Green Door Store
rdyer (really roll that first “r” like the pirate you forgot to be on ‘talk like a pirate’ day) started the evening off with a spooky song with Becca playing musical saw played over a chime loop, with Casio and vocals. And if that doesn’t get your memory buds going I don’t know what will. I think the song was called “Little Raindrops”, and ended on a crescendo of multi looped vocals. She then set up a string telephone with a cassette talking down it, plucked the string into a loop and played a couple of loops of skronk from her soprano sax to get something going to sing over. The next song had some more brutally bowed tin can string action to start that was absorbed into a nice long loop. Some light feedback, Casio drones and saw layer up subtle background for some multi-tracked vocals and a sax solo that takes me back to old Tuxedo moon. The last tin can song used a bass string for the string, which gave a really nice flappy bass part when looped. I think there was some melodica and looped vocal parts, before a really disturbing death shanty of cannibal lust developed out of a saw solo. The last one (“Today”?), another proper song, even with a cassette playing interviews with random folk is a celebration of small victories, a click track with piano, sad vocals.
So next up is Zeyn Mroueh, with an exotic inheritance we won’t go into here, laptop and low chair with guitar and shed-tons of effects. Notes go in and come out washed and denuded of form, thrums, squeals ebbing and flowing with several discrete cycles going on. He does four pieces each one discrete but overlapping. The second has an epic chorused quality to the introductory guitar notes. He also uses the loop pedal, to keep these Morricone notes going, while he hides them in mandolin frills and distortion nodules which gradually overwhelm them before the circular saw comes along and some epic riffage. The next one starts out thing and reedy before revisiting the twang of the previous track and whining out in a thing screechy feedback session that gradually thickened up and washed out. The final piece starts with a vocal recording before the guitar steeps in cyclically in hot Mediterranean waves, and it winds out with a melodic picked guitar part with detuning tendrils of delay flowing around the room.
Braindead Ensemble start with Thor sending cod generated tones into the cellos and double bass. They each have physical modifications, the cellos have speaker drivers built in, one has extra strings for drone and resonance, the other has a circuit board with dozens of knobs on. The contrabass has some modifications but these seem to be strapped on – I suppose finding a double bass to abuse in the same way would be prohibitive. So the tone goes into the cellos and double bass, we get some resonances and someone starts some bow work, from here its hard to know who does what so its all about the textures, beating, long drones. Mechanical scrapes. There is a lot of physical work, we can see everyone working, the changes Thor makes are reflected in what goes on with his visuals on screen (even if some of the explanatory coding is happening way off to the right). We get some righteous bass sonics; really get into the dirty depths of the GDS subs. some horrifically damaged high frequency sawing from hard bow work cuts through. And we get down to some pure waveforms and UFO electronics and modulations. Occasionally you get some pure strings coming through, which get subverted by extended acoustic techniques and then general sonic disruption happens. They do walk a fine line between free improv scrape and scrawl and uber drones.