Monday, April 30, 2007

Wyrd noises from the barn

Saturday 28th Apr, The Old Pump Room, Trowbridge

Finally, I managed to get over to one of the Sonic Sanctuary’s events that have been springing up recently. I was especially eager to catch Lacuna after listening to her vibes on myspace, and found a whole heap of others that satisfied my ever increasing musical palette, some of whom stretched the acoustic tradition in pleasing directions.

The venue itself was set behind the Lamb Inn, a small barn with the stage walls decorated in trumpets, guitars, church organ pipes and a toy orangutan clinging for dear life to two violins. A net of Christmas lights hung above and the stage lights had this strange spliced red /blue vibe that had me wishing I’d brought my 3d glasses along to make the place even trippier.

Lacuna

Lacuna started the ball rolling with some lovely looped music box textures, comparisons with Colleen immediately flooded in, then mutated as cuteness rapidly veered into deliciously dark territory as the effects pedals tainted the proceedings in a sinister Hellraiser style vibe - the amplified spring on the ballerina adding an extra wow factor. As her set progressed she introduced xylophone, keyboards and trumpet to construct fragile backing rhythms for a superbly individual vox that crept all over yer , maybe not as wayward as Delphine Dora but still unusual.

Lacuna

When she was joined by a friend on stage (sorry, his name escaped me), his baritonic sound created a lovely Nordic counterpoint to her feminine highs, subtle flavours of apocalyptic folk eased their way through – brief glimpses of ‘Moon Lays Hidden’ filled my mind. Love the use of the trumpet too, not many people can pull that off within the delicate nature of this type of performance, but here it soothed its way into the mix. When Lacuna sang a song about the reminiscing of childhood it was as if she was actually chasing the shadows of her former self right there. What’s more, it was completely un-accompanied by any other sound but her voice, both highly personal and universal truths were felt.



I took this blurred pic of the music box, the ballerina's tutu was damaged earlier by Lacuna’s daughter. When the show ended I haplessly showed my appreciation by saying that her set was ‘really nice’, I cringed inside, it was a woefully inadequate description.

Lacuna

Lacuna

Gentlemen’s Relish

The next band Gentlemen’s Relish were a tight drums and guitar/vox combo, who had an unique 50, 60’s America twang (high end tuning I suppose) to their sound that wouldn’t have felt outa place in a Lynch film, especially with the superb crooning of the guitarist as he jigged on stage to the perky tunes a flowing, Mr Olivetti pinned the sound to 80’s cherry red and at some points I just had to agree there was a definite jangle going on that you just had to move to. Apparently this was a stripped down version of the Relish, but it didn’t suffer anything because of this as it kicked the shit right out of most of that insipid chart stuff that passes for indie nowdays. At the end of their set I immediately grabbed one of their free CD’s in the hope I could re-kindle the flames back home.

Gentlemen’s Relish

Rob Sharples

The next guest, Rob Sharples, was a fiendishly good acoustic guitar man (he played a wicked take on that famous Davy Graham tune - Anji) he also had a voice to kill for. His words reminded me a bit of Radiohead before Thom got a bit too wingefully self-indulgent. His words poured over each other, lovely metaphysical descriptions of frustration and other things, some of which I wish I’d written down as I spiderly sketched along to sounds he was making.

Primordial Undermind

The last act of the night, Primordial Undermind ,who bore an uncanny likeness to ‘Karl Blake’ (but less scary) started with a fascinating bowed / plucked pre-amble on his acoustic. The strange shapes he was making were flying in the face of tradition beautifully, harnessed by a resonant drone but leaving lots of space for the sounds to breathe. When he was actually playing he broke the rhythmic thrust into a series of eddies, swirling patterns, his fingers all over the place; you could tell this man was really having a ball. The lightening fast accents his little finger was making on the fret were incredible, like paragraph breaks in the flow, devices that switched the tune in a multitude of directions. Showcasing mostly an instrumental assault he used a few pedals to dirty up the sound to great effect, and it came as a bit of a surprise when his vocals appeared in the midst of one or two of his tunes, simple poems that contrasted perfectly with his frenetic finger work.

This sort of thing happens at the end of every month in Trowbridge - what's more the line up for the next installment seems very groovesome too.

Primordial Undermind

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Houseboys



oooooh, this postcard came through today, to say I'm excited would be a serious understatement

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gang Wizard - 4515 Thesis: A Series Of Split Pots - 2007 Tour CDr



A flash flood of rabid monks with hedge trimmers, their hands replaced with hooves. They clamber over their instruments, creating ram-shackled fragments of rhythm, following drums that are continually forced into ever tighter places; a distant drill dips into the cranium with see-saw buzz. Oh, I just luv these tour releases, getting quite partial to living room gigging.

3 of the 4 live tracks here growl with a cave primitive no–waver type vibe, basted with tinny cymbal and mutant guitar and some lovely ranty vocals too, occasionally backed by a chorus of whipped housewives.

Track 2 is the real fun though, a mental, free-association slow-burner. A jumble of jutting shapes stitched together, then coming unravelled in equal amounts over this tracks massive 24(ish) min duration -ideas a plenty. If I saw this live I’d be ecstatically yelping by its conclusion – the musical equivalent of letting chimps express themselves with a lot of paint and canvas whilst little sparrows hop over the results… an outpatient therapy session for the reality challenged, a perfect remedy against the mundane.

With a nod to the artwork, this is the sound of a teddy bears picnic through a music shop, documented in lo-fi bootleg stylee, rough-edged and glinting with the right level of madness, lovers of over-production need not apply.

Fresh from tanzprocesz

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Aspects of Summer


Re-releasing 'sold out' material as MP3’s is so cool especially when it’s as beautiful as this nug-ga-letto from the Finnish label LAL LAL LAL. The perfect soundtrack for a reddening horizon, even the insects seem caught up in Keijo’s soothing glow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Consumer Electronics and Wolf Eyes

@ the Cooler Bristol
18th April presented by
Qu-Junktions

Consumer Electronics

Consumer Electronics (such a great band name), was all perverted theatrics and evil razor blade sonics. Philip Best was on great confrontational form, as you’d expect from a member of Whitehouse, groping himself whilst licking childhood images and spouting a ream of colourful obscenities. His soundtrack sent tremors through your frame, even the flesh of my nose shook around it’s cartilage at one point - lovely warped rivers of gristly collision – devouring, hungry.

Wolf Eyes

Seriously thought the Wolf Eyes show was a non starter when it transpired they’d blown their equipment. Luckily after lots of fiddling and numerous bent backs, the speaker finally exploded in ripples of noise. The relief was incredible, congrats must go out to the Cooler’s audio bods for averting disaster.

Wolf Eyes

Wolf Eyes


My two year wait to see this band in the flesh was rewarded big style as they launched into a gruesome display of power tectonics. Those bowel-etched bass lines entering the realms of heavy dub, courtesy of a DIY one string guitar were incredible. Scribble guitar and eerie swirls of half light were mixed up in death dipped colour, sax sounding like a tight contraction in the fedback rawness.

Wolf Eyes

Wolf Eyes

Wolf Eyes

Wolf Eyes

Wolf Eyes

I really loved it when they went for it, that metallic stomp of theirs reminiscent of early Laibach - all totalitarian muscle with flangly sub-currents and carved kaleidoscopic wonders restlessly circling. Each trk started in colourful rumble and brooding menace and was never too far away from all-out headbanging meat, accompanied by some incredible double mic(ed) screamadelica. Found myself reveling almost Sufi-like in the beautiful roar and crushing chasms. I was going to that free noise night at the Arnolfini but to tell the truth Wolf Eyes really satisfied all my sonically destructive cravings, a show like this stays with you with plenty to savour.

Wolf Eyes

Recent Live Wolf Eyes Podcasts from
Inside Inzane Studios and Music for Morons

Monday, April 16, 2007

Space Blues


Some blissed out vibes over here from Matt V and Erika E with those Bummer Road bods filling in the naturally occurring spaces.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My old video player



an unfinished bit of recycling, remembered courtesy of KidShirt's recent series of posts.

Untitled

The Endless Not

Love the way the snow on that mountain looks like the TG lightning bolt, even the blue of the sky is reminiscent of the band’s visual signature.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Have a heart



Full of old time classics like Aortic Ejection Murmur, the dance floor friendly Interventricular Septal Defect and not forgetting the hypno der-dum-der-dum of the Pericardial Friction Rub.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Flesh fancy



Cloudboy proudly presents a bit of seasonal doodling, created while old time C93 listening... now, getting back to some more demented Ice Bird Spiral action on my Egyptian lyre.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Kassette Kulture #3


Greyskull [tzpPRO03]

An EVIL blast (the caps lock is fully justified here) that leaves charred corpses in its wake. This is a heavy guitar distortion squall and screaming skull barbeque that takes no prisoners. Two sides of twisted wreckage uncoiling, collapsing, attacking in amplified ruptures of screeeeching feedback whilst murky sub-human howls shriek like skinned owls bleeding in a metallic haze. Kiss your cobwebs goodbye and catch this baby before the insanely limited qualities (only 50!!!) disappear into the ether.

Available from those masters of churning disruption - Tanzprocesz

Sunday, April 01, 2007

James Blackshaw, The School of Trobar and Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

at The Cube Microplex - Sat 31st Mar 2007
brought together by qujunktions

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

First up was - Silver Stairs of Ketchikan - a solo off-shoot of the Thoughtforms collective. Namely one Charlie Romijn, who sat cross legged in amongst various effect boxes and electronic spaghetti. She mixed guitar/vocal/violin fragments to produce some angelic concoctions, that in the dark retraction of the room made my toes curl. Slightly shoegazery, she tapped into some magical narrative somewhere amidst all that loop/delay and capture trickery, something I’m eager to hear more of.

The School of Trobar

The School of Trobar

The School of Trobar

The School of Trobar were two absolutely superb guitarists, filling round each others spaces with interesting divisions. Loosely song based, the tracks really opened up in instrumental mode, a foot box echo supplying a simple but effective beat. Loved that warm slide guitar action too, continent crossing, as Indian inflexions melded with sprightly mountain string picking.

James Blackshaw

James Blackshaw’s set was wondrous, each track full of cosy reflection and contrasting casts of light – really complex stuff, so fluently rendered, with some relaxed chat between re-tunings. Found myself marvelling at his ability to make one guitar sound like 2 other people were playing simultaneously. His last trk was a blissful triangle of cross rhythms that were flung into different tempos, like a cat playing with a mouse – sorta reminiscent of Robbie Basho – really descriptive instrumentals sparkling with life.

James Blackshaw

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

Audio snatches knit together, an airborne shiver potently affixed. Consciousness expands in rainbow schisms, beauty that words struggle to depict.

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan