Archives by month/year

Peaches/Pink Grease (live)

The Astoria, London 18 April 2004

First up, Pink Grease. I’ve been holding off on reviewing these buggers until I could manage the supreme effort of will that is not being so drunk while watching them that I couldn’t tell whether they were wonderful, or really shit. Happily, I can tell you it’s the former, although they are very, very silly indeed. They look fantastic, like they’re out of a cartoon, or like they should be the backing band in Mike Allred‘s classic comic Red Rocket 7. There’s a guy who looks like one of the Hair Bear Bunch on bass who handles most of the audience interaction, a guy with a really clunky wood-burning analogue soundrack which he twiddles with intently like a mad scientist, and a guy who looks like Bruce Foxton by way of Dexy’s Midnight Runners on sax. And that’s just some of the fuckers! The

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Faust vs Dälek – Derbe Respect, Alder

Label: Staubgold/Klangbad format: CD

Derbe Respect, Alder - sleeveIt would be difficult to predict the outcome of a collaboration between two such disparate musical outfits as these. I mean Hip-Hop and Krautrock, or whatever category Faust‘s music falls into these days, don’t suggest themselves immediately as likely partners. Or perhaps that’s just my perception. Whatever preconceptions I may have had the resultant recording has blown them away, this really is a natural sounding and productive union. In any case collaborations have been a predominant feature of Faust releases for a while. We’ve had the soundtrack to Murnau‘s silent Nosferatu, the Ravvivando remixes and live work with Ingo Vauk. Whilst I never really thought the live venture with film worked well at least the music it spawned sounded astonishing. So some collaborations are more successful than others. Now this meeting of our ‘elder’ German noisemeisters

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The Locust/Beecher/Ephel Duath (live at The Garage)

The Garage, London 9 April 2004

It’s good to know Thrash is alive and well and kicking up a stir, and tonight The Garage is graced with a queue down the street and eventually with a venue full of The Kids, Heavy Metal or otherwise, almost visibly churning with excitement at the prospect of a night of speedy percussion and throaty vocals. Ephel Duath provide more of the former than the latter, springing with vigorous post-Primus jazzcore energy. Their sound is taut and polished, ripping out the sixpence-turns at the point where virtuosity and gleeful noise interesct. Whatever they do – and it’s a phenomenon of the style, not really a fault per se – everything sounds progged up and hence more than a little noodly: but the saving grace is that one song is over quickly and another begun in the whirlwind blur of extraspeed jazz.

Beecher hold to

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Einstürzende Neubauten (live at The Forum)

The Forum, London 3 April 2004

If one thing in life is true, it that people get older, bands get mellower – the noise and sound and fury of an Industrial youth flows into a neatly-tailored sartorial elegance and a penchant for slower numbers. Or so it is with Einstürzende Neubauten; perhaps it was always there, as such things happen with people as with music. A friend recently observed upon hearing the track “Silence Is Sexy” for the first time, that it was Marks And Spencers music – that is, middle aged, perhaps a bit boring: a contribution to the pension fund. It seems somewhat appropriate then that the merchandise stall tonight is selling what are effectively EN-logo’ed cardigans – smart, stylish black affairs, but comfortable enough to go with a matching set of slippers – and yes, this reviewer purchased one.

All the above may be true, or an

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Black Dice – Creature Comforts

Label: FatCat Format: CD

Creature Comforts - sleeve detailCreature Comforts is a drifting album of instruments and electronics, where rhythm and tune merge and mutate into one another. New sounds growing out of old ones. An epic psychedelic jam at points like listening alien conversation, or elsewhere like a chorus of demented narcotic Hawaiian guitars.

Citing contemporaries such as Sonic Youth does little to define Creature Comforts. It at once sounds very much instrumental while at the same time being electronic. The band have ventured far into the world of electronica here, almost bordering on microsonic – if microsonic music can be said to have borders. Perhaps attitude and approach are more important. Black Dice have a love of sound for its own sake. The fact that instruments are used (or not pushed beyond the point of all recognition) makes the sound reminiscent of

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