Archives by month/year

Gonzales/Taylor Savvy/Peaches/Mocky/Louie Austen/Feist (live)

The Mean Fiddler, London 27 April 2003

I’ll be honest: I went for Peaches. Her 93ft East show last year was one of the most bacchanalian gig experiences I’ve had in recent years, a benevolent riot of loud, fired sexuality and abandon. But, truth be told, I’d really enjoyed the lyrical audacity / buffoonery of the few Gonzales tracks I’d heard. Someone summing themselves up as “a combination Joe Stalin-Woody Allen” has to be good for a laugh or two.

But right from the start of this so-called “Pre-retirement” tour show (“Is he or isn’t he?” seemed to be the theme, and perhaps purpose, of the tour title), we could see this wasn’t going to be some drunken orgy of fuzzed-up beats. One by one, the cast appeared: the “well-dressed” nu-vaudeville gentleman known as Taylor Savvy; the white-suited Vegas never-has-been, Louie Austen; and the Canadian foursome – Mocky (a smooth

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Front 242 – Pulse

Label: XIII Bis Format: CD

Pulse - sleeve Announcing their return after a decade’s absence on a wave of gritty noise which soon gives birth to a storm of digital rhythmania, Front 242 have chosen an obvious yet fitting title for their new album. The opener “SEQ666” shifts and gurgles from deep, ever growing, rumbling techno-industrial beats through shivers and ripples of analogue synth swoops and elevated keyboard chords, crashing tempos made flesh on the urgency of the pulsebeat demands of rhythm – and time too, of course. Clocking in at over twelve minutes, the hugeness of the track (which is broken down into sections entitled “P”, “U”,”L” “S” and “E”) acts as a full-on, tranced-out statement that Front 242 never really went away, and have popped back to make sure the bodies continue spasming to the harsh — and carefully textured —

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Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players – Can’t Cool

Label: Nonplace Format: CD,LP

Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players - Can't CoolBurnt Friedman‘s latest gathering of musicians from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres brings together the usual Dub influences with a healthy dose of fractured Funk and Souldful vocal stylings and brass arrangements. As such, it’s a heady slice of Post-modern collage and remodelling, from the strangely-parcelled version of the “Fuck Back” 12″ with its laid back, slightly sinister vocal from Theo Altenberg onwards. Proceeding via the Seventies groove of “Fly Your Kite” where Abi Abi reaches for the heights of emotional lyricism through the heavyweight drums and bass pressure he chants up for “Paternoster” and screws up into headfuck space, Perry-style, for “Dublab Alert”, a certain epiphany is reached in radically overhauled remix of/collaboration with His Name Is Alive on “Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth”,

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Michael Ormiston/Oldfield And Garfunkel/Ben Owen/The Unseemly Trio (live)

The Klinker, The Sussex, London 17 April 2003

The Unseemly Trio carrot solo in full swing (Click for larger image)The Klinker! A club to conjour with, and a place to witness the indigestibly strange among the ineffably great. Take The Unseemly Trio for starters, three genially odd chaps who pluck the exposed piano strings of one of two which adorn the back room of the Sussex pub while rattling a variety of objects, musical or otherwise. Where else can a trio build rhythmic magic from biscuit tins and biscuit bites – and include a gigantic comedy carrot-chomping solo? The key element about this venue and its regulars and passing patrons is that they may laugh and raise eyebrows, but the unexpected is what everyone comes along for after all.

Ben Owen is almost pulled onstage by an imaginary neck-hook, slapstick-style. He acts the gibberish buffoon, gurning

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Set Fire To Flames – Telegraphs In Negative/Mouths Trapped In Static

Label: 130701(Europe)/Alien8(North America) Format: 2CD

Telegraphs In Negative/Mouths Trapped In Static - sleeve detailSome bands and their sound are inextricably linked to their chosen recording environments. Can and Faust immediately come to mind with place and process being inextricably linked. So it is with this thirteen-piece Canadian collective. Their last CD Sings Reign Rebuilder derived much of its atmosphere from the location in Montreal where they recorded it . They called the place “an old falling down monstrosity” and “something that couldn’t be erased from the tape” and undeniably, “the recordings were as much about the house as they were about the sounds made inside it”. Now they have produced something similar.

This time the band shifted their collective selves to a place which would become an essential part of what they played. Isolation and singular focus are key words. Holed up on an

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