Friday, February 27, 2009

Silver Stairs of Ketchikan, Fuzz Against Junk, Spectrum and Deej Dhariwal

Wednesday 25th Feb - The Croft, Bristol

The Silver Stairs show started all electro-acoustic, a bowed biscuit tin splashing the room in a slow and delicious rasp. A cutting reverberation of squealing metallic tastes, overlaid in a crisscross of directions, a collusion that melted away to a single violin. Exotic colours unfurling, tempered with the slide of the fingers, an Eastern European vibe melding to a drifting Caravanserai grain. Fragments looped over each other, reflected schisms a swirl, the slow smoulder of chant breaking across its back to light bell and singing bowl…

oh, this was just excellent. By the time the guitar came into play and the light chords pressed themselves in the palimpsest, the violin had fled into the background replaced by shivers of amp distortion. These solidified into a golden meadow of a tune, all sun-fed, spanning out its fingers then cast back into shadow, feedback scoring an origami of torn edges… closing on thunderous and crippled strings with a trickle of vocal echoing through as everything began to disperse back to memory …

really wish Paul could have been here he would have loved it…

Fuzz against Junk was a sax and bass heavy psych-distortion, taking in both a Sunburned Hand groovathon and Beefheartian growl. Excellent sketchbook vibes that were sometimes so addictive, all you could do to was fling yourself between it all, and as you can imagine by the lack of detail here, I did an awful lot of that.

I’ll hang my head in shame and say I never managed to see Spaceman 3 in their heyday, although I do own a lot of their output… It has to be said Sonic Boom put on a blinding show that seemed like the Sonic/Jason split was just a work of malicious fiction. The place was crammed, really hot… couldn’t even get a good view and I’m over six feet tall.

As they launched into their set, the memories flooded back as one chord/ riffonics blurred everything away in reparative shimmers, me and Olivetti gorging ourselves silly on the narcotic blooms. Really wanted them to play 'How does it feel?' but it never materialised, a disappointment more than made up for by the 'Suicide' finale which seemed to last a delirious eternity… melting down as each member of the band left the stage until only a warbling drone cut the air…

Spied a disciple in full speaker worship, looked like he was having a crafty slash…

A bemused Deej, was the next on, uncertain if the Spectrum guys would ever be back… Joe was goading him to flick the switch, a glimmer of temptation broke across his face… then after 10 mins everything was terminated in a slight return from the boys as the infinite fell into mangled collapse…

Having missed Deej’s debut last Halloween and another occasion when it just wasn’t to be, I was really looking forward to his set… Disappointment was never on the horizon as that looped guitar and keyboard overlay created a warm and nimble ambience, filled with twilights and splattered lightfall through foliage.

Those chilled out variations looped round burning smiles in your forehead, later to be encircled by the howling of distant freight trains. Ghostly vocals yelling into the void, soaked in the sticky triple image of delay, transforming into blisters of sea life phantom…

Loved that clattering thunder stick, throwing out angry bruises, slipping slowly out of focus…later, pulled into a xylophonic effects soup, the guitar at it’s most alien and exciting, bowing out on guitar agitation and drum addition.

Well worth the wait and probably one of my best gigs of the year (so far…)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

liquid nite machine

...never heard Sparks sound soooooo neon skullshakin'... fell shy of that massive dance floor after toying with the extreme comedy of the notion...a fuzzy alcoholic glow taking hold... as glass bound shapes slipped under gravity's spell.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The deafening sound of silence stereo is ded, ded, ded. For fucks sake... i'm gonna have to rid myself of this negative vibe

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Classwar

There’s a new and exciting installment of Classwar Karaoke, really proud to be included on this selection, dusting off my Autotistic persona for a rambling track of confused directions and pretty cul-de-sacs… fits quite well with other outstanding contributions of sonic palimpsest and half lit alleyways...loving that Vultures track and the squirty digital flay-fx of the Familiars in particular...

Get over to the myspace page now and give your stereo some wholesome shivers…

And if you missed the previous collections they can be found here, here and here, including some choice Ice Bird Spiral action for your delectation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Kassette Kulture #18 - Ultra Bon Bon

This series of beautifully packaged C10 cassettes from Ultra Bon Bon comes across all rage. Not the blind oblivion kind, but the scarier psychotic variety, that mulls over the feelings almost luxuriating in the darkened tastes... charging up a sticky claustrophobia of gristlized electronics, purpose built, to bend rhythm and hatchet out creepy noise teasers... delving deeper, focusing the power, before letting the fury flow out in a satisfying caustic spew … Full of contrast, like a filthy Xerox, the sounds here are economically honed for maximum effect, then torn through with an insane animalistic growl almost as if it’s a personal exorcism to let the light back in…

Horse Remixx is an exciting, jack booted hydraulic punch with whiffs of TG’s 'Discipline', until a chopped rhythmic vox is gaffa taped across it in giddy zig zag’s… Valve inserts weaving in and out of waves of seriously crippled keyboard … the keys throwing out a raspy infinitum.

Horse Faced starts with the mellow echo of jungle chatter and a bubbling drill then chilled panoramas that chasm dip. Everything’s all nervy, until the tension is released or obliterated by a scorching vox tidal wave …screams of 'Call me out of this Landddd' hack-sawing the air.

Pregnant - a machine pigeon’s coo, metallic pipes whistling all tubular between a slow creep that descends into forests of machine tool ambience and shortwave flutter….getting tangled up in a garbled riot of noisy colour like a blunted Brotzmann sax, swirling round a spinster’s skinny finger … A warble that’s literally drowned in confusion…

Fighting for his Wife is spitting electro pan fry of humming wing and biting insects bizarrely grafted to a mutant Peruvian discharge… Then a series of spectrumatic explosions, a chewed up vocal with wobbly spittle flying at diagonals, crawling out on a steam-fed ratchet. This sound is so fucked, it makes me laugh out loud!

Rich Black Soil is definitely my favourite, I can imagine this live, that wave of noise crashing through my chest. A filter twisted wreckage of pared down sonics skipping out a crippled dance. A blackened husk of a vocal, splatter caking the scene in bronchial tar…the perfect recipe for any wage slave morning.

My Disguise is a rippling vibrato mantra to high end crimping… I’m reading the inserts that go along with each cassette. The words ’my disguise has no holes for eyes, take pity on me… ‘ jump out as a buzzy mono-slab of vox cuts through a comb, backed by a 40 watt bulb chorus of cracked china harmonies like the whistling of glass Cicadas .This is less intense then the rest but possesses a suitably deranged hillbilly vibe…

Mountain Fears is a bassy rummage and plunging keyboard gobbled up in a crazy mash of teeth… bloody love the way those vocals are burrowing into the instruments.

So many (R)egrets is an equally mangled electronic junkyard of broken keys and banjo, cut-out in beaty bite sized potions. Overwritten by some delightful jaw collapsed candy. A mug of bloody fists and mascara framed eyes, a scream of salty tears crumbling like a tarmac of spent zippers.

Ultra Bon Bon’s DIY feel is so yummy, a hungry wolf wrapped in a lo-fi blanket, the edges all moth eaten… bleeding out authenticity. Apparently, they are a husband and wife duo living out their lives in a small town of Alberta in the wilds of Canada, whether this has any effect on the musical output is anybodies guess, maybe it’s mirroring all that picturesque vastness with an internal geography? I’ve no intention of pinning this noise butterfly down though, other than they’d love to harness the power of the train that passes their house everyday, something I’m certainly looking forward to hearing...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


The new stuff has landed...

...there's a new batch of super limited ear poppers available over at Tanzprocesz including one from Joke Lanz of Sudden Infant fame...

here's some label low-down to get yr salivating:


Sudden Infant "Sketchbook N°9"
C-15 cassette

Loops, Vocals, Cuts, Stereo
Concrete nightmare manipulations
Edition of 66

Oso El Roto & TG "Personne Ne Sait Que Je Suis Séropositive"
C-28 cassette

Fucked up lo-fi collaboration by those two french dudes
Junk sounds vs guitars vs tapes vs drones
Wonky Included the hit "Personne"
Edition of 50

To Live And Shave In L.A. "Les Poisons Délectables"
C-30 cassette

Tom Smith and pals strike back with this weird epileptic tape
Two sides of stamerring loops that are gonna drive you mad
Edition of 77

Nat Roe "Private Langage" - Black CDr

Nat Roe plunders everything
Making new sounds with old ones
He sent me those tracks by surprise
Here's the consequence
Edition of 50


all at a 'credit crunching' five euros each...

also still available are these tasty numbers from last year, including one of the best comps of 2008, but more on that mind melting cassette a little later:

Ero Babaa "Sexe" LP
V.A. "Nous Déjouons Vos Machinations" Cassette
M Ax Noi Mach "Chaser" Cassette
Placenta Popeye/Reverse Mouth "Baby Blues Kids" Split 7inch

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Yonokiero - Blue Apples

This is a really mellow collection of tunes, and the second release for the small Manchester label Front and Follow. You can’t help but warm to the melodic sounds within and the deft way in which the ingredients just fall into place. All those influences leaking on through, as if it’s a subtle homage to everything that’s great about singer/song writing … a music that’s making it’s point in a clear non-grandiose way, coming across in diaristic cameos that fall gently into the ears.

Sumimasen begins the album in a lilting, sparkly spring of chords, fringes of chirpy electronica belaying a semi-souring of lyrics. A silvery, Cocteau-esque quality dribbling between the words’ simplicity.

Invitation to Malmo – is a folksy waltz with a lovely muted firework counterfoil leaping out in bassy echo…The vocals shadowed by the ghosts of Neil Young or Dylan… nice dynamics mulling round that accordion swell, porch light guitar and a nibbling tambourine glint…

Rare Bit has a definite travelogue vibe, a husky indie vox, electric / acoustic game of Scrabble, a dictionary of possibilities floating round in jumbled animation… a Red House Painter’s flex…with Marlboro Lite vocal straining over a guitar, light chopping through a car’s window...

Randolph Bourne is a camp fire strum with sliding tin roofs, but for Casey Jnr… things get introspective, a beaded heart beat and subterranean creep of vocals… a mono-prescription that frays into the guitars, like swaying grasses, or tissue paper washing lines… a network of cotton treads spreading slowly out and curling round, foetal like…

I like the way that down turned piano of Tsuris props up the guitar burnish with a burnt out wryness. A jaded jar whose initial drowsiness is thrown out on a strummed coda, filled with flicking fluorescents, then plunged back, in a sigh of resignation.

Hey Now, exorcises the previous vibes in sunnier riffage, a glow with fond memories…hand claps and bent light steel ending in some nice harmonica drifts.

The falling guitar style of Blue Apples really breathes out interesting colours. As if adjusting to some half-light; the cello stalking the fiddle’s crochet. The instrumentation framing the emotional pictures in kinetic vignettes, gently bolstering the words, adding resonance to what’s being sung. It must be said the musicianship on this album is superbly understated, confidently nailing the scene with precision… On Angry Promoter the music almost clings to the words, as if painfully shy, vague medieval courtives sprinkling themselves around, as eyes follow the wood grain rather than the conversation.

Rebound is an insistent acoustic strum which breaks from the warm duvet in fuzzy electric gtr …feedback birds pulling at the edges. The vox swept up, dying out along the spine of an organ flatliner… Itchy finger work follows this in some neat fretboard sketching, which merges nicely with the hum of next doors sander as I write this. The album signs off on a carpet of acoustic swirl and skating drum patterns, dappled in 60’s tints and a stained optimism.

Sounds: Sumimasen