / intersections, then clearing without any of the momentum being lost.


The background slowly built up again into some delightful blizzards of interlocking noise. As one tune ebbed away in a rinse of effects, the next rose effortlessly as if umbilically tied to the fading memory of the last. Really enjoyed that novel use of the input jacks, the resulting depth charges of sound scarring the air, and those weighty drums that thundered behind the guitar lines. Thoughtforms were amazingly proficient, creating tight hooks that would in turn be sabotaged beautifully, playfully mixing up all those influences – the explosiveness of early Pumpkins, the riff-tastic glow of Hovercraft, that taut n metallic sound of Sonic Youth (chiming as KEK so aptly put) circa ‘Evol’, Rothko, Ride, Slowdive, Loop, the list was endless, they just bled this stuff all over their performance in a giddy concoction that was new, inventive and worthy of your attention. It’s a pity my camera died on me, as I can’t share the incendiary forms the two guitarists were making when truly wigging out. Annoyingly enough, the camera seemed to work again for MV and EE before finally running out of juice towards the end of their set.

MV and EE

MV and EE’s show was more space blues than the frazzled commune madness found on the Tower recordings, which I'd spent last week re-listening to in readiness for the show. Really liked the way they subverted that blues/country genre on the night swamping it in their other- worldly effects, warping the time signatures, taking history and re-moulding to their own unique blueprint. Without the extra orchestration from the bummer road this was also a really intimate performance from just the two of them, and it was interesting seeing how each of them contributed to the whole. Erika plucking her sleek n shiny ukulele laidened with spacey swirl effects or adding whale like calls from her ‘Lap Steel’ on her knees, Matt on the acoustic making the weirdest of shapes, diverting to his electric to give the sound extra beef.

Matt Valentine

Each had an array of daisy- chained pedals at their feet. Matt would push them to their limit, sometimes losing the sound altogether, but thankfully only momentarily with Erika filling in the blanks. A great bunch of songs were showcased, mostly from their recent double, Erika’s vocals bewitching, Matt’s weather worn n rustic. ‘Anthem of the Cocola Y&T’ a song about a stateside ‘hic town’ that hasn’t changed since the 30’s was a sublime cosmic bluegrass workout, the lyrics sliding around vaporously. Speaking with them after the show, they seemed really laidback, peaceful people whose only aim was to spread their love out into the world, something they succeeded to do with me, Kek and DJ Baz...

Erika Elder

MV and EE

Matt's pedals

Monday, November 13, 2006

Noise Trio


A superb noise recording from Joe Colley (Crawl Unit)/ Jessica Rylan (Can't) / Kevin Drumm all served up for download over at

...especially liking the vocal skip of Jessica's contribution

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lisa Germano (Cancelled)

Caroline Martin, A Hawk and a Hacksaw
@ the Cube Bristol - Friday 10th Nov

Real disappointment on hearing that Lisa Germano had cancelled the UK leg of her European schedule, including her Cube debut. Hope everything is ok in the Germano camp...

The whole Cloudboy posse was feeling deflated, as we’d booked this one months in advance, and even went through the arduous task of finding a babysitter for the kids so Mrs Cloudboy could come too. Fortunately, A Hawk and the Hacksaw, kindly stepped in (on their night off, I may add) as replacement headliners for the evening with the original booked support act of Caroline Martin still on the cards to warm things up.

Caroline Martin

Dispelling all those singer songwriter clichés, Caroline charged straight into a song about sexual violence. Loved her gentle swinging riffs that enfolded her bitter sweet tales of disappointed love experiences, simple circular fingerings. Her voice was crisply evocative diverting to some expressive abstracts on a number of tunes.
She was supported by Max on violin whose strings put across extra emotional attachment and his light scrapings seemed to have an enchanting rusty-hinge vibe. Her cover version of Teenage kicks was a lovely drawn-out affair, her words languidly falling from her lips, erotically charged.

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

Lovely to see the Hacksaw again, it’s great to see the way these two musicians work around each other, like an audio dance, each adding and subtracting from the whole, the tunes fluid, the borders agreeably hazy.

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

That 'Eastern European' vibe they have going on is still cutting the mustard with me. They added lots of vocals to the mix including a song or two from their latest album... that one about throwing bodies into the river seemed entangled like a Grimm fairytale. In fact the visuals they created were delightfully sepia tinged and juddery affairs, where reality magically recreated itself through a glass of absinthe - Music to forget your worries in and be enraptured by.

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

A Hawk and the Hacksaw

What a line-up...

at Seymour's too...
Those unfamiliar with this lot should check out these vids, the Larkin Grimm one is particularly marvellous.

Music: Harpoon Baptism - Larkin Grimm
from last year's Harpoon album.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hearthside Favourite

Thunder Perfect Mind

On dark evenings like this I catch myself staring into those blacked out sockets, trying to incarcerate the pleasing shapes side four is making of my head...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

That's my boy...

My eldest son’s first musical purchase, infinitely better than my first one I can tell yer (and no I’m not telling).Great cover don't yer think?

Such a beautiful sunset today, thought I’d share the spectacle, sorta reminds me of a flying saucer trk, but frustratingly can’t seem to find the CD. One day i'm gonna file these things properly, grrrrr!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Vluba (The Pyramid Album)

, flows off the tongue smoothly doesn't it? Don't know much about the band, other than, that they are a psychedelic noise outfit from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fortunately for us those bastions of the noise underground Tanzprocesz have given us the opportunity of sampling their heady delights. Two long trks are available for dwld with a CDr option that comes in a handsome pyramid package, sporting an extra 10+ mins of audio.

The music is gorgeously murky, starting off like early Tangerine Dream with building electronic washes, then working towards more ‘acid casualty’ territory, with muffled drums and astral projected moans. Liking it’s DIY / live feel, those sliding whistles, that jumble of broken drums, not to mention the unbalanced electronics that spew up around them unpredictably - a real rough diamond sound with an art brute aesthetic that slowly hooks you up to the unholy rumblings of another dimension.

Watch Vluba live courtesy of Google video.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006