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Silver Apples / Mai Mai Mai / HUM / Simon Wildrfid (live at The Exchange)

Bristol
26 November 2014

Warming us up between sets was turntablist Simon Wildrfid; now some people play records, but this chap gave them another life completely, filter-feeding and FXing the blighters with a nice skull-scouring intensity, a rejuvenating diaspora of pulsing colour and industrialised zest splattered in cordoned beatologies and copious gristle. He had a mysterious selection of releases on the merch table too, that wackILy entitled Innerself Globophobic Clown Tester vinyl was certainly itching my pocket shrapnel.

Mai Mai Mai Live November 2014

Anyways, Mai Mai Mai, owner of the eclectic No-Fi label was first up. Candle-lit and cloth-masked, his timber creaks eating the gloom, flickers of projection splicing away as his shoaling sonics descending into the shark-butted clank of underwater radiators. Dark and sinewy channels through which bled a rhythmic core, virally spreading in bent contours and crooked pulses. A swaying currency he was visibly losing himself in as the momentum tittered, dislocated in a flurry of Konono tribals mixing in found slivering soundscapes, the pitted pith of a rainstorm calcifying in a sinsteria of dancing shapes, all ending on the extinguished flame.

HUM (Harmonices Universalis Mundi) were more clattercaked, dubby vocals on a bed of drone eels. A spiky concoction suitably fray bentossed into some crab-clawed riches, whir-cracked mirrors of repeated intensity, titan-clashed flashes at full tilt sounding like a Vietnamese village party of manic cash registers. The wailing vox giving me Gnod– like parallells, pagan flavours on skimmed stones and swampy electronics. A trinity in total synchronicity with its parts, with their debut Bumtapes release well worth your immediate attention.

HUM Live November 2014

Silver Apples Live November 2014

Silver Apples (now just Simeon) opened with the skipping panoramics of “Misty Mountain,” and didn’t put a foot wrong from there on in. His trademark oscillators reduced to three, a pile of extra pedals atop, a keyboard hidden away behind a stack of other boxes. His fingers hitting the keys with glee, all bouncing bones and grins under that cowboy Stetson as he lassoed a hearty hoedown from his tech for “I Don’t Care What the People Say.” This was seriously good fun, the sound was awesome, super-loud, the beats more programmed, mixing in some hi-energy whips, maxing into new frontiers. His trusty Wavetek generators wielding plenty of interplanetary smears. That unique dryness of vox still very much evident, his finger following the lines on his cheat-sheet lyrical reminders.

Silver Apples Live November 2014

“Oscillations,” a firm favourite of mine, is given a remarkable makeover, its boundaries a wrist-twisting tone fest of epic proportions, mangled beats sparking across the ignition source in crazy geometries to such an extent you completely forgot the song origins. The whirring candy of “A Pox On You” mining some seriously skin shifting depths, “You and I” dancing a snake-charmed techno and Scalectrix rays. His was a beaming brightness that felt freshly minted, riveted in possibility, our enthusiastic applause pulling out an bonus three song encore; if it wasn’t for the curfew it could have gone on all night.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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