Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Deej Dhariwal - Example Cdr

Deej Dhariwal - Example

This is a recent(ish) collection of sonic experiments and beautiful guitar led miniatures from Deej Dhariwal of Thoughtforms fame... In contrast to those explosive colours, this solo outing has a quiet serenity and subtle otherworldly quality… Something that haunts you well after the discs 56mins have expired.

Right from the offset, the séance whistling drones of Pacific Ghosts grabs your attention, their eerie beauty creating Enochian feathers in the inner ear, bathed in atmospheric rumble and bubbling silhouettes of oceanic horses. Those extended shifting tones …the odd flecks of apparitional strum…The sleeve notes state – thank you Pacific wind for playing my guitar – and this track just goes to show that nature is the greatest of improvisers…

Bouncing - is a short palette cleanser, a keyboard wash with nattering post echo dust, sparsely spaced then dronically ironed flat in herald of the next track.

Heavy Noah is a silky delight, an optimistic light shot through with a slightly lamentful slant. A copperplate lullaby of strings bespeckled in precious stones, catching the downward drift. A circular motion, all luminous, underpinned in places with a meaty bass foundation. The tune wavers around in differing phases full of glockenspiel highlights, ending in a rococo of looped decay bringing on those spectral shivers...

Utape – is a short tape manipulation piece of swith-o-tronics, full of cat retching, hyperactive chew, spin, and rickety nuances that quickly fall headlong into Zombie. Here those spacey signatures of Noah’s sign-out, flutter around in a dark n dusty setting... a Labradfordesque eeriness curling the edges, as extra submerged textures float around. Itchy slivers, valves twitching then opening out to a gorgeously blunt strummed whisper of a song, that grabs you unawares, the vocals seemingly coming from under the floorboards… only to be quickly snatched away in a vinyl click n skip.

Crusty eyes
, comes across like an early morning, Angus MacLise chime devotion. Muffled conversations background flung by gushes of bamboo clatter and the trickle of bells, all trapped in the constant scuffle of tape noise. Everything has a horizontal almost accidental air, as if it mystically composed itself...

Autumn Fields is another radiant guitar sketch, this time filled with corn trapped colours, a sway with solar shadows and flexible shapes - a sound you could easily just lay back in and watch the world pass by.

The album ends neatly the way it began…with a Pacific wind reprise... this time featuring more loose strums and stray strings, mingled in with those aeolian smears... you can almost taste that salty air...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan - S/T Cdr

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan

This is a limited CDr (100 copies) I picked up last week at the Thoughtforms gig . Ever since taking in that spooky SSOK vibe in a live context, I’ve been eager to hear more …and this collection of tracks is just what my head has been craving...

The opener Feeding Tree is a blur burrowing into the mind’s eye, exotic colours strung along a cobweb of frail heart-beats. Everything is delayed, Escher-like, into a giddy sickness spiral sucking at the void. Secondary patterns break across the surface in shivers of excitement, as scatter cushions of tune clasp tightly around the phantoms.

Insects
- ups the tempo, a hammered anvil and tip toed accompaniment , interspersed with the skid of tyres. A pleasing xylophonic vibe, filled with clockwork motion that sit well with the introspective nature of the vocals. Hints of Bjork are in there, but here the voice is definitely richer than the Icelandic pixie’s, bathed in a warm derangement, musing on the subject of screaming eyes and insects chatting about the stock exchange.

She is in my mind
is almost too beautiful to describe, as poly-vocals drift across a twilight of instrumentation, punctuated by the fluttering of digital moths. Those bell-like chimes falling in its wake, like infected apparitions dispersing on the back of a hypnotic double take, that literally weaves between the ears in disappearing key motifs.

Snake of the forties is an altogether more edgy jazz infusion, where a sparse reed/lullaby opens up to a squalling clarinet bird call, that dissolves into another curious vocal bath. From here on in, the perspective is thrown into a foreshortened free fall, becoming a nest of twisted voice shapes, spinning and slipping over into the ep’s closer Time is my Eye, where the sound carnivorously eats up the space around it like a Wizard of Oz cyclone.

...If you are around the Croft on the afternoon of 23rd (Aug) you’ll have the rare opportunity of catching these magickal vibes live and what’s more the lovely Lacuna will be joining her… maybe a haunted duet will materialise… it’s sure to mesmerize…

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jurassic



Walking on a 150 million year old sea bed is pretty humbling, fossil shells and ammonites everywhere, even collapsing cliffs that seem to be straight from Le Corbusier’s sketchbook... sometimes I really love Britain, even if the weather is a heap of steaming turd...











Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Tunnel Toughs, Primordial Undermind and Thoughtforms

The Cooler, Bristol - Friday 8th August





Not the brain dripping out of your ears, feedback set I expected from this new incarnation of the Liftmen – The Tunnel Toughs, but never the less the shapes they were putting out were beautifully fragmented, cast from an unusual palette. It must be said, Rasha and company sure play a wide field with a deft hand, as nifty sonic textures bled circuit saturated colours , sometimes all solid bass boom, others, loose and wobbly full of scar tissue... I swear when you closed your eyes it didn’t sound like it was made from guitar/drums etc at all. They took the sound to interesting places, that dot / dash punctuating at the end of their set, was like a comedy makeover of one of John Cage’s prepared pieces, pianos replaced by depth charged spanners... a musical moment I’ll never fail to forget... and there's me thinking there wasn't enough humour in music.







The Primordial Undermind were in full band-guise, since I last saw Eric Arn's solo set over at the Sonic Sanc last year...







This was a yummy heavy fuzz of a sound like a swollen river, brown n murky, full of broken sticks of tune and bicycle wheels. Mostly full on and dirty, the sound sometimes cleared to reveal tiny miniatures of string bound doodling, that typified Eric’s solo set the previous year and finite circuit bending from Doug’s hand-built boxes. These were always quickly erased by faster waters, the vocals struggling to keep afloat in the current. Sticking your finger in your ear to the drums forced interesting death splats of plastic crab to nibble at the wax… Their latest album has definitely been ear marked in my next months spends ( like a fool I regretted not bringing enough folding stuff on the night).









Thoughtforms are always a pleasure to witness, this was my fourth immersion and they still sound as fresh / exciting as they did back in 2006 … The way they carve up their songs is pure sound alchemy, throwing acute angles and differing perspectives/depths to a seemingly rock ingested base - It never fails to grab at your brain and fill it full of shattered mirrors and burning patterns of possibility… I suspect control is the key here, the knowing when to relinquish it, plus the ability to rein the beast back into it’s box and boy they have it licked, still managing to slip in lots of tasty splices of instability into the equation making you itchy for more. Even Charlie’s sore throat failed to suppress any of the gilded edging they have previously shimmered through the air. Deej continues to murder his guitar with zealous abandon (think he literally broke one of his guitars that night), whilst Charlie holds a solid gnarly foundation for his eccentric pedal abuse, adding extra colour to the mix. Guy working over this, stapling the whole with coffin nail plunges...

...all fab stuff appearing soon in a club near you...




...paul casts an evil shadow....

Thoughtforms and Company



...more on this great night a little bit later, meanwhile some coolerscope eye-candy...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thought Forms on tour...



...with the fantastic Primordial Undermind in tow...
what's more the forms debut is rumoured for an Autumn release (fingers firmly crossed)

Patrick Lombe - Nuit du 31 decembre



This is a late night December invocation from one half of the Placenta Popeye duo – the backing is a smeared phonographic slip 'n' slide sickness with the vox folded back on itself, floating on a queasy, mirror smitten vibe. A squeaky dog toy exhales, seemingly jammed in a repeat rocking chair rhythm... dragging backwards whilst struggling to move forward. The vocals are a déjà vu bowl of alphabet soup bubbling out a reversal of language, whilst the loop lock shifts until the stylus is all stubbly and skipping behind, like some bag-snatched frames of film. Then, 14mins in, a gorgeous little dittie surfaces in strummed and grated slices. The vox jolts along like a pickled Gainsbourg sandwiched by a bedspring / rusty scissor background, clipping out verse while actual chords work on over, filling everything up nicely… only to evaporate away to a paper thin beat...

It’s the kinda thing that could have gone on forever… Nice, primitive, felt-tip action on the cover from Mr Lombe too... looks like a teddy bear / caterpillar hybrid riddled with Sebastian arrows... flip the head and you have a b/w migraine inside...



available from those lovely people at Tanzprocesz