Motionless on the Roman underground

October 2016
Green Door Store

Steve Gisby

Steve Gisby

Steve Gisby introduces his set as an iterative set based on a sample from the London Underground. He explains the process in a bit more detail actually (you can read an online version here) it starts as a short repeating block of agreeable but white noise that opens out into what’s recognisable as a tube announcement looping, as we listen more layers come in, there’s one layer that has the rhythm of a train passing over points – but I’m pretty sure just that rhythm is a part of the process rather than anything particular for this evening. It quickly reaches a level of almost stasis, where you start to get sucked into details – the announcement loop shortens until the recognisable voice elements are gone and it sounds like a snare drum with the snare itself dropped bashing away. A wheel squeak whine comes slowly up out of the clatter which becomes chopped into another layer of two noted rhythm, things have fallen imperceptibly away, the noise elements shifting into tonal qualities and then the chop comes in to slice things up into a gated beat to close. Its almost syncopated.


You&TH

You&TH

Another set that starts with an introduction – I do like artists who communicate. Maria Marzaoli starts her set with “Fenesta ca lucive” a piece she did at Infrasection, Its an old song written for an old style Tenor, but her version is outstanding. She starts with field recordings from an Italian street, bells, footsteps and her voice low in the mix thin and plaintive.
The scene shifts to a café, someone else is singing and a family gathers while she starts to play her violin back against a previous version on the backing track. I seriously want to cry. Beautiful stuff. The piece finishes with sounds like a fishing trip while Maria sings again.
Her second piece is really empty a field recording of what sounds like a pretty intensely hot midday while she scratches out some unpleasant creaking loops of violin bow noise. Occasionally a squeak or a flurry of clean notes, a playground swing, distant bark. I feel creeped out fearing a zombie attack in a spaghetti western set. The final piece is based around a recording of the beach, Maria reciting verse too quietly for me to discern, she wrenches even more unpleasant sounds from her violin for this one – a base metal drum being hauled over concrete, plucked notes, delayed, train whistles, parched.
Before ending on a repeated lyrical thread that builds to a climax for the end.


The Static Memories with Al Strachan

Map71

Gus Garside starts the Static Memories set with some strokes of his bow across the double bass through the effects to through us off our track.
Alistair Strachan breathes through his cornet into a double effects chain and Dan Powell gets some unplaceable whirrs. For the three of them this may be an even Quieter and emptier set than Maria’s. sounds come and go, digital warbles, distant taps and clanks odd lengthy notes from the other side of space. Occasionally something of a melancholy tune escapes from Al and spreads itself gently through the sound stage. Gus may gently remind of his instruments range and dexterity, or Dan take some stately ascent into hyperspace. One of the oddest moments comes with Gus singing into god-knows-what effect that chirrups his voice into unintelligible electronic burblings. There is little in the way of melodic content, but the confluence of sounds between the three of them (or any two as often one will sit out) can conjure wonderful images. There is a rhythm at one stage. Drum machined, simple, flanged into some kind of muffled shimmer. It’s another rather lovely set.


Keep it simple II – August 2012

So August was Al Strachan, another return for Gagarin this time with Mark Beaseley as Low Bias and The Mothers of The Third Reich