Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Black Mirror



a solo dance piece from Marie-Gabrielle Rotie

Telecult Powers - Amazing Laws of...



I really love electronic music, especially when it taps into the arcane… and this recent Abandon Ship release dedicated to 60’s witch Maxine Sanders, is the type of musick that makes me all tingly on the inside. Like Mount Vernon Arts Lab who channeled environments through their instruments towards a tangible connection to something that lies between realities... Telecult Powers, seem to be fellow diviners of those self same energies, believers in electro-occultism if you like, letting the environment trigger the sound’s flux (if the inlay is to be believed) as if it were spirit written…

Witchcraft 1972 is a short opener, all poltergeist electronica. A jumble of bizarre flutterings and scattered taps and bangs exiting down an fx spiral... like a séance of random firings, or the eerie beauty of something stumbling around. But the real meat of the album lies beyond this…

The second track, The Ecstatic Mother - is a bubbling drone of conflicting wet and dry textures, with flange ripples pulled on through… full of bass heavy permutations and Time Machines like stretches… odd signals eat at your consciousness, like a Brothers Quay tap-dancing nail… the margins going all frosty, as if startled… Boy, this is really excellent on the headphones, especially when all the envelopes start pushing up against each other and the batwings staple themselves down your spine in tazer like stitches. That forest of sine waves is toppling in multi vibrato fractions…counting, stretching backwards in sustain, then explosive release….screams of aching machine scribble, gyrating in ever tightening circles…scratches on glass.

The Starry Wisdom is like a half perceived message written on your bones…It’s bass rumble buries itself deep… the shape of a crooked hand forms, it’s shadow is transformed into a pack of skinny dogs… their flesh all flapping curtains, full of strange inconsistencies, mere suggestions that pull at you from every angle…leaving you hungry for details… But all that comes, are long tongues drawing in the sand, as the scooped bow waves continue to tug at you like an impatient child whose face has been misplaced or erased. Everything is oscillating, shifting around, a menace of shadows chills the air…a bell rings from an empty table, but you see only hand prints in the dust… I shut my eyes and my temples contract in a shiver that breaks on down through my body in a measured flood.

They save the best for last though - a real scary number, full of aggressive swirls of machine ghosts that leaves me convinced there’s something coming out of the speakers other than the sound… just like the time when the jaws of one of my drawings tried to eat me in my sleep... the intensity of this track is just superb, an unease that creeps all over you right up to the album's finish.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bored and doodling



...a really boring development meeting spawns little goblin children...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beaubourg

Always thought Vangelis was all neo-classical synthetics typified by that cheesy 'Chariots of Fire' anthem. Too steeped in mock orchestral shenanigans to be remotely interesting- although the Blade-runner sound track was slightly redeeming... Until, I stumbled upon this in the local charity shop... That expensive, 70’s chocolate box velor of the cover catching my curiosity, plus the mind-bending fifty pence price tag...



...Well, talk about a contrast to expectation.. turns out to be bloody fabulous! Choked full of circuit wiggling Stockhausen type tomfoolery, jumping abstraction and arrhythmic kernels, all floating along on the merest suggestion of tune... Was half expecting Thighpaulsandra to burst into song... those plunging sine waves and warped modulations are so so creamy... I won’t be drifting past Vangelis anymore... Now where's my pipe n slippers?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Damo Suzuki, Kawabata Makoto and Saturation Point (minus Thoughtforms)











Kawabata certainly demonstrated his mad guitar philosophy, tearing at the lock grooved concoctions with amazing zeal – I danced to within an inch of my life, burning up on the energies, Mr O to my side, bounced around to the tribal impetus while I convulsed to Makoto’s knife edges… Mr Suzuki sucked us into his vocal mantra… God knows what he was saying… caught all sorts of strange snippets and mis-hearings, melting along that heavy reverb … horizon of eyes…smiles…miles of aisles…tango fries… ah fuck it, this man was incredible! Weaving his voice over epic distances, all that gibber, fusing everything together, that mouth of his always infused, dragging his breath back deep inside, forcing his features around the mic, dripping in fountains of sweat…He was giving his all. The other musicians found wholesome grooves and stuck with them, creating massive swirling wonders, which seemed to last for ages, odd shapes sparking arclite fantasies.









The first half consisted of Gonga’s drummer, an fx-laden bassist and the Japanese duo… The bassist treated us to his percussive styled warpages (a mass of units flickering at his feet)… whilst Kawabata was ceremonially knifing , violin bowing or just plain hand attacking his guitar in wahhhh shimmered angles, I looked at Mr O – he had a smile you could fit most of America into…



For the second half the stage bustled with bodies, some belonging to Saturation Point, others were unfamiliar… this half was more effects driven and psychotropic mist, droney slivers bending light… but it wasn’t long before the two drummers conspired to bring the whole thing back into a satisfying Kraut-fuelled churning, full of laddered nylon and flashes of pure guitar insanity…



Damo radiated love, thanking the audience and sending out kisses to his fellow performers… I think he must have shaken everybody’s hand that night as we all made our way out into the frosty sparkle… What a legend!… A fitting epitaph to another excellent year of live music.

Valve Crab

Naturelle Exposures



Ice Bird Spiral – Swineville

Mr Olivetti reviews IBS EP before Christmas rush shock...



Our favourite noise terrorists have come up with this six track song-cycle, a dis-rhythmic, inertia-filled anti-paean to the yawning population chasm that is dull town UK. You know the place, you’ve breathed its foul smells, rotted in its bus stops, avoided the excuses for humanity that float down the streets like hijacked blimps.

In a half hour of tape manipulation mayhem, sonic irregularity and vocal tomfoolery, we find ourselves for the first third drawn towards the railway station, the hub of any town. Sweating on litter strewn platforms, flies buzz and the atmosphere crackles with tension. Signs swing ominously in the fetid breeze as we wait desperately for a train to remove us. The sound of hooves heralds something, the tracks bending and buckling in the distance under the weight of something immense. Quiet shrieks and rumbles, then a gentle tearing leads you to the realisation that an ocean liner pulled by mute elephants and manned by raving monkeys is never going to get us anywhere.

The second part commences with a Karl Blake-like dose of surrealism, straight from the market place of urban dread, a dead-pan delivery over the prettiest Satie-esque piano accompaniment. This segues into the most terrifying of sonic recipes, an intoning voice echoed and layered over a writhing bed of animal noises full of creeping, jittering sounds, finally making way for a disquieting description of the journey … swineville is everywhere.

The final third leaves us with the feeling that the only escape is upward. Lying on your back in the park, projecting yourself skyward surrounded by mad dogs, wild kids, drunken mothers and raving bin-men; up there amongst the droning satellites and rattling space debris, dodging the comets and meteorites, losing yourself in the glow.

By Mr Olivetti

That was Damo Suuuuzukiii



...mind candy of the highest order, more words and random photographic smears sooooon...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rambutan - Fallen Smoke mini CDr



This is a newish release over at abandon ship records from Eric Hardiman aka Rambutan. Recorded completely live, it’s an impressive muffle free document capturing that evening’s magic. Essentially one long track, it’s has a lovely spectral vibe, the type that just melts inside your head and successfully erases any complications that might dwell there, blurring reality way passed its twenty odd minutes…

The sounds here are like a circling ivory cage filled with operatic smears and vaseline wiped perspectives. Samples float around like the glutinous specks trapped in your eyes, their trails are wet tissue paper bleeding out the semi vivid. Ethereal antennas transacted in spooky laughter, mutated over the itchy undertow in a measured inquisition. Insistent loops burnishing time, the over spill dripping to the floor in octo-plasmic splashes of blue and copper…

Thirteen minutes in and suddenly everything cuts to a violin drone bracketed by metallic nerve endings. This slowly opens up to tinny keyboards and a lush hammer dulcimer ride, stretching back in time like ancient telepathy.

Yet another quality release for Abandon Ship.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dsic - Ambiences Vol.1



I’m wandering about town with this on the headphones… people crowding my field of vision… a horizon of exploding heads, out of which curl mechanical insects welding torches and mouth calipers…

That girl’s hair is creeping up her nose and out of her ears, making bows over each eye; she’s vomiting flowers to Rick Astley…

The wet floor’s an illusion as I step round the bodies outside Maccy D’s eating their own fingers, crunching gristle; bone splintering in the voodoo piercings around their mouths.

Cartoonish visions split reality like brittle sellotape, a high pitched ambulance made of breaded static peppers the perfume posters... scrapings of perspex chewing gum … it’s raining… bent keys to muted electric shavers playing futile dot to dot --- blinking in unholy unison - everything goes strobey, like early 20’s cinema or a kiddies flicker book…

oooh eeeeeerie edgings, red hair and tomb flesh, the litter has magical properties and so does the bent reflections of the shop windows….neon blunders splatter iris… coffee sickness in lines of frazzled silhouettes weave in and out of my eyes …burning burning - I shut them tight… this decayed noise is lovely and waspy like condensed chatter

then track seven rumbles in like Hell’s boiler, whilst squiggly fireworks and plastic cups are caught in the dance… that busker plays a rusted hinge… like a rash-run skin, curling a serrated fork then a cool ambient climb down, straight back into reality…

not your usual Eno-esque definition of ambience and all the better for it… sick drones are rumoured to be next on the agenda…

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oneohtrix Point Never - A Pact Between Strangers



Oh man, A Pact Between Strangers is immense - a cathedral of slipping harmonies and infinite spiralling tongues - DNA for closed eyes. Three tracks levering you into a space between - iris/isis totem coloured trips – impressionist keyboards of the highest order...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Towny Teeth



cloudboy junior goes wild with the crayons...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Infinity Window



some tasty old stylee synth cakes are a baking...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kassette Kulture #17 - Do Tell – Sewn to the Current





This double tape release from Housecraft is an 80 minute travelogue of radiating silvers and sepia spans curling over in zig zags of broken coronas. The way the field- recordings blur into the instruments is just lovely, those clippings of metallic toenails falling into a pot of electro-plated riffs and croaky radio dialogue, as if it was perfectly natural. All those strange concoctions, coming across like diarist snapshots with feathered edging… bird noises, half perceived radio murmurings and tranquil drone, shifting its weight as if getting more comfortable… when the guitar breaks from those dronic clasps you’re filled with that Durutti Column type melting euphoria…

Everything here has a real arcane atmosphere, a dusty yesteryear valour sitting rather well with that 40’s Kodamatic nostalgia of the artwork. The tracks on the first two sides are full of the half remembered, the fading lights of a seemingly endless array of reddened twilights, where pressed flowers still hold the scent of summers now trodden back into the tarmac. Nothing is hurried; everything breathes a relaxed air, floating on its own echoed reflections… Then, the hue turns slightly industrial, serpent-like sibilance on a dampened beat or tramline sonics thrown round a repeated piano trawl, full of sparky Christmas frosting… Later, hammered cords make metal quills, caught in the flow of exquisite calligraphics.

Side three continues the industrial feel, a machinery frottage oozing a sombre light, intermittent narration and echo bird squawk to drunken piano falling between the cracks. Stepped guitar vs. effect hinges, feeding the scene in introspection, allowing small details to flourish and die. The reflective calm later scavenged by shifting wooden trolleys and short hand mechanics… the individual nature of each track blurring into the next as if one continuous mix… a repeated guitar ambles over itchy moth wings, then chopped up into intakes of breath, fed to a distant chirping…. Clanking metal and shovel sweeped concrete, a twang dribbled over to piano, as the branches fill out with pastoral shadings reminiscent of Virginia Astley soundcapes…

The live stuff on the last side proves Do Tell is more than just a studio bound trickster, as he seamlessly blends samples across rhythms like sky messages written in dust, or becomes as transitory as Bogart smoke caught in the pool table’s light, all strung over a slowly dilated drone… I can’t recommend this release enough.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Placenta Popeye/Reverse Mouth - Baby Blues Kids Split 7inch



Think this is the very first vinyl adventure for Tanzprocesz (allied with Phase! and Absurd), and what a beauty it is.

Side one plunges you straight in, with a wicked bass driven churn from the Placenta boys. I recommend you spinning this one at a solemn 33 rather than the stated 45rpm, gives the tune an extra nauseous-ness, almost like it was continually falling off the edge of the world. Oh, this is a superb slice of Popeye action, even if some of those mad cubist shapes of previous releases have been smoothed off in favour of a slow and sinister choke of black tulip blooms. Further guitar action crawls its underbelly - all hooked fingers and twitchy knuckle skin to a moaning vox riding a top, giving out sour vibrations, then everything slams into a wall, crumbled innards forced into the brickwork …as if a boot had just crushed a cockroach.

The flip from Reverse Mouth is stranger still, a guitar/effect pinball intertwined with some really bizarre Japanese yo-yo vox. Coming across like a rip-cord dolly, bouncing along a 'see-saw' blues, full of scissor edges and bendy guitar stubs… Really mental stuff that literally hijacks your head with its crazy logic…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

throuRoof - Whale Bones



throuRoof
certainly have proven to be masters of psych-ambient, peppering their vibes through numerous small labels, even embarking on a few flirtations with free culture. Always creating waves that seem to hit the mark, these two lengthy excursions on Whale Bones certainly continue that trend... sounds that pulse deep inside; a slow soak for the psyche which entwines itself round every exhale…putting a tangible voice to emotional abstracts.

The first track Humpback Cemetery Blues – is a rumbling drone with aquatic bubbling and heavy kelp-like imperfections, caught in an oceanic swell…A thrashing stick breaks over the drone's back, a shamanic trance flowing through rotten synth nets, spotted with blowhole textures… curdling over in mausoleum-esque contours and breaking off into warm finger fed eddies… Hard edged piano lines flow in like harpoons, all Marie Celeste, departed, hollowed, then falling in delayed blurs… Like nibbling teeth, transposed to smashed keyboard thuds that dribble back through infinity.

Track two, Sing the Last Dream is like a slow path to extinction, the composites of a rolling drone slowly retracted until a sole strand is left teetering on the brink of oblivion. A flat lined chord that is resuscitated just in time, bathed in a wash of violin tears. Fx smears mimicking the ghosts of whale song, trapped in some majestic sweeps and fading out in the fringes of rippling water...

It's almost criminal that this release is limited to only 100 copies...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jesus and the Magic Ghost, Team Brick, Thoughtforms, Gonga, Talibam

Cherry Picked All-Dayer - The Croft Bristol 26th October



Unfortunately arrived a little late so only caught the last trk from Jesus and the Magic Ghost – Two Drumkits pounding out a tribal mantra, guitars cutting around in tasty angles – really wish I could press the rewind on that one.









Team Brick - Snake charmer rasp mixed with devotional chants, trapped on the rebound... A cobra’s head gathering up vivid Islamic/medieval flavours accompanied by some deft guitar work... thrown to the noise secateurs, clipping it all up in congested roundabouts and giddy feedback lizards, the floor flanging around in bassy ripples, like a bed of angry ants (all red and foetus stylee) coupled with spastic guitar and attention deficit drum action… mixing up some intriguing shapes.







Thoughtforms
- Guy’s drums were immense, smashing through the chords and day-glow spillage with a clenched fist, giving out plenty of traction for the two guitars to knit together or break up around. The songs finely honed, building up the tension until everything was released into vivid fx-colours... your mind following the creases.







Sometimes Deej led then Charlie commanded the direction, tunes a plenty flowing outward… We would be so happy if... was all crystal flow and Eastern atmospheres, getting steadily more wayward, heavier, those fragile vocals finally struggling to be heard. However, nothing compared to the evening’s sign-off – Mr Steve has eaten your dog - Ooooh this was a fiery beast that ended with Charlie’s guitar resting on her head antenna-like, her fingers clawed through mangled strings… swerving to the feedback swarm. Deej echoed back in Cylon death ray lurches and other futuristic dentistry – A colouring book filled in fuzzy crayon monsters and ribboned kite trails, as if a fx face-off was on the cards… A syrupy ember light, falling slowly to inevitable demise - Simply superb...









Gonga - Really liking this current incantation, too addictive for words – you definitely couldn’t avoid abandoning yourself to those heavy soldered edges and muscular thickets – bloody beautiful. Mr Brick’s vocals gasping like aerosol hiss inside the lumbering beast, remnants of language breaking out in abstracts.

Didn’t like Serpent Cult at all, which was a pity as the initial shrieking sounded impressively scary, spent most of their set browsing through the cherry picked racks... downing some light refreshments and shooting the breeze...

Talibam! were a real comic free-form spectacle, manic drums and belching keyboards... accidentally getting all rhythmic in places then tearing up the plans in favour of more pile-ups of texture and shouty rants. Sounded for the most part like skidding car tyres and jutting curbs. Really glad I finally managed to check this duo out...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Growform



a recent addition to the cloudboy sketchbook...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reverse Mouth - Pearl Hidden in PigSlot



This new EP from Pan and Sofia is all slivers of guitar curling round a leaky reactor, as if Delia Derbyshire were there, bleeding out unreality and spitting elastic nightmares... A blur of distorted /filthy mirrors and awkward arabesques that shifts your head in and out of focus, as if it were party blancmange.

Seriously haunted, this two-tracker is a possession of strange shapes and broken apparitions that crawl out from under its high end pulses and engorged feedback… Seven minutes in, a crippled tune surfaces on the back of an oscillating jellyfish, thumb struck strings chewing over it’s trails, an intense soup of pure sonic evol.

The second track ups the anti, taking the motifs of the first on a fairground ride of destructive impulses, slowly strangling it with perverse pleasure...

You’ve really got to listen to this loud, fill up all available space, the optimum position to let yourself be taken hostage by its sheer darkened majesty and propelled collapse. If this is a taster of ReverseMouth’s next studio venture, then I’m definitely signing up for more...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Merge in Movement

Thursday 16th October – The Castle, Swindon



...haven’t been to the Castle for at least 10 years (probably more)... In my day, where the stage is now, drugs often exchanged hands over a game of pool, while Hendrix was constantly stuck in a magickal state of deja-vu. Now those days are gone, along with the Pachouli soaked goth-ettes and the prescription switched to a healthy dose of improv action from 'merge in movement'...

Must be the first lead bass act I’ve ever seen (apart from Rothko in their bass cubed days) …everything’s all angle-poised , pulling together in fits and starts, wrapped in slick imploding signatures and avant-slap bass, yes that’s slap bass... or more like spannered. I'm guessing the vibe is different every time they play, but tonight they're coming across like a diffused Die Haut (with the addition of yelling) , everything seemingly echoed, bounced off each other in mini 'mind flares' wrapped in brittle pasta twists... The last number was a real bender - full on howling monkey vox, verse feedback smirk-a-thon - spiky and thoroughly satisfying.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Caricatures, Chipper, Gonga and White Hills

Sonic Sanctuary, Trowbridge - Saturday 11th October

...twas a great night full of juggernauts and screaming vox in darkest Wiltshire...







Caricatures – a newish four piece, were a crashing wall of sound. An overloaded powerhouse, trying to erase the growling doom butler lording over the front seats, or was it the other way round? Chippers cello unfortunately drowned out due to a dicky contact mic... Rarrrrrghhhh! screaming face and stabbed iris, halos of burning horse, all wrapped up in jaggedy guitar maggots and blunt forced trauma. Leaving my ears full of cicadas.







The ubiquitous Team Brick seemed to be seconded to the ranks of Gonga as frontman... A cloven hoofed pixie, hot plate skipping to a hungry backing full of scarecrows, and rough edgings, getting all syrupy and elastic in places, then surging off at the next exit… 'ride ride ridddde' (the only discernable words)... Mr brick all galloping legs. A convulsive set, to which flinging yerself around seemed the only antidote.



White Hills –An Alice Coopered front man all fx-ed up, incredibly focused bass and ninja drummed heart attacks completing the picture... dishing out a 70’s rocked out vibe transposed down a 90’s effects kaleidoscope... taking their album tracks on wild excursions, wavering in fantastically indulgent guitar shapes, think I could have re-opened my neck if they continued any longer...

Don’t know if another one’s planned before the New Year, maybe a pre-Christmas shin-dig will be on the cards… but this is for certain, it'll never be disappointing...