That last Scope

January 2016
The Scope XVIII

I think it was a good one to end on, we’ve had a good run up here at The Caroline of Brunswick and put on a lot of rare stuff we wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Thanks to Dan Powell for playing at so many of them.

Baby

Baby Baby was depleted even beyond the trio we were expecting, Adam Bushell turned up, set up his Vibraphone and drums, slept for an hour and then had to go home poorly. So we were left with Alfie on Double bass and Will on guitar and flute. I’d not seen Alfie before. He started with some plucked figures with Will interjecting on screwed up acoustic guitar, before switching to longer bowed figures and Will switching to flute, with some interesting overtones, switching between lower tones and almost feedback sonorities Alfie tapping the bass body in lieu of Adam, before dropping back to Will on the guitar chords and Alfie back off the bow. Before finishing strongly on long flute tones and bass rumble.


Andrew Greaves vs. the Electrocreche

Andrew Greaves vs the Electrocreche
The electrocreche was already set up playing through Andrew Greaves’ mixer in preparation for his set, where he would process it through a couple of monotribes (mmmm, a fetching pink number with enhanced Valvery) and add some Casio and some recordings from the bar downstairs. It slid in more or less seamlessly, the toy guitar feedback and cheap Yamaha synth merging with static cassette hi-hat staggers manufactured on the fly. Structure gradually emerging from the chaos as people rotated through the crèche toys and Andrew’s processing picked out different elements and manipulated them. Rhythmic patterns, pseudo sequences, bass lines. It was quite odd, you would be playing something on say the kids guitar and switch from one end of the neck to the other or drop off the overdrive and nothing you could immediately put your finger on would change, but the sounds would shift in quality but if you tried to make it a conscious thing – not a hope. In many ways this was the success of the evening as it seemed quite unlikely that it would work beyond being an interesting idea – everything else was a cert! It all finished with a percussive rhythmic part and the bar voices coming back in full strength, the guitar left unattended holding down some keys on the Yamaha.


The Static Memories with Will Miles

The Static Memories with Will Miles
Third was The Static Memories with Will Miles. Dan on electronics, Gus on double bass and effects, although pretty light on them generally and Will playing guitar. Lots of listening, sliding and pointillist punctuation. Odd notes, spaces, slurs of shimmery bees, unworldy string groans. Gus playing against what he’d been doing in his recent solo sets. Sparing and searing in his astringency. Dan almost like Roger Turner in the intensity of his staring at the other players. In musical terms what? Swatches of sounds often overlapping, textured but never dense, never a feeling of layering up loops or ribald noisery. Will scratching or pasting a staccato strum or bell like string pluck onto the process, redirecting things, almost bringing them to a halt at times before something else beckoned.


Fernando Perales

The Static Memories with Will Miles
Fernando Perales was on his second appearance at The Spirit of Gravity and it was nice to see him in the more intimate settings of the scope where you could see what he was up to with the guitar. He was actually travelling with just a guitar neck, but had borrowed a full body for the evening, flat on the table with effects arrayed around it and some bits and pieces for later use scattered about, for p[lucking, filing and layering around. He first worked out the spaces the un-tuned guitar afforded, how much rumble, wash and twang it would give up. So we worked around some drones initially, the edge of feedback, before clanging out some church bell chimes and getting some things into the strings and bridge and getting some resonant tubewheel scraping on. Unfolding from there through some warm space hiss into a gorgeous slow motion music box, which morphed into a windstorm flapping electronic noise and pulsing out into Moonlight Serenade.


The Baby feast begins

January 2016
Green Door Store

Goitt

Goitt Jack starts his set off with some statement making monster bass blasts. They really make full use of the Green Door Store’s extended bass frequencies, they’re slow and powerful and he builds up some other regular noises in there before picking up his saxophone and letting it rip into his effects chain. There’s some pretty heavy distortion in there and his playing pretty quickly builds in intensity, with the bass blasts getting twisted with pitch bends before it falls away and starts building again around a more complex sequence. I think he could barely talk for a while after the end of that, he looked completely blown out.


Komuso

Komuso Komuso (Derek and Cliff) are joined on stage by Der Rompf (Robert and Stephen). Starting slow, grit and warble with e-bowed guitar sliding in. A big metal sheet propped up against one of the GDS oil drum tables and electronic drums rattle in a Martin Denny-esque exotic patter, curling the guitar off into arabesques before fading out into noise and space whorls. Cliff has an interesting approach to the electronic drums, scraping around the edge and beating the limits rather than time. It builds again before sliding down to a quiet keyboard figure before some bassy growling gets them in the mood for proper metal bashing beats and space beeps to out.


Baby

Baby Baby start warble and growl; cornet against cello with vibraphone bell and scrape before it starts to get a bit ominous with some choral decay before will gets onto the acoustic guitar and thinks get into more spacious territory, Alice’s cello dropping to strummed bass figures, odd Vibe tones, stroke of drum and slow cornet or Korg from Al, before Will suddenly stands and switches to flute which picks thing up, Adam beating cymbals, Will circling, the synth toning and Alice harsh jars on the bass strings with a moment of suspension with Al’s effects suspended lighter than air before the cello drones in all scare and we spiral out to nothing. The second piece starts with scrapes and whispers against scurried string plucks, before flute drones in underneath and the Korg does a detuned space warble under vibes and voices and isolated short flute flurries before we do an odd revisit to Denny but in a somewhat more ribald fashion


See Agata’s Flickr collection of photographs of the show at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agataurbaniak/albums/72157663258629026


A spring in the step

April 2014

Pale Graphs

Pale GraphsPale Graphs were originally intending to have visuals and for the soundcheck they did, unfortunately circumstances put paid to anyone other than me, Steve who does the electrocreche and Matt the soundman seeing it (it was good, too). Slightly diminished, Pale Graphs did his actual set single handed bathed only in red and green light rather than the digital goodness. His set more than made up for it though, stepping up a couple of notches: detuned basses, switching beeps and full speed skittering rhythms.


Baby

BabyBaby was Will on Flute and guitar joined on this occasion by Adam Bushell on vibes and percussion. Adam had the motor going on the vibes for maximum tremolo space effect, before bowing the end of the blocks to get some eerie sound. Will started on flute before switching to acoustic guitar. There was plenty of space and plenty of listening and subtle interplay between Adam and Wills guitar harmonics. The vibes were surprisingly loud.


TCH and Mytrip

TCH and MytripTCH played as a duo with Mytrip, an Italian noise artist, Tim starting bluesy flourishes on his acoustic while Angel has some droning tones. Tim switches round to electric guitar generating some noise and building towards a monster doom drone through a shedload of effects before biting into a wall of harsh noise and letting it hang before switching back to acoustic for the subdued tail. Although they were in the middle of a tour together this was their first actual collaboration and it worked really well.