Friday, August 24, 2007

Agripon - UKcd-r Tour

... makes you wonder if oil crayon kills CD players as affectively as spray paint, but for those brave enough to give it a spin you get a handful of warm up textures followed by a fab twenty minute plus carnal house of improv ruin that serves as the discs blaze of glory. These crazy crazy French blokes are mad for it!!!

... if their equipment survives the tour I’ll be amazed...

Radikal Satan Au Kalvaire

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Skitanja, BotBorg and Agripon

@ Port Mahon Oxford Wednesday 22nd August

hit the stage looking like a trans-gender terror duo, in scary face masks and blond wigs – not dissimilar to Autons in the red lighting. The sound was hi-energy beatbox traffic jam, with a stuttering step malfunction awash with evil guitar monsters. A schizoid dance hall, mutated lounge / ballroom, where fast rhythms stumble over pounding drums and rolling keyboards, attacked in right angles by cornet blasts, like a glam ‘Teenage Jesus’ with Lydia replaced by an Italian soprano. Unpredictable and a bloody marvel to behold, don’t split guys the world needs you.

BotBorg were a migraine inducing audio/vision fest of raw data clash collision, working their magic from a darkened corner of the room. Quick flicker pixels, digital interference illuminated the room as Mr Olivetti exclaimed it was just like travelling on the central line – LOL. I was waiting for somebody in the audience to go into a spasm free-fall of convulsive saliva.

Agripon’s show was an insane ‘free for all’ where the objective was to make as much noise as humanly possible. The things they were doing to their instruments brought tears to my eyes. Smashing, scraping, pounding whilst their naked torsos twisted around, attempting to coax every last bastard sound out of their bruised n battered arsenal.

At one point, the drummer gaffa taped his kit plus guitar round his head continuing to bash the hell out of it regardless, resorting to shouting from inside his kettle drum when the whole shebang finally split.

This was an impressive display of anti-music that was strangely musical. At it’s conclusion one of them thrust a tape in the air shouting ‘one pound for a tape of tonight’, couldn’t get my fist into my pocket fast enough, damn!.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ashtray Navigations and Mark Durgan

@ The Cube, Bristol Sat 18th August

That drone cuts through my head, shards of glass mounted memory in ruptured angles. Inscribed scars of guitar knit over high-end cracks, hailstorms that grind, screech and decay. A rack of bells tremble, clatter as electro-prodded spikes jut out cactus like, as crushed metal is intersected by gnarling doubts and broken promises. From towers of plugs the angels cry blood, scratching out accolades of warm flesh from screaming mouths. Pity the pictures failed to capture all this, but pleasant to come away from the Cube with ringing ears for a change, digital spider monkeys playing in my brain all the way home.

Crescent and PG Six

@ The Cube, Bristol Weds 15th August

Curled over his guitar for the most part, manic hair set a flame by the lighting, Matt’s voice was richer, less fragile, but retained that essential Crescent 'pencilled in' quality that I’ve loved so much over the years. The words were less stark and discontent, the narrative given breathing space for the words to glow - lantern like.

The minimal backing was predominantly sketched guitar, creating circular motifs until the music had that hazy corona of open spaces, sleepily framed in reddening skies, if you’ve heard ‘Little waves’ you’ll know what I mean... the sort of atmosphere that gets your toes curling.

A heavily pregnant Kate provided bowed double bass, and produced subtle textures from behind an open case, these electro-acoustic skeletons like distorted glass catching the light, raining through the songs, forms that danced like a jaded prism. Pebble and water textures, as well as other vinyl run-offs from a bygone age were added to the sax and 'blow keyboard' backing, but it was the vinyl face-off between the numerous ancient record decks on either side of the stage that stole the show.

A fragmented chit-chat of academic voices cut up and rearranged within the skip of the needle, deft hands making everything seem so seamlessly fluid, Matt reducing his guitar to a one string caress, head flipping with each cast of voice – smiles all round. Well worth the wait I’d say.

PG Six were a hell of a lot tighter with their sound. The two guitars, bass and drum outfit, that smoothly fitted around each other. Didn’t like the music as much as Crescent, but when they started to blur the edges a bit more, and truly relax into their playing, the music shifted into pleasing shapes with the bass and dextrous fretwork impeccably sprawling and Dianne’s vocals giving that indispensable whisky hue throughout. Their show became chocked full of great rhythmic hooks and guitar detours that wound you in to their world, something that got us clapping for an encore, an invitation the group warmly accepted.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Agripon - the Paris based mini drum kit n guitar duo, bring their fucked up electric madness to these shores for a whistle-stop mini-tour of the UK...

21st August - the Greenhouse Effect, Brighton(Hove) w/Medicine and Duty
22nd August - Port Mahon, Oxford w/GentleFriendly, Botborg & Skitanja
23rd August - Saki Bar, Manchester w/STOKEONMETER,Burnst, To tired
24th August - The Cannon, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes w/MissPilgrim
25th August - London w/Man Aubergine, Andy Abbott, Tattietoes
26th August - ROWFROWFROWF3 @Fuel, Manchester there or weep eternal
what's more their Tour CD-R is in an edition of only 17!!!

Here's a short snippet of what to expect - Agripon Live

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Cube action


PG Six

Finally managed to see Crescent last night - definitely worth the wait. Tom and the team giving us an intimate set showcasing their Little Waves album almost in its entirety, ending with some awesome 78rpm improv action. PG Six were real smooth operators too, imparting their own stamp on the Americana vibe, but you’ll have to wait for a more expansive ramble...

...meanwhile dwld some classic Crescent cuts over here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kassette Kulture # 5 - Uncle Ian - Going ape in the Optics Factory

Found one of my few surviving bite back tapes the other day, most went the way of my Phil groovy and the Psychedelic Bus, all chewed n gnarly or splattered in demagnetised chasm. Uncle Ian always got me bouncing round the room, its hi-energy vibe a vast contrast to my usual preference for miserable, gnashing of teeth malcontent. In it’s day this became a bit of a party favourite, me trying to sneak it into the mix at any opportunity; so much so I’m surprised the tape made it beyond the 90’s. Anyways, I’m glad to report Uncle Ian still works its magic mid noughties, those classic programmed beats cascading down your ears and jiggling the flesh nicely.

Still love this more sedate number (could never work out which trk title was which) with its stuttering shutter, string rebound, and stupid wobbly vocal... feels like it should have been a classic. (1986 - what a year)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Palimpsest Festival 07

Only three years old and still with its finger on the psych-folk pulse, this looks to be another great event, so tune in and let your mind slowly unravel.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Placenta Popeye / Le Dernier Cri

Silk-screened Book and CDR

A great dilapidated guitar stagger/stutter with mushed rhythmic crows circling on top to drooling half-formed hobo vexations below. Plagued by invisible demons, arms flailing, spit arched in a ketamined rant economy, legs knocking over the empties mid-sway. The sky is eaten, disfigured in the pole axis of a bottle bottom. Words gulp blurrily around, spill over and darken the soil. If Moondog ever discovered the joys of electricity, I reckon he’d sound a lot like Mr Placenta. What’s more, this latest release is housed in a beautiful silkscreen book via those French purveyors of ocular filth Le Dernier Cri - making it the most lavish to date. Loving those brutally drawn orifices squirting moist n hairy globs of snot, faeces and vomit in day-glow pink, green and blood red in true outsider stylee...