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Thomas Köner & Jürgen Reble/Pluramon/Kaffe Matthews (live)

Interference Union Chapel, London 30th October 1998

The cold snap is just hitting London in time for this event, set in the chilly North London church (OK, technically it’s a chapel, but it looks and feels more like a Gothic construction, all pointed arches and uncomfortable pews) which has played host to some of the best gigs of recent years. Fortunately the management have installed electric bar heaters around the walls, which also cast a rather odd red glow over the proceedings.

First out on the stage in front of the splendid pulpit is Kaffe Matthews and her LISA control system for MIDI and violin, with which she produces some quite amazing sounds. Free improvisation meets electronic noise to good effect, as Matthews’ tweaks the sliders deftly in an energetic show of pure enjoyment, almost glee, at the deformations she perfoms on the violin, here used more as sound

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A Splendid Chaos – an interview with Faust

A Splendid Chaos

28th October 1998

Faust have been a legendarily chaotic group since their origins as a kind of experiment in the creation of an anti-rock band in the early Seventies. Nearly thirty years on they remain as surprising and unpredictable as ever, live or on record, as they have throughout their erratic career, as Antron S. Meister witnessed at their London gig at The Garage on October 25th, and in the venue’s Mini-Bar bar on the rainy afternoon before, where the following interview took place. As with Faust’s music, conventional structures and transparent answers should not be expected.

Faust are:

Hans Joachim Irmler Werner “Zappi” Diermaier

Other Faust members not present at the interview:

Steven W. Lobdell – Guitar Michael Stoll – Bass, contra-bass and flute Ché Clément – Spiritual adviser and noise Lars Paukstat – Noise Till von Hoffman – Tour manager and noise

FREQ: Faust

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Stereolab – Aluminum Tunes

Label: Duophonic Ultra-High Frequency Disks Format: Limited 2CD,2CD

Stereolab – Aluminum TunesStereolab have been known for their prolific releases on limited-run seven-inches, compilations and sundry other media – fortunately, they’ve also been very good at collecting their ephemera into neat bundles for those unable to find the original editions. Aluminum Tunes is Switched On Stereolab Volume 3, though quite why the extra name was needed isn’t clear.

The two CD package (with the option of a nice card gatefold in the limited version) contains virtually every non-album or unlimited single track released from 1994-1997, plus the whole of the Music From The Amorphous Body Study Center mini-album too. The only works missing are the Steven Stapleton collaborations, but maybe they’ll turn up again elsewhere one day – hopefully, what

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The Third Eye Foundation – Fear Of A Wack Planet

Label: Domino Format: CDS,12″

The Third Eye Foundation – Fear Of A Wack PlanetExhibiting a kind of Bristolian faux-gangsterism with sampler firmly in cheek, Matt Elliott is definitely getting more proficient with the drum & bass these days. Still spooky and atmospheric, the use of choral samples on the title track recalls the early unsettling soundscapes of Current 93 but with a beat – which is a pretty damn good idea too.

Religious art is probably best viewed through a filter of cynicism, and a few wheezing basslines, backwards cries and timestretched door squeaks add nicely to the mood of irreverent approaches to the sublime conjured by the cat-faced Jesus on the cover. The version of “Galaxy Of Scars” on the flip side is a stripped down wander through the

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Bobby Conn + Penthouse (live)

The Dublin Castle, London 16th October 1998 +Penthouse; Stoke Newington, London 17th October 1998

There can be few experiences as strange or as wonderful as when Bobby Conn and band show up in town in a flurry of wigs, imposture and post-Glam Rock attitude. Truly an eventful, landmark kind of proceeding, where the atmosphere rocks by itself, and the band play on as if they were the only group in the world worthy of an audience’s complete attention. Blasting off on at the Dublin Castle (which must be the ultimate in too-hip Camden rock boozers), Mr. Conn is suitably clad in leather trousers and aggression – hence the opening salvo “Rise Up!,” which only left “United Nations” to inform the crowd that they were in the presence of hardcore, in-yer-goddamned-face Rock Opera.

Dramatic as the opening was, it had a downside in that what followed couldn’t quite match the full-on

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Ryuichi Sakamoto – Love Is The Devil OST

Label: Asphodel Format: CD

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Love Is The Devil OSTLove Is The Devil is a reasonably arty film about the traumatic love-life of painter Francis Bacon in the early Sixties, whihc despite may flaws is an engaging and occasionally powerful depiction of an alcoholic artist and his relationship with a young stranger who appears from the roof of his studio one night. Sakamoto‘s soundtrack, heard in the context of the film, is a key ingredient in depicting mood and time in both a claustraphobic affair and era, within the limitations of a constrained budget. As such, in its specificly intended setting, the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the film, never too intrusive, reflecting the slowly degenerating lives of the characters.

Out of the cinematic

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Hell – Munich Machine

Label: Disko B/V2 Format: CD,2LP

Hell - Munich MachineAdopting an international playboy persona to rival Yello‘s for its ridiculous embrace of the notion of artist as fantsatic sportsman, Bond-age lover and all-round suave entertainer, DJ Hell bundles together a collection of tunes which restore the front to upfront. From the paen to its author from a West Coast American female voice of “This Is For You” to the bizarre cover of “Warm Leatherette,” Hell(mut Geier) brings the sound of Munich Techno into the Nineties – by incorporating pastiche, humour, covers and as many other genres as possible. There are vocoded vocals on the stomping heavily phased Electro grooves of “For Your Love” and the noirish, sleazy “Dominatrix”; there’s tacky Disco too, from Hell’s own Housey

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Kreidler – Coldness

Label: KiffSM/PIAS Format: 12″, CDS

Kreidler - Coldness Taking the only track from Kreidler‘s Appearance And The Park album to feature vocals, Mute‘s Daniel Miller adopts his Sunroof persona in collaboration with Gareth Jones to reconfigure the track in decidedly Eighties style – all arpeggiating FM keyboards and synth stylings – to initially amusing, then relaxingly suave effect, revisted on the slightly extended instrumental version which substitues analougue squiggles for the vocal line. Shantel provide a more propulsive Nineties take on the track, even overdubbing extra vocals from Liane Sommers to a slippery breakbeat and bass undertow, with Electro handclaps and a cowbell interlude to boot before heading off into funk-dub territory.

Kreidler slip in a couple of versions themselves, the laid-back “Velocity Mix” vignette from April + Clyne (Thomas Klein and Andreas Reihse) and a rinsed-out instrumental “In Cold

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Fuckhead – The Male Comedy … Oder Der Traum vom Kleinen Glück

Label: Mego Format: CD

Fuckhead - The Male ComedyThere’s something ominous afoot in Vienna. What seems to have happened is that a band who might at one point have enjoyed metallic doom-merchandising have discovered the joys of mincing music through a sampler, hardcore digital style. The result is The Male Comedy, a record which takes liberties beyond the mere juxtaposition of disparate elements of rock music, but proceeds to shaft them royally, again and again and again. The suspicion is that even before the editing tools were plugged in, the music Fuckhead produce would have been pretty chaotic, anarchic, even unlistenable to most ears.

Delighting in producing a stream of aural filth with superficial resemblances to the normal modes of musical expression – guitars, drums, bass, effects – even taking

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Fridge – Sevens And Twelves

Label: Output Format: 2CD

Fridge- Sevens And Twelves With this double CD collection of singles and compilation appearances, Fridge reveal their remarkable emergence over the last year or so as a pretty good answer to the flood of American and German post-rock acts, without resorting to pastiche or fitting particularly into the straitjacket of what is rapidly becoming a dismissive generic label. Generally far better organized and more satisfying than their debut album Ceefax, Sevens and Twelves holds so much of interest its sheer volume could become a bit of a burden in itelf. With some tracks clocking in at ten to fifteen minutes, (including the opening Kosmische dub of “Anglepoised”), there’s a reason for the length and size of this record, even though the occasional longueur may entail reaching for the skip controls

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