Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Black Mirror

a solo dance piece from Marie-Gabrielle Rotie

Telecult Powers - Amazing Laws of...

I really love electronic music, especially when it taps into the arcane… and this recent Abandon Ship release dedicated to 60’s witch Maxine Sanders, is the type of musick that makes me all tingly on the inside. Like Mount Vernon Arts Lab who channeled environments through their instruments towards a tangible connection to something that lies between realities... Telecult Powers, seem to be fellow diviners of those self same energies, believers in electro-occultism if you like, letting the environment trigger the sound’s flux (if the inlay is to be believed) as if it were spirit written…

Witchcraft 1972 is a short opener, all poltergeist electronica. A jumble of bizarre flutterings and scattered taps and bangs exiting down an fx spiral... like a séance of random firings, or the eerie beauty of something stumbling around. But the real meat of the album lies beyond this…

The second track, The Ecstatic Mother - is a bubbling drone of conflicting wet and dry textures, with flange ripples pulled on through… full of bass heavy permutations and Time Machines like stretches… odd signals eat at your consciousness, like a Brothers Quay tap-dancing nail… the margins going all frosty, as if startled… Boy, this is really excellent on the headphones, especially when all the envelopes start pushing up against each other and the batwings staple themselves down your spine in tazer like stitches. That forest of sine waves is toppling in multi vibrato fractions…counting, stretching backwards in sustain, then explosive release….screams of aching machine scribble, gyrating in ever tightening circles…scratches on glass.

The Starry Wisdom is like a half perceived message written on your bones…It’s bass rumble buries itself deep… the shape of a crooked hand forms, it’s shadow is transformed into a pack of skinny dogs… their flesh all flapping curtains, full of strange inconsistencies, mere suggestions that pull at you from every angle…leaving you hungry for details… But all that comes, are long tongues drawing in the sand, as the scooped bow waves continue to tug at you like an impatient child whose face has been misplaced or erased. Everything is oscillating, shifting around, a menace of shadows chills the air…a bell rings from an empty table, but you see only hand prints in the dust… I shut my eyes and my temples contract in a shiver that breaks on down through my body in a measured flood.

They save the best for last though - a real scary number, full of aggressive swirls of machine ghosts that leaves me convinced there’s something coming out of the speakers other than the sound… just like the time when the jaws of one of my drawings tried to eat me in my sleep... the intensity of this track is just superb, an unease that creeps all over you right up to the album's finish.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bored and doodling

...a really boring development meeting spawns little goblin children...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Always thought Vangelis was all neo-classical synthetics typified by that cheesy 'Chariots of Fire' anthem. Too steeped in mock orchestral shenanigans to be remotely interesting- although the Blade-runner sound track was slightly redeeming... Until, I stumbled upon this in the local charity shop... That expensive, 70’s chocolate box velor of the cover catching my curiosity, plus the mind-bending fifty pence price tag...

...Well, talk about a contrast to expectation.. turns out to be bloody fabulous! Choked full of circuit wiggling Stockhausen type tomfoolery, jumping abstraction and arrhythmic kernels, all floating along on the merest suggestion of tune... Was half expecting Thighpaulsandra to burst into song... those plunging sine waves and warped modulations are so so creamy... I won’t be drifting past Vangelis anymore... Now where's my pipe n slippers?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Damo Suzuki, Kawabata Makoto and Saturation Point (minus Thoughtforms)

Kawabata certainly demonstrated his mad guitar philosophy, tearing at the lock grooved concoctions with amazing zeal – I danced to within an inch of my life, burning up on the energies, Mr O to my side, bounced around to the tribal impetus while I convulsed to Makoto’s knife edges… Mr Suzuki sucked us into his vocal mantra… God knows what he was saying… caught all sorts of strange snippets and mis-hearings, melting along that heavy reverb … horizon of eyes…smiles…miles of aisles…tango fries… ah fuck it, this man was incredible! Weaving his voice over epic distances, all that gibber, fusing everything together, that mouth of his always infused, dragging his breath back deep inside, forcing his features around the mic, dripping in fountains of sweat…He was giving his all. The other musicians found wholesome grooves and stuck with them, creating massive swirling wonders, which seemed to last for ages, odd shapes sparking arclite fantasies.

The first half consisted of Gonga’s drummer, an fx-laden bassist and the Japanese duo… The bassist treated us to his percussive styled warpages (a mass of units flickering at his feet)… whilst Kawabata was ceremonially knifing , violin bowing or just plain hand attacking his guitar in wahhhh shimmered angles, I looked at Mr O – he had a smile you could fit most of America into…

For the second half the stage bustled with bodies, some belonging to Saturation Point, others were unfamiliar… this half was more effects driven and psychotropic mist, droney slivers bending light… but it wasn’t long before the two drummers conspired to bring the whole thing back into a satisfying Kraut-fuelled churning, full of laddered nylon and flashes of pure guitar insanity…

Damo radiated love, thanking the audience and sending out kisses to his fellow performers… I think he must have shaken everybody’s hand that night as we all made our way out into the frosty sparkle… What a legend!… A fitting epitaph to another excellent year of live music.

Valve Crab

Naturelle Exposures

Ice Bird Spiral – Swineville

Mr Olivetti reviews IBS EP before Christmas rush shock...

Our favourite noise terrorists have come up with this six track song-cycle, a dis-rhythmic, inertia-filled anti-paean to the yawning population chasm that is dull town UK. You know the place, you’ve breathed its foul smells, rotted in its bus stops, avoided the excuses for humanity that float down the streets like hijacked blimps.

In a half hour of tape manipulation mayhem, sonic irregularity and vocal tomfoolery, we find ourselves for the first third drawn towards the railway station, the hub of any town. Sweating on litter strewn platforms, flies buzz and the atmosphere crackles with tension. Signs swing ominously in the fetid breeze as we wait desperately for a train to remove us. The sound of hooves heralds something, the tracks bending and buckling in the distance under the weight of something immense. Quiet shrieks and rumbles, then a gentle tearing leads you to the realisation that an ocean liner pulled by mute elephants and manned by raving monkeys is never going to get us anywhere.

The second part commences with a Karl Blake-like dose of surrealism, straight from the market place of urban dread, a dead-pan delivery over the prettiest Satie-esque piano accompaniment. This segues into the most terrifying of sonic recipes, an intoning voice echoed and layered over a writhing bed of animal noises full of creeping, jittering sounds, finally making way for a disquieting description of the journey … swineville is everywhere.

The final third leaves us with the feeling that the only escape is upward. Lying on your back in the park, projecting yourself skyward surrounded by mad dogs, wild kids, drunken mothers and raving bin-men; up there amongst the droning satellites and rattling space debris, dodging the comets and meteorites, losing yourself in the glow.

By Mr Olivetti

That was Damo Suuuuzukiii

...mind candy of the highest order, more words and random photographic smears sooooon...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rambutan - Fallen Smoke mini CDr

This is a newish release over at abandon ship records from Eric Hardiman aka Rambutan. Recorded completely live, it’s an impressive muffle free document capturing that evening’s magic. Essentially one long track, it’s has a lovely spectral vibe, the type that just melts inside your head and successfully erases any complications that might dwell there, blurring reality way passed its twenty odd minutes…

The sounds here are like a circling ivory cage filled with operatic smears and vaseline wiped perspectives. Samples float around like the glutinous specks trapped in your eyes, their trails are wet tissue paper bleeding out the semi vivid. Ethereal antennas transacted in spooky laughter, mutated over the itchy undertow in a measured inquisition. Insistent loops burnishing time, the over spill dripping to the floor in octo-plasmic splashes of blue and copper…

Thirteen minutes in and suddenly everything cuts to a violin drone bracketed by metallic nerve endings. This slowly opens up to tinny keyboards and a lush hammer dulcimer ride, stretching back in time like ancient telepathy.

Yet another quality release for Abandon Ship.