Monday, November 24, 2014

Autotistika, Kostis Kilymis, Dead Gum and Embarker

20th November Power Lunches , London

Power Lunches had undergone some changes since I was here for Stereocilla last year. The side walls of the cellar space were now fitted out with full length mirrors on both sides, their multiple reflections milking a certain Fripp and Eno 'no pussyfooting' vibe in my head, full of Logan's run like distortions running the spaces proportions. Caught a distorted eyeful of myself masked up in the gloom and attempted to divine those bizarrements in my Autotistika slot, suffice to say, had a lot of fun in doing so, derailing into some diced n sliced techno agitations, finally squeezing in Anna's ergo toxin fragments before abrupt sign offs.

Following on after me was Kostis Kilymis (label boss of organized music from thessaloniki)whose machines seemed full of chewed billiards, a pulsing soup of skipping envelopes, chattering teeth and weathered sweeps. Minimal architectures that rumbled through the blue hued darkness superbly. His poltergeisting beats and irregular mutations seemed almost three dimensional as he mutated the betweens. A tease of frying circuitry that at one point was the machine equivalent of an Aztec priest holding a freshly pulsing heart arterial spread in sonar encrypts.

Regular readers to Rottenmeats will know I've been a fan of Pan's for some time, ever since snapping up his Reverse Mouth Ballades Pour un Patriote CDR on Tanzprocesz in 2007 and the sodium soaked hues of his Dead Gum persona were simply superb on the night. Brandishing a guitar and a nefari of pedals his back to audience throughout... he needled a strange sorcery of Joy Division snares, slashed in irradiated guitar and woeful (barely audible) vocals that sort of limped out from underneath. A faithful rendition of his impressive GAINER album, that wowed me completely. The tensile shapes of ‘Afraid of Heights’ itching with fret caked oblivions, the slow ache of Regain and it’s sycamore descents burning a Curtis-like bewilderment, that Reverse Mouth apocalyptia still smouldering within... lucid lights pushed begrudgingly into sobriety landing into a forlorn twilight of broken stars, shimmering loops, and a superb drug addled spoken word piece.

Last up was Embarker who produced a gloriously mangled set...a deranged spira-gira of whir-shanked aberrations, collaging the comic and damn right unsettling...literally flying at you in whip crack angles verging off happily into uncharted multiples, an array of noises that startled and illuminated like fire crackers reverberating your skull, snookering into some sinister lab experiments full of delicious deformity. A bloody brilliant sign off to the night... and a creaking start to Dead Gum and Embarkers twelve day tour that cumulates in Athens on the 5th of December.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Caermaen - Ian Watson

An investigation into frequency shifted feedbacks, this oozes a minimalist vibe of shimmering metallics. A catalogue of machine phantoms and eerie tones that dimensionally ripple, feather cymbal-like across a stutter of desiccated mechanics. A highly tensile affair, it's mirages prey on your mind, keep you on the cusp of some macabre anticipation, as if an unseen magnetic presence were hovering disconcertingly over your shoulder, a sense of foreboding the cleverly entitled track titles milk perfectly. Totally loving the way the industrial flutter of The Silhouette of a man, rendered in ash and soot stands at the window seems to suggest just that.

Three Imposters continues the vibe, an unsettling of hertz, neatly divided into three. The first lingering in a tuning fork high, spectrum shifted, enveloped, it's sub atomics cannibalised. Pulsing out a chemical soup of slipping tones, finally delving into the lower registers puckered in slithering silverfish that séance-span some beautiful UFO’s and sawing mandibles.

The last track wrapping things up in a compendium of the first three, as gliding textures skim a grain-silo echo, and angry tremors buzz-saw, spark, and finally skid into silence – a worthy addition to horror’s growing vocabulary.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ZamZamRec - Supreme Ritual Noise Action - Tipex Orchestra, Silver Waves, Ewa Justka, The Digitariat, Dave Philips

A great, if a little cramped night over at the old police station...couldn’t bear to miss another noise night and the chance of catching Dave Phillips in action sealed the deal... First up were the Tipex Orchestra an ad hock ensemble of arrhythmic fun... and the first time I've seen a step ladder used as an instrument... later thrown across the drums as things descending into a mosh pit pyramid of bodies, guitars and food...Henry Collins, a squashed plastic pagan beneath it all horn calling a truce.

Silver Waves – Shifted some satisfying noise and a bit of cymbal thrashing too, as grating abrasives were cut into wholesome chucks... the semi-sequenced candy, dynamically swinging the momentum into a fist of a finale... just like those 2nd Gen guys used to

Ewa Justka... flashing strip lighting and strobe...a hacked TV monitor giving visuals to the abstracts flowing forth... maybe adding to them...loads of tones colliding, colluding...skuttering your ear in curious rhythmics, eaten into by interference, a host of cross pollinating shapes weaving plenty of synaptic shocks and dronic blurs. The tempo joysticked around like a rag doll gouging a semi-realised techno before dicing it into a stutteridge of machine mirages... the flashing lighting adding further to the feeling of malfunction...In a word 'Brilliant!'

The Digitariat was Paul Knowles from Islington with numerous axes to grind and the most violent of the nights action... with his razor blades of high pitched squeal...and uber-harsh panel pins... screaming into the microphone backed by dense storm of atonalities...steep slabs of attack that reminded me of Phillip Best, minus the licked scrapbook of little children.

Dave Philips (Schimpfluch Gruppe pioneer) stole the show in abrupt machine smarts impeccably choreographed to screen splashes of Helvetica bold pointing the finger at our complacently / selfish consumption... a host of animal cruelty zapping the screen bathing us in the despicable stench of being human ......A dervish of drone curdling underneath, launched in sudden shocks of sonic violence... that image of a dead monkey with the word 'crap' tattooed on his shaven forehead sticking with me forever ...the room trembling to the onscreen horror of a bulldozed trench full of live pigs running blindly over each other to escape a tide of swallowing earth......DP's sniping mousetraps echoing the electrified spasms of test animals. Slit throats, abattoir scenes to a fizzing of wires... a repeating machine crunch that seemed to be screaming accusingly 'Use your eyes...your eyes...your eyes... as a trainered foot pushed firmly into the head of a wolf, it's jutting jaw crushed to a barrage of screeching wares... An amazingly powerful experience that left you hollowed out and wordless.

Friday, September 26, 2014

How To Organise Your Life & Get Rid Of Clutter - Various Artists

This is a brilliant eclectic mix, offset by interludes from some self help seminar on the subject of relieving you of the burden of clutter. Personally, I love to wallow in stuff (clutter that is) finding neatness a teensy bit too sterile, but here the advice (given with a glinting smile no doubt) is the perfect foil for the fragility and jaded beauty on offer. A place where the shiny world of productivity meets the more human in break-beat, post everything flavours, shaking the tree in off-kiltered teenbeat tatters. Starts with 'Hidden', an intoxication of Mazzy Starr-esque vapours, Sofia DeVille's sultry vocals and candy curls of tabla making out with the creeping condensation of hypno strings and swirling breathe. Ab Jackson and his cheesy seminars kicking in straight after, his reverbed charms separating each track, sometimes blurring simultaneously in some weirded schisms of wasp vocals twisting your noggin in imagined tomorrows mixed with peculiar bends of flamenco.

Smiling Disease stabs you in the chest early on with that amazing vastness - all splashed hand claps and symphonic choirs mincing over a dervishly additive baseline....closely followed by Mewlips piano melancholics... words stagger-stepping over broken beatitudes chewing over disaffections in asymmetrical poetics. The glorious technicolour head crashes of Lizzard Bleach are wholesome too... as they ply their 'cat swung' approximation of rock n roll / surf whatevers in glinting telecaster and thundering percussions, the ampage hissing like a deep fat fryer... and that's just half of side one!

Compilations can be hit and miss but I'm hard pushed to find anything laggy in this collection, everything gleams a plenty, it's easy to see why this artefact has slipped into sold-outs-ville, but as ever the digital can be attained over in bandcampland for all eternity

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lutine - White Flowers

I'm staring at two colours, their colliding edges are vibrating like the harmonium of Espera - the opening song on Lutine's debut album, that glassy warmth of vocals they're plying just 'takes you back' with its dazzling purity... A hyper-real glisten where words are tied on shimmering currents, mixed with the cold tinge of Autumn... the approaching aperture of Winter drawn round a crackling fire...the perfect time to let this curl your ear.

Propped up by minimal tinder-sticks of piano, zither, the odd fluttering of Casio, the voices here are the main showcase... the sparseness of the surroundings emphasising a fragility that's hard to shake off...brings to mind the haunted ilk of Vashti Bunyan, Anne Briggs or the more recent Larkin Grimm or the Unthanks... but the crystal natures here are more a mirrored pool you can see the distorted bottom of, an Ophelia bound in the harmonics of love and tears, where piano fingers echo the vocals like falling blossom. Emma Morton and Heather Minor have certainly wrought a delicate debut that weaves quite a spell.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Supernormal Saturdaze

9th August - Braziers Park Oxfordshire

Two yeti(s) ( Hakarl and Diana Policarpo) were dispensing some experimental tap dancing in the granary, like a brutalist Astaire and Rogers slap-clapping contacts in a display of harsh percussions full of errant spikes of squealing microphone. Cramped in the narrow doorway, I only got a partial view of the brief spectacle that head glowed like some prized Schimpfluch aktion ... something that will be floating high on my recall list for evermore.

Winding back a few acts, I caught Alasdair Roberts in the barn, this was more traditional fare but no less impressive, with superb guitar skills on hand and a syrupy voice to boot. Dropping down to the main field I chanced on the last shots from The Gluts (Gina Birch, Kaffe Matthews and Hayley Newman) an environmentally crusading girl band all masked up with white aprons (a lampoon of housework no doubt) ...Their ‘Summoning extinct animals’ interactives promoting the triangle handed audience to voice all manner of zoological gruntings was great fun. Their rambling anti capitalism deadpans was captivatingly primitive too...fanning oak leaves to the chants of ’ What do we want?’ a repetitive question affixed by righting all the world's wrongs interspersed with some suitably stupid stuff. Wished I'd taken in the whole thing.

Wandering round, nursing niggling disappointments, revealed a host of electronic goodness far removed from the cherry picked main attractions. Laptop crunching and under the table metallic shadowings... maggoty sinewave shivers...tonal wars of etched water and salt patterned plates...You could say I was in my element laying back on the grass and appreciating the random outpours.

Quickly checked on Esben and the Witch, but fancied more abstract goods, sampling the soft ambience and colour soaked mists of the unconscious archives in the disco tent before catching Sly and the Family Drone's bombastic energies from the middle of the field. A crowd encircled them like Dante's hellish many, as they plied their special brand of percussion and effect fodder that burned hot walrus and sticky toffee in your lobes. Anybody who hasn't grabbed their Unnecessary Woe LP should do so at their earliest opportunity.

My one day dip into Supernormal was very fruitful, one of the few festivals out there that has an interest in ideas/culture, but the highlight of it was undoubtedly the 2 hours(ish?) spent in the company of 'Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides' in a darkened barn. If anyone lived up to their programme write up it was this foursome. The floor littered with horizontal bodies, the smell of burning incense hanging heavy in the spot lit gloom, the four corners taken by each performer as they peppered a creeping ambience with a strange amalgam of squeaks, creaks, clatter falls...assorted tape spillage and more than a little infused mystery... The clarinet slipping a dimensional schism of waling beast and guttural soup... everything bouncing beyond any fixed point of origin in a camouflaged subterfuge of differing perspectives and turning momentums ... This was high on the seductive stakes and an earful of subtle surprise, so much so I completely missed out on Teeth of the Sea and the majority of Part Chimp. Happened to spy the red light of a record status, so let's hope a double re-living is in the offing...

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Harry Iceman Furniss, T-Toe, Microdeform and Autotistika

Cafe Kino, Bristol - 24th July

photo by James Crotty

I plied a quiet set of dronic skree and hypno loops with taped narrations weaving through...with a good bit of sinister throat action thrown in for good measure...I'd brought plenty of metal to bash around, but the occasion never presented itself, everything seemed content to shimmer in jewel encrusted waves...although the reverb unit did sneak in a few tasty moments towards the end...I reckon if I'd remembered that ghoulish ergo-toxins tape things might have panned very differently.

Microdeform was up next, I've been a fan of his peculiar brand of wobbly sample-tronics for some time - check the archives ...but on this occasion he surpassed even my expectations. Starting from a haunt of charity shop symphonics, he quickly moved into withered worms of tune...ash caught keyboards pulsing a solid underlay...jerked in stylus jibbers and handclapping Golems. This was seriously shimmer caked fare, beamed across in sustained waves of club-land curvature and leaking ellipticals. Pulsing servitudes, Tangerine Dream(ed) then chopped into looping Cambodia's...elegantly cut up into a piano melancholia that chimed into shadow boxed tangents... simply gorgeous.

T-toe was up next, apologised about being more pop... he sang over a pre-prepared iPod backing, furnished with a few instruments sidekicks... that little dubby number about how crap his local budget food store was, was brilliant, accompanied by the odd xylophonic tap... really catchy number that had you dangling on its lyrical hooks...The set swung more indie for the next track accompanied by trombone...then an Indian number that had a certain 'Sergeant Peppers' vibe to it... really enjoyed the variety, kookaburra-ed your head like some avant-karaoke... especially relished that angst ridden rolling around the floor screaming his head off.

The Harry Furniss collective started in electric shivers, dowsed in fragments of trumpet, skirting skittles of drum...the bass swinging in, laying the foundations for that silky brassware to properly flourish... the four piece drawing their own panoramics, darting around each other like swallows eating up the breeze ...circling hazily, jivering, inserting some scrummy funkiness ... a gleam that suddenly rushes at you in a blur of 'open eyed' kinetics. Harry's trumpet charging off in some tasty tonalities that gave the angular electronics a serious run for their money. Great stuff!