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Damo Suzuki & Sound Carriers – Live At Marie-Antoinette

Play Loud!

Damo Suzuki & Sound Carriers - Live At Marie-AntoinetteThis is my kind of record, each track dedicated to its own side, a satisfying slab of uninterrupted evolution to burrow into, to savour. A completely live recording (and film) that shimmers plenty, full of the essential Velcro that pulls you straight into that open-ended fray, coats you in a cosy-roomed ambience whilst lashing you in a host of diving dynamics.

Mr Suzuki has recruited a fine array of musicians, including Schneider TM and Pan Sonic‘s Ilpo Väisänen to wrestle with his linguistics, and for the first track they supply an idyllic swimology of instrumentation that languorously feels round Damo’s braying sweetness.

A fractured musicality that teases his jigsawing chants in tremors of guitar and rolling tongues of electricity, it’s a slow burn that nervously hooks into his word play, curling in creamy rococos and craning colour as Damo gradually gains their confidence. His repeated riches sway in doppleganging blushes, flowering flows, crooning surprises caught on fret-spun whippets before being given a rhythmic seeing-to. The bass firing forward, grabbing hold of that slippery eel, flirting with the shapes that Damo’s pushing out for all assembled to use and splinter, a steady codex flying in bluesy bubbles, getting opaque with excess. Some lovely dynamics creaming your ear as Damo gets more songlike to this chugging psych ache of razored licks and blurring collisions, a liberated sixth sense that slams into a staggered finale.

Next up, “Star Of The Fool” is torn off in reverb(y) temple-like chunks, like an early PTV warm-up to a growled evocation. Damo drawing things away like a tamper-panthered Eartha Kitt in tapering twilights and churning dandies. The focus flying around him in driven drone and percussive thunders to suddenly wipe to wah-baked tranquils and sparking frets, raising the temperature in wholesome collusion of “wish you were there” wow that finds you tapping uncontrollably along before it morphs into another repose of clanking discords.

Sixty minutes behind us and the evening is still fresh as the third track eases you into funnelling vignettes of electricity. A marvel of mercurial mischief stalking our narrator, dancing in your head, bending your ear with limpeting glimpses and swinging contours. These weird spikes beaming on through, Damo’s voice smearing their reflective surface in a distortion of demonic diagonals, diving the pitch-shifted depths. The sound stitching new dimensions to the mutating repeats, the rolling drums and e-bow’d fuzz picnicked in sine-warps as inspiration lurks/leaks out at every turn.

Things constantly falling in and out of unison, reshaping with a sublime spontaneity that the audience laps up with cheers of approval as the track metallically canters to a close, an appreciation that heralds a rousing finale. This staggered, jaggerific hoedown is beautifully surfed by Suzuki to retractive shivers that over-spill the speakers like ugly crockery or badly fitted furniture. Damo’s voice melting into the din, surfacing in diverting glimmers, brewing up an agitated joy that drowns you in a zesty canker before crawling slowly to a smouldering silence

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

Live At Marie-Antoinette is the soundtrack to a live film by Dietmar Post and Lucía Palaciosavailable on VOD as part of the Play Loud! live music series.

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