Archives by month/year

Reuber – Ring


Reuber – RingTimo Reuber‘s fifth solo album finds him plucking sounds from his collection of samples and loops mixed in with a few restricted-instrument selections, and spewing them out in the visceral statement of intent which is opening track “Ring Ring.” And it does just that, in layers recursive loops which bounce off each other like an clockwork piano miniature. Deliberately lo-fi, it and two accompanying hi/lo tech electro miniatures “Ringer,” “Ring Frei” and “Ringfest” neatly bracket and counterpoint the album’s centrepiece seventeen-minute title track, which swirls into clarity from a fizzling static cloud, bubbling and phasing around the central amorphous rhythms.

What might best be described as a faux-tribal chug propels the main loop, wrapped in a fug of FX and mysterious sound sources. Reuber explicitly places this album in the realms of komische musik, and the connection to the

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The Young Gods/Shy Child (live at Dingwall’s)

Franz Treichler at the spotlight controlsDingwall’s, London 15th May 2007

Shy ChildIt’s been a while since The Young Gods have appeared in London, but they’re back at last, in support of their new album Supeready/Fragmenté. Dingwall’s turns out to be a good choice of venue, allowing for a capacity crowd but without getting stiflingly overstuffed with people. Support band Shy Child are a duo of a drummer and synth player, the latter playing standing up with the keyboard on a strap for a more energetic performance, presumably. They’re not bad at all, angry buzzing blurps meshing well with the powerful percussion, but the vocals are monotone and hectoring in tone while remaining largely inaudible. Still, they do a good job of warming up the night.

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Coil – The Ape Of Naples

Label: Threshold House Format: CD

Coil - The Ape of NaplesThe last Coil album proper, The Ape Of Naples marks a tragic end point, a conclusion to one of the more remarkable groups to grace the annals of electronic and deviant music. Completed under the direction of his longtime collaborator Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and bringing together tracks recorded in many locations over the last decade or more, this album marks the last such resting place for the polymorphous talents of Jhonn Balance, killed in a tragic fall down the stairs of his home in November 2004. As Coil was Balance’s creation, there can be no more new material, and The Ape Of Naples was assembled painstakingly from pieces completed or otherwise in the difficult months following the accident.

There are glimpses everywhere of the Coil which

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The Legendary Pink Dots (live)

The Slimelight, London 1 November 2003 The Pressure Point, Brighton 2 November 2003

The Legendary Pink Dots return to their founders’ home country after an absence of a good few years is always a welcome event – that they then play two gigs in a mini-micro tour is an added bonus. First surprise is their appearance at uber-Goth Saturday mainstay club The Slimelight; second that they play the next day in the upstairs pub room with bells on which is the Pressure Point in Brighton. As it turns out, the contrast could have hardly been more different.

The Slimlight has been and (mostly) remains the sleaziest, scuzziest and sometimes the most vibrant club in London, for going on two decades now. Dark young things and those old enough not to care any longer if black is the new rock and roll slip in at pub closing time to the back

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Faust (live at The Royal Festival Hall)

An angle, grinding London 12 October 2001

ZappiGiven that this appearance by Faust marks both their 100th live performance since the group’s reformation in 1993 and possibly their final show, it’s somehow appropriate that the emergency services soon became involved once again.

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Kling Klang/Tennis/Ticklish (live at the Kosmische Club)

Kling KlangThe Kosmische Club

Upstairs At The Garage, London 28 July 2001

For the Kosmische Club’s fifth birthday, the party hats, balloons and banners have been brought out to celebrate half a decade of putting on one of the best clubs in London, if not the country and possibly the world. A touch of hyperbole, perhaps, but the nice thing about this club, despite the almost unbearable heat in the small roof-space room which has plagued Upstairs At The Garage in summer since the year dot, is how intimate it is. Not just in the sense of being small, but there’s usually a general air of seriously friendly fun and frivolity to be found, and it’s especially the case tonight. The party mood may not be that different from the average Kosmische, but the selection of DJ’ed tunes and live guests makes for

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Salvatore – Fresh

Label: Racing Junior Format: CD

Fresh - sleeve detailSalvatore popped down to Marrakesh from their Nowegian home to record Fresh, and from the opening twang of “Get The Kids On The Street, It’s A Party” things take on an electronic groove dimension which can only have been aided by the atmosphere of Morocco. “Get The Kids…” holds all the Motorik cards, dealing out chord chugs and twirling synths on a rhythmic base held in precise tension through the crisp sound of the brushing drums and the clanking sound of brand new bass strings. The title is just about right too, as it’s a perfect number for getting things going in a bouncy style.

It’s no real surprise that Salvatore are going to work on their next album with John McEntire either, as there is much to Fresh which relates to the expansive sound of

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Einstürzende Neubauten (live)

The Astoria, London 4th June 2000

Even just standing waiting for Neubauten to arrive on stage for this Twentieth Anniversary tour (!) is something of an enjoyable experience, thanks to the wilfully obtuse nature of some of the instrumentation and sundry kit arrayed on the platform. So ignoring the usual guitars, basses and keyboards (even if it is renamed an EN[soniq] through judicious appliaction of gaffer tape), there’s plenty of machinery, metal and pieces the uses of which will become apparent throught the two and half hour set they play. A large metal sheet – standard equipment, even if FM Einheit is no longer here in muscle-girded solidarity to pound and crash as the powerhouase of the group – likewise the tubular bells made from piping, the large blue plastic tubs and odd strips and sheets of steel. The bass spring is a familiar friend from many years of tightly-coiled

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London Musicians’ Collective Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music

South Bank Centre, London 27-29th May 2000

Now semi-permanently established at the South Bank for the past few years, the LMC Experimental Music Festival has become one of the fixtures of the London Improv and New Music scene, struggling through into something approaching mainstream cultural acceptance – though that’s a relative position of course. This isn’t to say that its become particularly watered down, blanded out or easily commercial; far from it, and while not everything will be pleasing to all ears, it neither should be nor could be, and much on offer is is such high quality that a few dull spots can easily be avoided by those disinclined to favour one piece of Avant-noodling will soon find another of superb quality for their edification and enjoyment.

Ninth time around, and Saturday’s Purcell Room show has two extreme of that which can be described as experimental – Die Trip

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Michael Rother & Dieter Moebius/Dead Voices On Air (live)

The Underworld, London 28th January 2000

Dead Voices On Air are conducting a bit of an experiment on the London leg of their tour, starting off loud, noisy and danceable and trailing down into ambient passages of extended mood workouts. Mark Spybey and Darren Phillips man the keyboards, sequencers, samplers, digital technology; Darryl Neudorf is behind a bare drumkit (complete with fluffy liner on one drum). So they kick off into a post-Industrial Dance groove, and instantly several key signifiers make links to everyone from Coil (arpeggiating keyboard weirdnesses, atmosphere), Psychic TV (the stripped analogue beats, the moments of ecstatic upness) and of course fellow Vancouverians and fellow-travellers Download (that digital Techno-noise, the earnest need for cathartic harshness). Largely instrumental, the only moment of vocal outpouring comes during a heavy-skanking Techno Dub, when the words “I hate who you are” become the mantra of the minute and the atmosphere becomes

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Badawi – The Heretic Of Ether

Label: Asphodel Format: CD,LP

Badawi - Heretic of Ether sleeve detailThe Heretic of Ether is one of those albums that comes out of the blue, hovers overhead and arond the ears and works its way into the subconscious. Seemingly a concept album concerning the life, death and re-birth of one Gashka Gavör, Moroccan Bedouin (or Badawi) heretic of the title, it makes a timeless quest romance in musical form which buzzes with passion and a deep knowledge of composer Raz Mesinai‘s musical and cultural heritage.

Blending the Western technological skills and North African percussion Mesinai uses so effectively in New York bass monsters Sub Dub with Moroccan instruments as well as violin and cello, the Badawi project here makes for a genuine Fourth World excursion into a virtual space of mixing-desk Sufi dub and resonant string- sections. The atmosphere of open desert space,

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