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Peter Brötzmann and Heather Leigh / Liberez (live at The Cube)

Peter Brötzmann live November 2016Bristol Sunday 20 November 2016

Blimey, what an action-packed night, Bristol was heaving with musical busyness, Microdeform playing the Kino, Circuit des Yeux at The Anson Rooms and the Arnolfini hosting Les Diaboliques, all spinning out on same night — if I hadn’t have already committed to this Cube show, I’d be spoilt for alternatives. Anyways it was brilliant to be back at The Cube, haven’t been here since its recent refurb and so glad to see none of the reinventions have displaced any of its yesteryear charm.

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Dead Can Dance – Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun / Garden Of The Arcane Delights / The John Peel Sessions / Toward The Within

4AD

Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (1987)

Dead Can Dance ‎- Within The Realm Of A Dying SunThis was the band’s third masterpiece, and a firm favourite of mine. The otherworldliness of Spleen And Ideal is here leaning towards the symphonic, a neo-classical oomph held on an animated skyline. As with Ideal, Brendan Perry is in fine fettle, dedicating a whole side to pondering life’s woes, drawing inspiration from the historical, mythical, going for the emotional jugular in doomed Romantic hues.

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Kristin Hersh (live at The Lantern)

Bristol 8 November 2016

Kristin Hersh live November 2016This was an intimate show, just Kristin Hersh laying herself bare – furnished with a few self-released books and a shiny electric guitar. Last time I saw her live was just as intimate, in a small, vaulted church off Park Street, where she delivered a stripped-down acoustic shindig full of wonder. That harrowing encore satisfaction of “Delicate Cutters” is still creeping the personal archives some twenty-two years later.

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Olga Szymula – 2

Nomadic Island

Olga Szymula - 2Musically, Olga Szymula‘s début LP is like a toothpaste tube of psilocybin rainbows and juttering dislocations. A sizzle of torn circuitries and bright petroleum blisters that spill haunt-o- delically from its instrumental start into the mysteriously entitled ‘Ø’.

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Limpe Fuchs ‎– Gestrüpp

Play Loud!

Limpe Fuchs ‎– GestrüppLasciviously teasing your ear; this is an album full of spontaneity, sparking in the flutter of odd juxtaposition. A scramble footed Partch with a pinch of Bertoia’s love of reverberation, she treads anarchically out on her own, tasting the shapes, sensations.

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Hypnopazūzu / The Stargazer’s Assistant (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

The Union Chapel, London 22 October 2016

Hypnopazūzu live October 2016Lovely to be back at the Union Chapel again, without doubt one of the jewel venues of London. The vivid bruises of coloured light curving all that gothic finery, spot-lit chandeliers transformed into floating pentagrams. Just looking up at the vaulted ceiling was awesome in itself. You could say this was the perfect pitch for tonight’s esoteric expectations. I saw Current 93 here a few years back and it was made all the more special because of this fact.

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Felix Kubin Und Das Mineralorchester – II: Music For Film And Theatre

Dekorder

Felix Kubin Und Das Mineralorchester - Music for Film and Theatre

Starts very Steven Stapleton-like with a manic woman in full-on polka-dot phobia jabbering like some Echo Poeme cut-up, well versed in disturbing vocal spikes. The next track leaping towards some brume-like contact play, electroacoustic grit in the psychic ointment. A disconcerting churn caught on a glass-rim hum diving the industrial before dipped into a dichotomy of digitised distress.

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The Stargazer’s Assistant – Remoteness Of Light

House Of Mythology

The Stargazer's Assistant - Remoteness Of LightThe gentle slope of ambience that ignites this baby keeps its cards very close to its chest. That twinkling starlight and temple solemnity give very little away. Those odd squelchy bits that sound like Mr Burroughs‘ typewriter turned flesh mingling with the more tuneful. Those vaporised swirls erupting in Bar Maldoror fissures (more Current gasps than Nurse naughtiness; I was half expecting Mr Tibet to dip in at one moment), all leading you closer to this album’s epicentre.

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Silver Apples ‎- Clinging To A Dream

Chicken Coop

Silver Apples ‎- Clinging To A DreamIt’s a dull September afternoon, and it’s been tipping down for hours now. In contrast to this dismal weekend, Simeon Coxe‘s gentle trippy vibes are happily churning my ear, gliding the consciousness blissfully.

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Controlled Bleeding – Larva Lumps And Baby Bumps

Artoffact

Controlled Bleeding - Larva Lumps & Baby Bumps.pngThe Gregory Jacobsen cover wrapping this double album is a thing of warped beauty, but in no way prepares you for the flash flood of fret gymnastics it contains. An opener that literally takes your breath away, “Driving Through Darkness” is bloody brilliant, all hot proggy curves and carbolic rubs with a satisfying Pere Ubu-like underbelly chugging away all superconductive, combustive and ravenously hungry.

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Fort Process 2016

welcome to Fort Process 2016Newhaven Fort, East Sussex 3 September 2016

It sounded like bedlam from the car park, quickly replaced by some deranged Frenchman chucking stuff around the parade ground, his shouts and clattering, laptop-captured from the fortifications and spurted back in jabbering cut-ups. Welcome to Fort Process part deux, spun off in blaring megaphone, smashed metal, Dada antics that flew close to injuring the onlookers.

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Hypnopazūzu – Create Christ, Sailor Boy

House Of Mythology

Hypnopazūzu - Create Christ, Sailor BoyWell, this is a complete surprise, bassist and founding member for Killing Joke, Youth (AKA Martin Glover) is supplying an excellent arena here for David Tibet to shriek, howl and party the apocalyptic on Create Christ, Sailor Boy. Youth did so back in 1984 as well, one of an extended list of people who configured Current 93‘s Golgothan Nature Unveiled, but this latest transfiguration as Hypnopazūzu is thankfully not as bleak, the doom-mongering tropes abandoned in favour of a filmic morass of synth snakes and guitared roastings.

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Scott Walker – The Childhood Of A Leader OST

4AD

Scott Walker - The Childhood of a Leader OSTThe trailers for The Childhood Of A Leader tease of a tense cinematic feast, a chilling meditation on the rise of twentieth century fascism, that like White Ribbon before, focuses on the emerging evil of the next generation, here in the form of an angelic seven-year-old boy with a terrifying talent for manipulating the puppet strings of everybody around him to devastating effect. The film’s turbulent nature certainly finds the perfect foil in Scott Walker‘s hungry sharks of string and delving sub-plots of James Bond-esque verve.

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Phurpa – Chöd

Zoharum

Phurpa - ChödAt high volume this album is an immersive experience, throat-sung waves of wordless drone washing over you. A raspy, sinking sand that has a succulent SunnO))) depth to it. Full of rhythmic intones and surfacing undercurrents, half-formed vowels floundering in the slow friction, a slight bounce of drum skin barely detectable, a few padded percussives creeping its corners.

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Belly (live at O2 Academy)

Belly live in Bristol July 2016Bristol 20 July 2016

This was a hotly anticipated outing that didn’t disappoint. Belly were back for all the right reasons, including a bucket of cash the merch stall was obviously raking in.

It all kicked off on the full-on assault of “Dusted”. That gut-quaking bass, those weevil guitar curves all thrown in thunderous unison. Tanya‘s and Gail‘s vocals blasting the human flower. A beaming rainbow that had you shouting back the weirded-out lyrics about dead babies in cellars and the like. That chorus refrain carouseling your head in “Grass stains, back burns”, gyroscoped on the coloured wash of the lighting.

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