That’s not the sort of thing I normally come here for

November 2017
Green Door Store

I’m Dr Buoyant

I'm Dr Buoyant

I’m Dr Buoyant kicks off the evening sharpish, set up at the side of the stage. He starts in with an uncanny wind, voices lost in the northerlies. It’s frankly terrifying. There are hints of tonalities before razor sharp his edges in to unbalance things for a while. The second piece starts with some modernist string loops on a nicely dissonant figure. This is augmented by some kind of gated phased wash, we get into some serious repetition, displaced slightly by the return of the harsh whine. Everything leaves us apart from the stabs, slowly getting more distorted. The third starts with a murmured conversation heard through a monastery corridor and two oaken doors, it loops and gets caught up in an echo of Tuxedomoon, before being belaboured by that distortion again. The parts circle around each other getting confused & harder to distinguish. Then a jet engine comes along with its orchestra and plays merry havoc and it ends.


Ahtuf Kontrol

Ahtuf Kontrol

Shortly thereafter we have Ahtuf Kontrol, starting with small clean guitar figures and some serious, if occasional bass ramps. They are lacking a dancer, and the trumpet player from the last time they played, but have gained a laptop to go alongside the keys. The bass is joined by sparkles of tones, odd detuning swoops and cascades forming a vast space music. At some stage the bass switches to drone and an odd sequence starts up and we get into some kind of dark Side of the Moon territory. But the rhythm keeps ambushing us with stops and starts, while someone gets messing about on the delays… We switch out of the big sounds for some high synth washes and get back to the pinging guitar and celestial chimes. After that brief respite a one note tonal bass steps up and brings some electric piano and more space (soundwise this time) things happen, then stop happening. What there is detunes, filters and sweeps away. Returns and gets tangled with a flurry of up the neck guitar strangling and we’re back into space for the final segment which hovers somewhere between Tangerine Dream and The Radiophonic Workshop.


The Diamond Family Archive

The Diamond Family Archive

The Diamond Family Archive all the way up from Devon, not your usual Spirit of Gravity setup, acoustic guitar, drums, hurdy-gurdy, zither. Hidden away are a couple of keyboards and enough effects pedals to keep us happy. We start with a drone, equal parts Casio, guitar, and well, everything really, the drums roll around beaten rather than sticked. Somewhere I’m sure is a buddha box, a scratchy bowed figure is slowly eked out of the murk on the guitar, the drone takes on a bit of a swirl and the guitar goes all Henry Flynt before everything drops away for some singing. Both of them sing. For a while. Then everything comes back slightly different. The guitar gets scratchy and starts to shred a bit sitting on the verge of feedback, a bowed violin loop gives a hint of Cale and the drums get a bit of exercise. And then it drops again for a lengthy bit of call and response over abstract drums and hit string loops, with rattles and bass string buzzes. The second song is called blackbird. It starts with cymbal washes and wiped guitar string loops. The Casio drone is a bit more prominent on this song. At least at first. Some really articulate guitar flourishes get into odd loops while one of them plays the harmonica. More singing! More harmonica! What’s going on. Straight into the final song, that’s what. The drone carries through. An odd funeral rhythm is started and a think modulated unregulated synth sound comes through. A sitar like strike of the string and short burst of guitar feedback are added to the loop. The guitarist rides the feedback with a tremolo for a while. They end singing about horses over soft beater rolls around the toms and the guitar feedback loops. Bloody marvellous.


Motherbox

Motherbox

The Diamond Family Archive all the way up from Devon, not your usual Spirit of Gravity setup, acoustic guitar, drums, hurdy-gurdy, zither. Hidden away are a couple of keyboards and enough effects pedals to keep us happy. We start with a drone, equal parts Casio, guitar, and well, everything really, the drums roll around beaten rather than sticked. Somewhere I’m sure is a buddha box, a scratchy bowed figure is slowly eked out of the murk on the guitar, the drone takes on a bit of a swirl and the guitar goes all Henry Flynt before everything drops away for some singing. Both of them sing. For a while. Then everything comes back slightly different. The guitar gets scratchy and starts to shred a bit sitting on the verge of feedback, a bowed violin loop gives a hint of Cale and the drums get a bit of exercise. And then it drops again for a lengthy bit of call and response over abstract drums and hit string loops, with rattles and bass string buzzes. The second song is called blackbird. It starts with cymbal washes and wiped guitar string loops. The Casio drone is a bit more prominent on this song. At least at first. Some really articulate guitar flourishes get into odd loops while one of them plays the harmonica. More singing! More harmonica! What’s going on. Straight into the final song, that’s what. The drone carries through. An odd funeral rhythm is started and a think modulated unregulated synth sound comes through. A sitar like strike of the string and short burst of guitar feedback are added to the loop. The guitarist rides the feedback with a tremolo for a while. They end singing about horses over soft beater rolls around the toms and the guitar feedback loops. Bloody marvellous.


We interrupted this transmission from outer space

August 2016
Green Door Store

Ahtuf Kontrol

Ahtuf Kontrol

Mike Turner-Lee – dance
Seb Turner-Lee – guitar
Mickey Ball – trumpet
and Patrick Turner-Lee – dangerous wires
It starts with Seb and Mickey seated across the back of the stage, Patrick’s silver hair bobbing up and down behind his Juno. Shiny slow notes chime out from guitar while the heavily effected trumpet and keyboard wind slowly out and Mike starts to move from centre stage opening himself up onto the floor in front. Patrick’s shiny radiophonic tones set the backing for a lead trumpet line with odd echoes on the guitar. It shifts into some harpsichord patterns before setting for some properly unsettling synth action, a buzzing with decaying drones falling around it before the guitar comes to lift it back into space music. A deceptively nicely structured piece.


MSV FCK

MSV FCK

Matty – Drum machine. synths, samples and noises
Lee – Guitar, voice, synths, samples and noises
Jason – Drum machine, synths, samples and noises
Sonically it’s hard to turn that description of line-up into anything sonic, it’s hard to differentiate the individuals in the way that live music sometimes is (belying that this is their first show). Everything sounds electronic, the drums are often distorted, or seem to be doubled. Things come and go and sometimes not even voluntarily. There’s some nicely deranged lead lines, all micro-tuned and confusingly pinched, some expansive bass tones and engagingly oddly syncopated rhythm parts. They occasionally settle into something like the groove of a daddy longlegs missing a couple of limbs, a bit lurching but effectively getting somewhere. considering what they do, its impressive how they manage to keep the spaces and sense of structure as they evolve through their set.


Memorial Bench

Memorial Bench

Ollie seems to inherit a land on the edges of drone, drone-ish, but far too quickly moving, taking us beyond the finely detailed Aqua Dentata of last month into a strangely liminal region where we have density and lightness, stasis and yet a plethora of tonal qualities that change at an incredible rate. There are hisses, throbs, organ piping, space peeps, boops and all sorts all whirling about in a dreamlike charm. there are hints of rhythm and even a vague sense of some melody just beyond discerning. After the exciting start, it settles down into what sounds almost like a field recording on alien world, much thinner, buzzes, squeaks, rattles with underlying alien washes, un-water liquid bubbles foaming unpleasantly. Ollie seems to have loosened up by this stage, the density and kineticism of the first third of the set is gone, we still have constant and relatively fast moving change but over fewer layers and it’s a little more languid, as if made in a parallel universe where Edgar Froese was a Martian.