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Chilly Gonzales and The Musical Truth [with numerous others] (live)

On The Rocks, London 10th December 1998

What does a New York Jewish MC from East Berlin sound like in soundclash mode with his East End muckers? Especially when set off by their apearance on a stage in a Shoreditch nightclub seemingly more frequented by stag and hen parties – complete with spangly paint and mirrors on the walls, and what looked a lot like a pole for strippers to mould their bodies to before a little lapdancing…

I can’t help admiring acts of musical sabotage – even if I wouldn’t necessarily choose to listen to them at home. The night had potential to be an evening of mediocre House that didn’t quite have the nerve to become out and out Speed Garage, followed by some unlistenable Jungle. That was thoroughly wrecked. Instead, this loosely-formed sprawl of HipHop emanated on the stage. It didn’t have any noticable beginnings, or endings.

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EC8OR/Shizuo/Bomb 20 (live)

The Garage, London 6th December 1998

There are few enough gigs where all three acts are equally placed in their levels of enthusiasm, energy and sheer in yer face enjoyment, but tonight is one of those nights where the rush of machine noise goes from strength to strength. Bomb 20 is first up, a surprisingly reasonable chap by the name of David Skiba, who faces a rack of electronics and forces unfeasibly pounding thuds, breaks and squirts of distressed kitsch out between his diffident thanks to the cyber-crusty-Techno-head crowd. Not content with the four-square restrictions of Techno, the beat jumps from Drum & Bass depthcharge shudder to clattery rewind with a smidgen of drill on top, but compared to Shizuo‘s set, Bomb 20’s is comparitively conventional, right down to the frighteningly polite “Thank you’s” which he slides in shyly between each of his minor apocalypses.

Whatever David Hammer‘s on (and

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Tarwater/Karamasov (live)

Scratch The Blue Bar, London 2nd December 1998

Tonight`s first act is in fact a trio of buskers on the tube, ineffectually blasting each carriage with their 30-second cod-Mariachi on accordion, reeds and tambourine. Despite their earnest playing and impressive ability to walk along the moving carriage into King’s Cross Station and play at the same time, business is not good. Whether Karamasov would get any spare change is open to debate; as a prog rock band in the Nineties, they’ve probably got the right popular cultural moment for their mix of swirling, spacey synths and energetic Rock manouevres. A few years ago it was the territory of the Ozrics or Hawkwind, and roundly despised by anyone who wasn’t under the influence of a Purple Om or two, mocked as the last refuge of the musically competent and the Hippily wasted.

Hell, if Karamasov can be found in a

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