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All Tomorrow’s Parties: End Of An Era Part 2 (live at Pontin’s)

Fuck Buttons at ATP 2013Camber Sands, Sussex 29 November-1 December 2013

So it came, as the subtitle says, to the very end of an era for All Tomorrow’s Parties on the English coast. Returning full circle to Pontin’s at Camber Sands where it all kicked off 13 years ago (barring the festival’s origins with Belle and Sebastian‘s Bowlie Weekender a year earlier in 1999 at the same spot), ATP brought out its glad rags and old friends to take rock and roll and variations thereof on a musical jaunt to the seaside one last time.

With recent line-ups often being somewhat less enticing than the earlier events and with declining numbers apparently attending, it’s not such a surprise that the time when holding an off-season indoor festival four times a

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Om – Addis/Gethsemane dubplates

Drag City

Om - AddisUK digi-dub veterans Alpha & Omega have taken on the task of remaking Om‘s track “Addis” from their recent Advaitic Songs album, transforming the original’s hypnagogic swell of doomy bass and mournful cello into a dub workout in two parts. Side A weighs in as “Ababa Dub,” Kate Ramsey‘s haunting vocal lifted into the echo chamber while the strings vibrate below, riding on a coasting undercarriage of sampled drums and bass.

Alpha & Omega snip out a syllable which sounds exactly like “Om” and send it bouncing off on a trail of delay while other sounds emerge as haunted sirens, and as far as dub mixes go, they could hardly have found better source material. On the reverse, “Addis Ababa” continues the meditative mood almost seamlessly

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Om/King Midas Sound (live at The Scala)

The Scala, London 30 September 2012

Tonight is all about the HEAVY. Not so much the Metal, though its ghost and spiritual guidance flow out of everything [post=om-advaitic-songs text=”Om”] do like ectoplasm, but definitely the HEAVY. In capitals. Always in capitals. On paper, given a reductive genre-based taxonomical description of each act, King Midas Sound, Kevin Martin‘s ultra-deep “dub” project, seem a weird choice to support Al Cisneros‘ ultra-deep “doom metal” band (well, apart from the bit where I described them both as “ultra-deep”, but that’s kind of key) until you realise that, like a particularly unbalanced game of Team Fortress 2, it’s ALL ABOUT THE HEAVY. Then it becomes clear that there are very obvious parallels.

King Midas sound take the stage, beginning with Martin himself whipping up a full-on sonic onslaught that’s almost Swans-like in its relentlessness, the vast spaces of their recorded work quickly becoming filled to

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Om – Advaitic Songs

Drag City

There’s something that’s always struck me as a bit weird, not to mention lazy, in Om‘s usual categorisation as a doom metal band. Sure, they are one of the awesome phoenixes to have arisen from the ashes of doom pioneers Sleep, and they’re kinda droney and dirgey, but they’ve always been more celebratory than doomladen. Not quite joyous, but certainly devotional. They’re more like stoner metal but on weirder drugs – possibly incense, communion wine and ayahuasca. You know, the religious stuff.

That is, of course, not to say that they won’t, or indeed don’t, appeal to the same kind of people, and the same parts of the brain, as doom metal does. Deep, languid riffs cycling endlessly through the lower

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