Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Really gutted i missed this and all of the other ear candy flowing from the recent Woolf Music festival... here's hoping it happens again next year...

Fag Studios Weekender - Malcolm Julian Swan, Salope, Joined by Wire, Blackhoods

Sunday 22nd Sept - Fag Studios, Bristol

This place is great, catacomby, underworldly... Punters cramming into the tiny cellar performance area... watching the stage through peoples legs, or huddling against damp walls. Sadly missed a few of the early acts, but fortunately caught Malcolm Julian Swan in mid-flow... a bizarre Billy Brag of surreality with a skewed sartorial wit and lamby face mask... Bent over, reciting from his hand held prose... staggering round the sodium soup of his rich imaginings... oozing comedic truths aplenty, poking the corpse of nostalgia with fresh paintwork... minimal backing from an auton-like bassist in the alcove shadows. Inspired, inspiring and so mind stirringly simple. Can't recommend his recent zamzam tape enough... "Ignore that thing in the corner", he muttered... "that thing in the corner... the TV?... no your grandmother"... Genius!

Next up Salope (I'm told means French for bitch), a newish project from Gareth of Big Naturals fame, demonstrated quite a swerve in direction from those usual ear tearings. A bassy, dronic soup of electrics and 21st century cello rubs. The generated canker full of Coil machinings and warbling debris, drone candy moving into loop locked goodness, a head-hunter beat over-wrought in wavering cello seraphs...

The Scabied claws Joined by Wire were welding were great... trebly shimmers of guitar threading on through the debris in a gilded flying saucer attack vibe, wrapping round the pickup echoes and mouth-washed ulcers. Strange porpoise-like gurgles and wharfing sub-currents in an unholy rumbling. The whole caboodle sounding like the collapsing bell towers of Sunday churches interspersed with whirling drills...

Blackhoods were exceptional... burning a post rock vibe and more so. Standard loop metronomics given a meaty redux... Loop feverings like jack hammering typewriters, overlaid into some really nice dark currents and guitar/bass interactions...Labraford curves and beautiful rhythmic thunders... locking horns whilst still oozing plenty of unusual flavours... getting joyfully over laboured and additively danceable.

Thinking back now I really wished I'd stayed around for Mark Wagner and the Microdeform finale...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nocturnal Industry - Microdeform

An investigation into loop mechanics and so much more. This 3 track EP further expands the rhythmic sorcery laid down on last year’s Mortlake...Pretty much a live document, it’s a very hands on affair, a well controlled bleed conjuring plenty of satisfying goo.

The title track judders nicely into focus, vintage grooves melding with symphonic hoops and humming electrical gates. A scuffed ambiance intruded upon by a lard-filled bag of solo beat, brilliantly soothed in some lovely ribbonised glides of sustained guitar. Everything tapering on ebbs of diffused twilight and bendy reflections, re-energised in the effervescent wow of a struck match.

The embers of the previous track transpose seamlessly into the soup of the next. The Graveyard Shift... a dense drone fruit with sickles of Germanic voice. It’s a jewel of activity, the chemistry of the first track rearranged then pushed into further cohesion with a hessian beat and tabla refrain. Oozes a divine off-kilter krauty vibe to die for, chased in gilded keylines and venting pressures. A vibe that’s soon mangled in siren and peeling symphonic repeats, finally swallowed in ample needle play.

In contrast, the last track Sleep Deprived At First Light skips Stravinsky-like cusps of tension and highlights of syrupy trumpet. The slash/oblique of surface noise dribbling through the bassy chaff as the varying outcomes are transit flung in differing directions... Rileyesque licks of faux guitar embellishing the hypnotic enchantment further in medicating spiderings. If this EP is anything to go by, the next long player from Microdeform is going to be well worth the wait.