Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Menschenfleisch - Performs 3" cdr



Like a drying husk of Lady Godiva’s Operation but totally drum-less, distended… the lyrics replaced with howls, grumbles and browning apple cores ... very little comedy… Muggy weathered choke chains twisting sinister, I’m hearing the tearing of nylon legs, slashing beaks … Below numbing tones, there's this séance of valve misuse... a dental nightmare of grey area dynamics and mammal breath… loons call each other through mud… a sweaty bubble of flaccid delirium, caustic yet strangely inviting… If this was a drawing, it would be one of those intensely dense 'thermally insane' ones… where the page colour is literally swallowed in swirling granite… not as loud as I remember, but who wants crippling distortion when the details are this tasty… Clocking in at just under 18 mins this Menschenfleisch offering serves as an appetizer for things to come…

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Woodtipper, Dolphins into the Future, Ducktails

Friday 24th Sept - The Cube, Bristol









Woodtipper's set was too short...just as it was blossoming in teeny sunburned hand grandeur, it was over... Improv tangles, of a fluffy sunset quality, Casio melodies and knitted sceneries... just needed that little bit more...



Lieven's set bled plenty ... a pleasing stream of creaking wooden hulls, rolling tide lines and infinite keys.... a few Polynesian chants and music box curls n cogs ... The flow, texturally similar to his latest Kraak release... batches of pre-prepared C60's just falling into place... memory floods of Brook's Hybrid and Hassell's dream theory... that 80's EG drift re-contextualised, everything drifting in non-concretes / indexed possibilities / tactile grains... vapourising overlays...... a real lightness of touch...He seemed intently focused , on edge even, hovering over his kit... listening for changes, chances... connected to the components, passionately involved in the unfolding. His purple lit head shook on occasion when directions didn't work out/ materialise... not that I noticed any glitches or faux-pas... MW reckoned it wasn't immersive enough, maybe the lack of shadowy underbelly contributed to that impression... but with eyes closed, I was loving every picturesque minute.



Ducktails, on the other hand, were disappointing, which was a shame as I've been loving that WFMU radio show they did recently... but that constant sound-checking throughout the set, plus that 10min sabbatical whilst a snapped string was fixed was just irritating... then the sitar tuning. Man, I'm surprised there wasn't any boooing or rotten veg throwing!!!... They managed to kindle the spark a few times... varying between a wha, wha-ed Pavement and ,as Joe aptly put, a muscular Felt... settling mostly for a jingled indie with slurppy saturated guitar... Thought 'hall of mirrors' was mighty fine... and that solo track was probably the best part of their set for me, especially when the singing moved out of drunken blur territory...






//.... then kitten strings

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vena Cava and Radiant Sounds of Dust

The Louisiana, Bristol - Thursday 16th Sept





Vena Cava were great... incredibly drum centric... guitar conversations growing in mass... chords slowly easing you closer, with repetitive reframes full of fiery colours. Sizzling in a broth of chemical reactions... Bambi's fingers spidered the frets in regal tints, joy shaped tangles and the occasional haunted chant...Mardt's bass, reflecting the drums... throwing out dark tangents from beneath each slam...... there was a something familiar about the drums.. yet unique... heavy but not soporific... an aspartic skip pummelled in gigantic arcs... verging on metal but without any crippling cliché... the glish of cymbal, like the clash of medieval weaponry... both guitars stoking the dramatic atmospheres... really glad I finally got to see them.







'Radiant Sounds of Dust' on the other hand, were a mess of angles, gloriously out of sync, a certain early Velvet Underground rawness about them... Think they were all a bit tour wasted...... the flooded amps reducing the singers vocals into screechy screams ... a frazzled psych-o-delic soup that could of easily crumbled away into fractals of white noise... unusual flavours that rubbed in wrong ways... hints of accidental genius drifting off into 60's rock blurs and tambourine glints.





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Live at the Horse Hospital



UnicaZürn will be performing at The Horse Hospital, London on September 17th. Entrance cost only a fiver! Special limited cdr for sale too...

Monday, September 13, 2010

PoMo Sound and Vision

Saturday 11th Sept - The Post Modern, Swindon





Pripyat Chernobyl ... Hashtronaut (love the name) set the mood... accompanying visuals supplied by John Sherwood. Each one blurs into the next... the ambient torso crumbling along with the paintwork... The resolution painterly, tactile as you're drawn closer... deteriorating into crackles and spikes from the speakers, as if splintering out of the reactor's sarcophagus... Dusty, tomb like charges throw out a tide of echoes... underpin ... counterpoint the rust, rotten frameworks... the still photography is very apt... abandoned gas masks, a tree growing out of an apartment floor, a chair positioned close by, as if the viewer had just disintegrated.... A child's teddy bear head poking out of the concrete... the guitars float in... sort of work, but the steely electronics are much better conveyors of this poisoned landscape... Closer to the power plant news reels began, the enormous clean-up, little medical masks affording little protection for the workers... I remember watching the news at the time... lead clad workers scraped debris from the roof...then weeks later the deaths, images silhouetted in memory, sobering sounds..

Chatting to the guy next to me, I have a nagging suspicion I've heard his voice before but can't quite place it.....

The Swerve Dance stuff up next supplied a welcome break … conversations with a rub of bodies, then kelp like dresses leaping Cornish rocks... warming up for the last act...



4m 33s, named after Cage’s party piece, manipulated pre-recorded drones whilst throwing out chilly triggers to the slow-mo 1930’s steel works on screen …the sonics a real measured burn that crept into you… lots of spicy variety to keep the attention from wandering… Sounded in parts like SPK circa Byzantine Flowers sans the ethnic licks… tastily filmic … the depth incredible… echoing the industrial might panning out on screen.. percussive swells and shadowy hues to plumes of white hot fluid…







His second set was imbued with a mystical vibe… petal patterns revealing swastika hearts… sweeping textures , riddled with varicose veins… backwards cymbal slipping over hollowed deities, and ebbing tongues… Calling this ambient would be a great injustice... far too emotive... chatting after the set, he tells us about this first job scraping the moss off the foundry roof... just a thin bit of asbestos between him and possible vaporizing in the molten steel below... the night sky glowing orange like some Hieronymus bosch backdrop.



Outside, I bump into the guy I was chatting to earlier, turned out to be Ray Ward of The Ray Ward Trio... illuminating my previous deja vu blur... Mr Olivetti give me his LP as an early birthday pressie a while back and I've been loving it's odd charms ever since... great bloke whose eyes sparkled... made navigating passed the beered up idiots on the way home that little bit easier...






FWD >> (The Other) Ray Ward Trio



Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Anta, Thought Forms and Hreda



@ The Cube Bristol - Friday 3rd Sept

The sky was an iridescent candyfloss pink, full of feathery genies... as the sun slipped down the sky... Velvet Chrome were playing on the stereo... a free download via the Hobo Cubes... the sirens on it made me a bit jittery... good lo fidelity sounds though, quite varied too... gotta track more down...

Felt great to be at the Cube again, my favourite Bristol venue, all things considered - along with Joey and Bambi's Basement... haven't been here since June when I caught that excellent Singing Knives shindig... Nosing through the flyers is always a pleasure, not too many missed opportunities... this appealed, anything Sudden infant related has a habit of doing that...



then the flip revealed this...



and I'm there thinking...KOOL... but it's in London... and I can feel a flood of personal negatives... but Hijokaidan, Smegma... man... we'll see... life's just too expensive these days!



There was quite a crowd that night... First up were Anta ... who I instantly loved... pure Nouveau Prog... with a real sense of adventure... mixing it up with a certain Hydrahead sensibility... no doom infatuations to bring it down...



guitars coming across keyboardic, skidding on crumpled effects angles... organ chewing out 'Doorsy' drones, buried in the heavy buzztonic... The riffs, monolithic, not primitive but eking the celestial... cloaked in plush velvetelectrics, ...centipedial ingredients walking through your mind in pleasing patterns, splutters ...



drums thumping out staggered blasts, the bass sliding across the edges, leaping the occasional thunder strike... both guiding and following... everything jigsawing together perfectly, the screen based abstractions floating along with it all... the sonics full of luminal shadows without clinging too preciously to historical testament... fantastic stuff...

If any band could follow them, it would be Thought forms, they simmered, slowly building up steam, Deej, cross legged, skimming shiny shrapnel through the speakers...





Guy giving out a few subtle tremors... Charlie, snake charming a rousing beast... Eastern stars breaking across falling rain... Klimt's birch forest, a carpet of lifting leaves... the sway potent and heady... teetering off in guitar/drums/guitar fist-e-cuffs...











I was loving that mutated highland chiming and the duetting... That stunning version of 'We would be so happy if...' was a super polished juggernaut, reluctant to be extinguished... full of tasty 'calm before the storm' trajectories and sheering energies... with everything finally ending on an explosive, corrosively jubilant high...



The last band Hreda were massively 'treble' soaked ,two guitar and drum trio... don't know whether I liked them, though Joe was loving every moment... their chords were solid and everything flowed nicely round each other with amazing dexterity and a fair amount of originality, even worked well to the Akira bike action on screen... but I guess it wasn't my kinda thing or I just wasn't in the mood, maybe too clean for my liking...although that track towards the end was beginning to really hook me in good and proper...







On the way back the moon was a huge scimitar of red, just laying there on the horizon, as the Swans pounded an incessant riff around the car... the Dead Kennedy's leaving us a cakey 2am surprise when we got through the door...