One in twelve

October 2018
Green Door Store

So that was the Fort Process Dispersion our contribution to the season of events surrounding the amazing event that was Fort Process at Newhaven fort.

Loftslag

Loftslag

We had a great start to the evening with new duo Loftslag (apparently Icelandic for “Climate”) starting with a what sounds like a pounding kick that quickly sweeps up to a rhythmic mid range boinging thing (it’s not a boing, but it escapes my descriptive powers) that gets a lopsided drum pattern under it, its got some major drive and gets a weird overlay of scrapes, whirrs and beeps, with words. The rhythmic part drops out to be replaced by something a bit more randomly scrapey and the drum pattern notches up the intensity a couple of places and the rhythmic boing comes back almost as a gated pad and we get some proper bass in briefly before a two note drone comes to life. With a mirroring noise layer after a few bars that slowly increasing intensity until Greg starts groaning over it. Somehow it reminds me of late 70s Eno. Eventually all the melodic elements fall away leaving kick and noise. That builds up again with snatches of bass warp and skwirls of detuned synth. This gets increasingly randomised as we head towards the end with gurgles and more intense drums. So raucous party music instead of the noise set they promised us, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.


ESP

ESP

Second on the bill, another duo ESP; 3 turntables and shed-loads of effects and a couple of boxes of records. So pitched down warped psychedelic kaleidoscope of stuff. A cash register pings and pays out, bass drones loop. A boxing record (?!) provides percussion. Records start up and slow down, voices drop from chipmunk to buzzing bass. 70s Space noise sweeps by launching swirling gurgles, audio vistas of bubbling spaceship. A spaceship that seems to be travelling through the dinner hall at my old school. There’s some wonderfully dissonant orchestral drone passages reminiscent of Attileo Mineo’s world fair music from the 50s. Train records, some denser passages where Raymond Scott daft percussion underpins winds and planes. A couple of passages get quite dense but mostly its space and decontextualised sounds. The whole thing is online on their MixCloud, it’s really good, you’ll find it at this link: www.mixcloud.com/Electronic_Sound_Pictures/esp-live-spirit-of-gravity/?fbclid=IwAR1VtzgWdewVMyvqVJCfuRaNRoxr5E2oU0CNmtW_A4YQ1t6mq7sNk9C5t-c (NB. Copy the link into the address box of your browser for best results)


Nil By Nose

Nil By Nose
Unfortunately Katie English / Isnaj Dui was ill so couldn’t travel down to play which meant that for the first time this year we had an all male bill. Nil by Nose who stepped in made up for this to some extent by basing his set around a recording of his mum. It was another audio collage, but this time off a couple of tiny boxes that he had at the front of stage (where he sat in his usual wrestlers mask). It starts with a loop of a recording of his mum playing a timple (the Canary islands equivalent of a Ukulele) with some singing, looped on about 2 bars. This continues (through a shed-load of reverb) for all of the set. The first thing that happens other this is a slowly rising pinging riff. An icy bass drone loosely comes in under it. Everything stops and restarts. Other odd noises come and go. I swear at about 5 minutes in I was starting to hallucinate. The whole thing was uncanny in the Victorian sense, but not in the Victorian way. At one point the whole thing winked out of existence in a filtered disco sweep, but came back as disturbed as ever. There are ghosts in there, it isn’t safe.
Carl, he who is Nil By Nose, produced this video taster of the whole night:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpx-xmh1zyY&feature=youtu.be


Bookends

September 2018
Green Door Store

rdyer

rdyer

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.


Zeyn Mroueh

Zeyn Mroueh

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

Braindead Ensemble

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.


An opportunity for reflection

August 2018
Green Door Store

I’m Dr Buoyant

I'm Dr Buoyant

So in front of an animation of a method of straightening a spine twisted by scoliosis Tony Rimbaud aka I’m Dr Buoyant wrestles with his dark looping equipment and tries to distract our slightly perturbed eyes. He starts off with a drone of heavy slow machinery drawn up through a long zinc tunnel, occasionally a slow human moan or stellar slope of thin fuzztone guitar emerges and disappears, before the dark wind takes over. Footsteps come up the tunnel, the two tone riff of the guitar comes back with a jetliner friend. The riff filters out into a horrible thin resonant ghost of itself before Godzilla’s vast footsteps stomp in. Some really nicely detailed trebly grained up drones wash through everything from here with some flying saucer pulses that eventually soar off into a delay loop hammershop crunch. And finally we get washed up with a really nice layered drone that degrades well into a locked groove.


Not for the Suffering Type

Not for the Suffering Type

Iain Paxon & Eleanor Campbell, performing as Not for the Suffering Type, set up on the floor in front of the stage on one of the trestle table covered in a range of keyboards and things, Iain having a bass guitar. Eleanor plays a long descending keyboard part into a looper. Iain plays a bass part, and sings. Eleanor punctuates things with odd sounds. A drum part is written into the Volca beats. It’s wonderfully low key and engaging. Eleanor reads from her book. The bass rolls gently, the noises squirrel around them.


Distant Animals (in a forest of signs)

Distant Animals

Distant Animals (in a forest of signs) finish us off for the evening, with a set of 3 or maybe 4 halves… starting at a mic stand in front of the stage Daniel Alexander Hignell is dressed in a rabbit outfit. This goes on for a while then he peels that off and gets into a worn dinner suit. I don’t think he’s said anything during this time. Nor made a sound. He gets onto the stage left and some business goes on with a cassette player. His accomplice at some stage appears at a chalk board. There are projections based on a camera pointing at the blackboard that feeds back into the main screen. An oddly modulated string part emerges from the cassette. And he makes some odd sounds on some things he has on a table a zither I think. At some stage he gets down of the stage and changes into some NDW type cap sleeved t shirt and things get into a bit of a modular stomp. We then get into an odd bit where the groove goes, and we have the acoustic things getting processed going through a tablet, and the cassettes come back. It’s somewhat confusing, definitely entertaining and if I hadn’t almost immediately gone on holiday I’d be able to remember what I thought it was all about…


Drugs, cash and crumble

July 2018
Green Door Store

Lorraine Bowen

Lorraine Bowen

It’s hard to believe it but this was not only Lorraine Bowen’s first show for The Spirit of Gravity, but the first time she’d played at the Green Door Store. So we were really pleased to finally convince her to come along. She had about three days notice and did us a wonderful turn with several new songs. Kit-wise she had one of her plethora of Casios on stage and ran with a mixture of backing tracks and onboard rhythms from the thing itself perched on her trademark ironing board and homemade sign. She came onstage to her intro tape and set about generally mocking our regular acts before starting into her first song. After that she bought out her Omnichord and set about demonstrating it to us – I’ve seen her a few times and it doesn’t normally make an appearance – before singing a song about Pizza using it. The next song was one of the new ones about the collapse of Poundland with a nicely distorted bass drum, she could barely keep a straight face. The next song was “The ice cream lady” followed by a song that seemed to be about some kind of sexual encounter in Kew Gardens (at least it wasn’t her song about STDs and tropical resorts). And she finished with a messed up version of “The Crumble Song” taking us through the Casio’s capabilities, messing with the EQ, tempo, dubbing it up generally and getting the strobe going playing it with her boobs (definitely a first for SoG) and messing about with the key. Lotsa fun and good, too.


Midi Error

Midi Error

So after being properly trainspotted while setting up his laptop for the second set was from midi error. You’ve never seen such a gathering outside of OSC as there was peering over his shoulder. Starting with a vocal sample and an off-centre keyboard riff that was give form by the addition of percussion before filtering out to be augmented with something raspily detuned that builds into something horrible before a really minimal bit of techno emerges, again to be subverted by something waywardly exciting. Before again dropping down to something minimal with an interesting marimba ish riff cycling away. This one gets blasted by a flying saucer takeoff. The next one is like a bunch of aliens playing 80s arcade games being zapped by their parents for misbehaviour. He finishes on another minimal techno thing that simultaneously feels like a 60 footer is parking up in your mind.


Ultraterrestrials

Ultraterrestrials

So when Ultraterrestrials start it’s Jared’s socks that are the first thing I notice rather than the pink shoes, although the shoes are nice. Then it’s the two microphones. His voice is the next thing that, rich in tone, American, he talks and its convincing even after you realise what he’s saying doesn’t make that much sense, you want it to continue. Tom and Richard slowly raise something droning behind him on e-bowed guitar and electronic things. At some stage you realise that one of the mics goes back into the effects and his voice is coming back at you in indiscernible ways; the songs ends in the yowl of a child of frozen space. The second starts with gating rhythms from the guitar, bass booms, Jared’s muttering, something like Tuxedomoon happens at some point and the rhythm is happening loudly and there is a strobe, but its not rhythmical and somehow matches the mood of Jared’s stage skulk perfectly. The next one is an uneasy quiet thing, unsettling arpeggios and queasily thin chemtrails. Jared sings. The next one leaps in with a raindrop rhythm and vast bass synths and factory noises, they end on another quiet one with Jared falsettoing over a backward piano and the hellish strings of his effected voice disturb us.


Let’s get skulled up for the drop off

June 2018
Green Door Store

Fallow

Fallow

Fallow start the evening off, David Reby has a black and white film of deer scans playing behind them, his familiar deer skull illuminated from the inside on a stand at centre stage. Their set starts with heavily reverbed undetermined deer field recordings, some slow guitar notes, slowly dissonant drones creep in, some of those horrible deer vocalisations I promised wallow up among the musical elements as they fall away. Derek is playing keyboards rather than his usual pre-recorded CDJs alongside guitar, and pipes in some stentorian French horn blasts and piano before a templehead beat rolls in. The Intensity of the deer yowls ramps up. When the beats roll back out, we get into a pizzicato that brings us into a lengthy reflective passage before the intensity starts to ramp up with a layered set of hefty drones and we switch into a tritone riff that just builds, then drops and builds again before dropping down to just the bass elements that flatten into a drone that carries the guitar into the ending section.


Organon of the Antivoid

Organon of the Antivoid

With Zoom Around Rainbow falling foul of a technical hitch at the last minute Organon of the Antivoid stepped in at the last minute with a Youtube mashup. Caleb sits facing the screen, his desktop projected up onto it so we can follow exactly what’s happening. Starting with a TED talk “Are you a good person” adding in tabs and tabs of slowed down YouTube speech, we go a long way before we get to the obvious candidates. In the early stages he adds in some drones – 2 or 3 tabs of it – but apart from that and some tabs of pink and white noise, it’s pretty much all speech and babies crying. However obfuscated. At about 15 minutes he ups the levels, quickly opening a series of tabs as if he’s trying to crash the browser, but it’s obviously a pretty robust setup he has, so eventually he decides to wind it down, closing down the tabs from the latest to the first.


Jobina Tinnemans

Jobina Tinnemans

So Jobina Tinnemans finishes the evening, with two pieces. As a proper composer she does introduce her pieces in full, the first is based on recordings of voices from the Chamber Choir of South Iceland pretending to be birds that she has trapped inside a number of small jars. It’s a semi improvised piece, with the jars being chosen and Shaken, some Max/MSP processing is definitely going on there, with some of the results sounding remarkably like David’s field recordings. The sound is more spacious than anything else we’ve heard this evening. Supporting the sounds are violin or cello sonorities and synth washes, with a massive foghorn indicating closure is imminent.
She goes straight into her second piece, quickly changing into her swimsuit and hat, this is an aquatic piece it has the bird noises again, but with the drips and reverb of a watery place. Synth sounds give the sense of waves and something impending, before she takes a breath and we’re suddenly underwater – there is no treble, a bass whoomph – exhale and we’re back above. The second time we go under we seem to be in the company of whistling alien cetaceans. The third time they seem to be in a more playful mood, maybe having found a toy piano. The riff they bang out becomes more insistent, bringing steam, noise and musicality along with it. The sense of approaching the surf from underneath.


I have life on other worlds

May 2018
Green Door Store

Binnsclagg

Binnsclagg

Binnsclagg started the evening off with what was probably the best set I’ve seen them do. They have a certain reputation (they claim completely undeserved) for power tools, noisy chaos, found poetry and leaving a hell of a mess. None of this was apparent. Verity and Karl had an oil-drum table each of things with acoustic or electronic intent, and set to work about them; psychedelic warble, cassette voice, rattle, thrum, grandmother’s clock. It’s quite spacious unlike the super-dense harshness of the last time they played. They even take turns to read. There are rhythmic sections, which quite confused me. They play chimes against thin feedback and distant jazz while Verity reads, its rather lovely, which I wasn’t expecting to write. It ends in pings dissolving into giggles. As it should.


Ned Rush

Ned Rush

The meaty filling in the sandwich was provided by a nice AV set from Ned Rush. He was running a modular synth, and linked that up to a laptop to create some kind of generative visuals. A lot of the visuals had that kind of kinetic thing going on so you constantly feel like you’re travelling into the screen. In the absence of having videoed his whole set I won’t reference his visuals again. The sounds started with small tonal blips and hums, scatter glitches and tiny squelches. It’s the most freeform thing I’ve seen anyone do on a modular, managing to avoid the tyranny of clocking or LFO. This is followed by something where he gets a hum and white noise loop going, with an acidy squelch with a growl that becomes a bassline. This deepens in intensity and rhythmic intent, like some odd hyper-interlocked rave where someone has stolen the 909. He slews in these odd concrete sounds and nasty drones to keep you off balance, and the breakdown when it comes almost makes you stagger sideways with its glitching detunedness. The final piece really pushes it, like something from a chill-out room of a party where the ketamine has been laced with strychnine and half those present are travelling backwards through time. Great stuff.


Johanna Bramli

Johanna Bramli

And finally we had the return of Johanna Bramli, also playing against visuals, she’d taken down the screen show they were ghostly against the black curtains. Starting with a slow humming tick rhythm and organ layered with wordless vocals she was the otherworldly manifestation of the film she was showing. The piece mutates slowly, some piano, odd voices, external sounds, some singing. In many ways this is the kind of thing I wanted from Laurie Anderson last time she was here; proper haunted, mysterious, emotionally haunting music. She breathes and plays some single stringed DIY instrument, thin feedback tremors wailing across the room, underpinned by a monstrous block of bass that pulses monolithically into the room while god moves chairs around upstairs. A head itch rhythm stealths into the song and tines ping, then it all shifts suddenly – lightweight arpeggios echo back around the room and the bass battering is gone, there is some singing before it dissolves into rain, and a bubble bath of small synthesizer an organ drone and more wordless vocals through to the end. Bloody lovely.


Three, Two, One

April 2018
Green Door Store

Innixi Fix

Innixi Fix

To start the evening is Innixi Fix, billed as a three piece but playing as Jack on his own (he found out at 5:30 in the evening that this would be the case). So he set up on the floor with his guitar and electronics array. He starts by banging a loop of a clobbered string percussion part into the kit, supplemented with small flourishes giving it a clockwork feel. Before fattening out with balalaika twangs, reverb and then haring off down a blind alley of plics and ant-scurry thuds. Which devolves into a series of radiophonic space ping echoes. This goes on for not quite long enough before a tube train smashes through it. Which in turn gives way to an almost acoustic sounding passage of single noted loveliness which again evolves into some radiophonics mixed with gratuitous delay tweaking. It settles down into a more reflective passage before we get the Foghorns and heavy goods trains.


Andrew Greaves

Andrew Greaves

Andrew Greaves was also supposed to be playing with others in this case the percussionist was ill so Andrew fell back onto his electronic percussion along with organs and delays. The percussion ticks while Andrew played I think two pieces from his new album, which are long semi improvisations in some scales based on Indian Raags, played with extraordinarily long delays, and the occasional bass tone. The organ parts repeat, almost, slowing down and speeding up. Hypnotic is about the only way to describe it, I was quite in phase with the whole room by the time the first piece ended. He wound it down quite nicely and did the changeover to the second part pretty seamlessly. This continued the arpeggios and riffs style but with some longer, slightly slower parts woven into them. Both hands working together along with some suspicious looping technology and some more prominent action from the bass. Although again, it wouldn’t be called foregrounded. About a third of the way into the second piece the hi-hats tip over into woodblocks and rim-shots. Towards the end they trickle out just leaving the dynamic stasis of the organ figures worming into your consciousness.


Map 71

Map71

So Map71. A real drummer and one poet. Lisa Jayne, slight, static, book of words glanced at, pages thumb flicked occasionally. Andy Pyne a perpetual movement machine, elbows, knees, sticks, head, feet. The first track is drums and words alone, a circular patter around the kit, around the kit, around the kit. Anti-noise. The second is an older song. Starting with a cheap synthesiser riff before Andy and Lisa kick in. The electronic insistence rises during the song. The third song starts like “Summer breeze” closed hi-hats in threes, uneasy words. The fourth song is new I think too, starting with a staggered snare pattern “freak radar collision” Lisa’s word come at you in obsessional bursts. Every few bars everything stutters. Another new song follows, slight piano echoes, brushes occasional Kick yr ass drum. Lisa less declamatory than usual. The rhythm is still in her voice. Back with the favourites “controversial dance moves should not be attempted” buzz bass, half speed drums. A song about shopping. Hah. Lisa speaks between songs, I think this is a new thing. They still are the most charismatic act to grace the GDS stage. The final song is a tightly wound arpeggio that takes an age before the drums kick in. The tension mounts constantly, even when parts drop out. Insistence.