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Speedranch ^Jansky Noise/Stock, Hausen & Walkman/2nd Gen/Faultline (live)

The Scratch Club

The Scala, London 25th March 1999

First of all, the venue; once upon a time, The Scala was both the worst and best of London’s independent cinemas – terrible seats, ropey sound and a generally scuzzy atmosphere, saved by the murals, the cat and a programming selection which included all-night shod of the lowest possible taste, saved by the occasional hard-to-see gem. Then came the Clockwork Orange debacle, and all was quiet. Until that is the scaffolding appeared a year or so back, and it was obvious that something was on the move – would it be another Christian salvage centre of the New Millennial Jerusalem? Nope, The Scala is reborn as a club venue in the seediest part of town (Zero Tolerance policies excepted, and not much cop as it happens if tonight’s exterior street scene is anything to go by), and they even promise to

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Aphex Twin – Windowlicker

Label: Warp Format: 12″,CDS

Aphex Twin - WindowlickerA curiously accessible mire of vocal samples splutter and waft from and electronic soup from almost the first moment of “Windowlicker”, before Richard James applies some customarily deep-fried production to what could otherwise have been a languorous bass and kickdrum smoocher. Instead, linearity gets a darned good rogering, the various melodic lines pulped, smeared and bloated at the still-strange knobs and faders of one of the better twiddlers around. All this and a gorgeous, swelling slab of broncheous overdriven fuzz rising from nowhere into a self-swallowing finish.

There’s a track with what appears to be a mathematical formula for a title next, and it’s an opportunity for the A-Twin to match sounds to letters and symbols as far

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Atari Teenage Riot/Shizuo/Christoph de Babalon (live)

The Peel Sessions Live Queen Elizabeth Hall,The South Bank Centre, London 19th March 1999

John Peel‘s here! John fucking Peel’s here! And he’s still the coolest old guy in England! For his Peel Sessions Live gigs, he’s chosen to host a Digital Hardcore Night! AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL! How the fuck does that work?

It’s all seated, y’see, as are we all when Christoph de Babalon does his extended noise track. Hard to describe this kind of stuff, but it makes Whitehouse seem like little kids who wanted to be in Kiss but couldn’t play guitar. Swathes of that old standby, the sheet metal grinding sound, cut through a twenty-minute patchwork curtain of found sounds, hiss, fuzz, distortion, and fucked-up beats that only stay long enough for you to notice them leaving. This, you see, is Art, and very good Art at that. We all sit respectfully in the

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Oh. – Gelbphase

Label: MDZ Format: 12″

Oh - GelbphaseOh my, 29 and then some minutes of one song. Well. They are thorough. “Gelbphase” in all five versions is a nice little sample of what the Oh. boys can do, complete with evidence of their love of the analogue and a healthy influence of 1970s video games. Oh’s own remix-Elektronauten, and the Metamatic Remix are not unlike a ear blast stroll through a video arcade at the local mall back in the day, while “Gelbes Rauschen”, the Laub remix, brings in a little of the romantic and is a tiny bit more quiet and smooth. Most fun for an electronic cocktail party where everyone can vote on their favourite version. My personal favourite is the “b2” extended remix which combines the best parts of all the

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada

Label: Kranky (CD)/Constellation (Vinyl) Format: CDS,12″

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot For New Zero KanadaPerhaps the criminally overused expression “intense” can be used with justification, just this once, to describe the sound of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The mysterious Canadian nine-piece roll out another of those accelerative weighty soundscapes that we’d always hoped Glenn Branca would produce.

Discipline and a telepathic, egoless sense of control push the multilayered epic “Moya” into peaks and troughs similar in spirit if not style to Can‘s twenty minute “Bel Air”. During the quieter passages field recordings of anti-establishment rugged individualist types confirm the Millennial intentions of this piece. The interviewer remains anonymous letting the subjects reveal themselves. There are no spoon-fed reference points and the question of

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