Sunday, December 30, 2007

Recent Guitar Experiments



sounds like a Japanese garden under attack by jackhammer wasps...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmass

My icy bird mask looks back at me empty eyed, antlers pushing into E Munch’s Madonna, who looks ghostly as ever, decapitated by the spines of novels that transect the glass…

Ah, the glitz of Christmas is shining bright for another year, as the cats chase baubles round and around. K Oliver’s witchy vibes in the background are igniting the fireflies of memory and I shall sink my next glass of ruby ruin and wish yr all the best of festering riches…

Merry Christmasss!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sadaar Bazaar and Saturation Point - Winter Solstice Special

Sadaar Bazaar and Saturation Point @ The Cube, Bristol - Thursday December 20th









This was a rare pleasure, as Sadaar Bazaar are one of Bristol’s more allusive acts. Coloured gel projections transported you back to 1967 as the sitar psychedelically slipped through the subtle keyboards that added modular swirls and rococo flourishes to its distinctive twang. Cymbal shimmer and loose drums fell around the flowing liquid shapes, complimented by some great guitar work tinged in country slide and blues inclinations. At one point, the drummer, taking a break from his vocation added some lovely mouth organ smears to the mix – oh this was a magical lightly brushed touch. Their music was full of giddy colour and controlled expansion, leaving my head nodding like a little Buddha dolly – apparently there’s a new album out in the New Year folks - can’t wait.








Saturation Point were a post rock Bristol outfit with a heavy effects driven canvas, featuring a drummer (Ted Milton look-a-like) who seemed totally possessed as he smashed into both metal and skin with a solid blur of activity. Chiselled Sigur Ros type guitar oscillations flowed over the sometime tumbling bass, while light bongos were drowned out by a pounded drum kit. The soundscape was a wide aperture filled up to the brim, that grew in intensity melding into heavy ‘gilded eternity’ territory with a ‘flat fields’ chaser - A fabulous end to the year.



Fillets

Sadaar Bazaar and Saturation Point review on the way, meanwhile here's something i prepared earlier...LOL

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unicorn and other stories


^ Unicorn wizard white trash baby...



^ and more usual antics from the sometime Nora Keyes collaborator and spooky comix creator.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ocean - Here Where Nothing Grows



Picked this baby up at ATP from the sprawling Invada stall, coloured vinyl certainly has been putting more of a shine in my eye of recent. There’s plenty of music to get your teeth into here, three splattered sides well in the 20mins region leaving the run off agreeably anorexic, and a further 10mins on the fourth.



Musically its sorta stoner nu-metal, sparse guitar n drum workout with some heavy water vocals that must really hurt the throat to produce. A slow weighty riffing, struggling against some imaginary snowstorm, drum potholes and cymbals clattering along in dogged determination. The pit dwelling vocals are marvellous, just the right side of theatrical, yawning coffin lid rupture, suitably larynx chafed. Further down the line, calm post rock vibes mingle with the measured angst, producing a protracted release languishing in the gloomy 20watt vision - almost time stopping. Slightly formulaic in places, enough daylight breaks through those wrecked wings to shift things around in interesting directions. By the third side, entitled ‘The Fall’ you’re fully hooked up to their decelerated and squalid taste, nodding along to the procession, with the Cure cover on the final side clinching the deal. A dirge sonic beauty...



Links: Ocean of Doom
Ocean's MySpace

Sunday, December 09, 2007

ATP

Saturday 8th December @ Butlin's Minehead



Oneida – hit a real Krautrock trip, a hypnotic repetition which left me smiling inanely throughout their entire set – superb!



AutoLux – sported the best girl drummer I’ve seen in years and a sumptuous vocalist to boot, her spikes laid into the dirty bass and gnarly guitar. My internals were rearranged by a steady speaker thump which made me almost bring back my mushy peas. The feedback shapes the bassist was making scarred the mind beautifully in Pollock like splashes.











Hawk and Hacksaw - Employed two extra additions to their group - and boy, this was without doubt the best I have ever seen them. Lots of different tones in there, dulcimeric hammering, with astounding trumpet, breathing its silk over the violin / accordion / percussive whole – saturated, Eastern… gorgeous. The dental floss violin playing was a nice touch too.



The Paranoid Critical Revolution minus Glenn Branca – was EVIL guitar / drum sickness, a phenomenally loud shrieking beast, tunes reduced to metal fingers scraping fret - instrument as pure apocalypse.







Julian Cope – Loved this guy, growing old disgracefully. Stage full of vintage speaker stacks… this man really knows how to rock. Big, bulky and super-charged, with some ‘Tear-Drop Explodes’ being thrown in there, suitably skewered of course. The new material really did sound agreeably lush and sprawling - Must get myself a copy.

Portishead – was the only gripe of the day, for some reason only silver wrist bands were allowed in – why!!! We had no idea, not a peep about it in the time-table.



Watched Seasick Steve instead - a super amped blues delight, his one string Diddley Bow (of Bo Diddley fame ) carving up the disappointment...

I was feeling pretty ropey at this point, my lumbar region feeling the strain of standing up for more than 8hrs. Eyes feeling like clay stabbed holes - exorcising the evil sensations onto paper – the scribbled self portrait (suitably rough n ready) worked a treat – left me feeling mysteriously better.










After a quick burst of the ‘The Heads’, it was over to the Red Stage to catch Thought Forms, who gave a really enjoyable set. Slow starting from a carpet of ether forms and magnetic instability, festival nerves and a few technical problems were thoroughly dispersed as the guitars and drums fused together pleasingly. Song riff’s steadily grew in intensity, quickly released to colourful slaughter.












Deej and Charlie throwing themselves around the shapes, the drums forging a path, flash lit. Really loved that ‘we would be so happy’ track that ended the set - the vocals creeping over those spangled guitar lines, sedately acknowledging a storm was a brewin , slivers of expectation then licked knife capillary blister, grrrrring guitar filling your head with plucked butterfly wings, something pictures will always fail to capture. As Mr Olivetti put it earlier in the day – this is what life’s all about…

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kamikaze



Not a bad outing for Mr Froese, wonder what the films like?

Two for today



a collection of gentle giants...



... while this one mauls your mind in a tangle of shadowy ambiguity...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Alexander Thomas , Lawrence English and Goodiepal

@ The Cube, Bristol - Friday 30th Nov

Alexander Thomas

Alexander Thomas was all digital clash and curiously spooked tones, His Rasputin like hands echoing Greek orthodox iconography as he sent signals across the Theremin, shimmer fish softening the hard edges, working across the judder. The collusion was beautiful, sliced up within the boxes at his feet, rearranged, and forced back to eat its own tail in a convulsive cacophony. Those spacey whispers you expect from the instrument are there, but chopped up they made some lusciously evil shapes – that made perfect sense. Like gift wrapped brutality, orchestral sirens crucified, haemorrhaging out a Möbius ribbon of its own making. In contrast the outro was all birds calls circling round a soft ascension, the summer that could have been.

Lawrence English

Lawrence English

In the sick glare of the computer Lawrence English’s pincer-like hands twitched with activity, switching dials and twisting knobs as he slid n shifted the tones into a harmonic seamless whole, pushing them towards prism cul-de-sacs that rippled the speaker’s skin. I was craving more drama within all those cloud like inflexions, then some guitar etched through, vividly contrasting with the smooth folds surrounding it. The real pleasure though was in the deconstruction of this, a gloriously stretched and warped inversion, which switched the lights on in my head, as tiny miniatures within the sound were forced into major players, becoming tensile poetics of movement, it felt like your ears were literally rotating around your head.

Goodiepal ditched any musical intentions and went on a mad and sometimes hysterical ramble through his own realities. Euro drenched tales punctured by schizoid language skips, whistling origami constellations folding, private recollection and some wicked Nordic throat violence. The disturbing thing is that it all started to make perfect sense after a while, computers are bad for us, disappearing culture, the way we see the past in tidy approximation but always crave the future in abstracts. The stories the man had to tell were amusingly oblique and surreally dealt out in true comic fashion.

Goodiepal

Goodiepal

Goodiepal

Handing out bells to the audience we accompanied his music-box ‘Titanic’ theme tune butchery – as he poked fun at mainstream perceptions. Loved his trans-euro cliché busting, shifting narrative, and hilariously dry piss takes - a joy to behold, even if the music was only semi-present. Fascinating the way that incredibly hairy chin of his seemed to meld with his jumper. On the way back to the car, the wind outside was making crazy shadows of the trees, as rodent like leaves scuttled the tarmac.... The Adolf Wolfli like scores Goodiepal was demonstrating earlier started to come alive in semi silent symphonies.