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Four Tet – Thirtysixtwentyfive

Label: Output Format: CDS, 2×12″

 Four Tet ‎– Thirtysixtwentyfive The first non-compilation solo release from Fridge’s Kieran Hebden is a one-track single (cunningly presented in DJ-friendly style as two one-sided 12-inches) whose title reflects its length – even if the CD does register various lengths on different players. Smoothly slipping from motorik breakbeats to fast beats, with a selection of instruments and samples flowing over the top of it all, ambient-style. Given the extended space to develop, the combination of sound sources Hebden deploys shift and slide over each other quite nicely, usually following the main sample loop, though with the occasional diversion.

Hardly seeming to last as long as it actually does, Thirtysixtwentyfive rarely outstays its welcome and uses the moderately restricted palette of

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Vainio, Väisänen, Vega – Endless

Label: Mute Format: CD

Vainio, Vaisanen, Vega - EndlessAs acerbic as their recent gigs together, the collaboration of Alan Vega with two-thirds of Pan Sonic shows that the loss of a vowel has not affected the latter’s ability to construct minimal sinewave beats and blasts, nor the former’s anomic bile against The Man and his system. While the Finns lay down the tearing glitches, chundering basslines and hard stepping thuds of analogue synthesis, Vega throws his vocal rage into the echobox in his accustomed darkside Elvis manner.

Each of the participants have the capacity for repetitive outpourings which risk the induction of boredom, looked at coldly. Cycling loops of monotonous noise; whoops and moans bouncing off the walls – a recipe for misunderstanding of the process. Well, if Endless appears stale, there’s a simple

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Laibach (live at the Festival of Central European Culture)

The Festival of Central European Culture Queen Elizabeth Hall,The South Bank Centre, London 10th July 1998

Across between political rally, religious service and Thrash Metal gig, tonight’s appearance in the centre of High Art’s temple of culture simultaneously enthralls and overpowers with meta-kitsch imagery and extreme volume. From the mechanistic coupling of video projections with the thunderous music, via the part-Rock, part- militaristic poses thrown by the band, to the choice of covers of Europop and Seventies Rock anthems, Laibach are decidedly worrying. What causes the nervousness is the sheer force of the devices involved. Black banners with silver insignia, smoke machines, strobes and Thrash solos; bare chests, computer graphics and Industrial beats; knife- edge irony and uncompromising, straight-faced confrontation with the very soul (or lack thereof) of post-Cold War, post-religious, consumerist culture.

Whether Laibach’s performance would have drawn the unwary into the trap of mass participation in fascistic communion

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Vainio, Vaisanen, Vega (live)

Irregular The Africa Centre, London 2nd July 1998

Having sat throught he absence of promised DJ Holger Hiller – and hence a repeated digi-dub tape instead – the appearance onstage of two-thirds of Pan Sonic presaged the arrival of Alan Vega. Strutting with his customary swagger, and dressed like a heavy-metal Guardian Angel in shades, Vega launched into his set while his collaborators manipulated the sliders, twiddled the knobs and produced an unholy racket to disturb the surrounding converted non-conformist meeting hall which is now The Africa Centre.

Unlike the recent Suicide gigs, there was no violent response to the stares, poses and screams of Vega forthcoming from the crowd, whose demeanour was rather respectful in the face of a true rock and roll hero working outside his usual framework. Perhaps it was the slightly anonymous presence of Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen, as opposed to the leather-clad stances

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