Clubs, Spades, Diamonds and that sweaty puddle

September 2019

The Rossi Bar

Ræppen

Three touring acts this week, no locals. First up is the ever touring Tim Holehouse reprising his Ræppen (dis)guise. He has the fewest number of pedals that I think I’ve ever seen him play with. The core of his set is the looper pedal and the first thing he feeds in are the stones from Brighton beach he’s been using since the first appearance of the hooded shaman back at The Green Door Store. That reverbs away in a stately fashion, he has some new bones which he adds as a subtle rattle-y layer around that. Over this he adds some breath layers, followed by the first layer of throat singing gurgle. There’s some whistling in there and the overtones build up quite a complex set of lines, wind, vocal, unhuman, grind. Creepy. At some stage it enters a timeless space, while still evolving and imperceptibly building, until it erupts with bass-y, throaty gurgles and drops down to monkish chants. At which point it sets off on another journey, this one unfolding even more slowly. It sounds like there is a cow horn muting away at some distance – I don’t remember seeing that, but I swear it’s there. This second section has a much bigger sense of dread as it builds, creepier bass vocalisations underlying the whole thing and the percussion parts are more urgent and elliptical. This tie it builds to some sustained roaring. 


Connect_icut

Second act is ex Brighton resident now living in Canada, Connect_icut. This set is built around a crowdfunded Raspberry Pi based sampler that overloads fairly easily and starts to glitch, so Sam gets on that and just rides the glitches improvising around them. So it starts with a fairly eldritch black dog growl on a cycle with a clicking rhythm. There is some distorted sound that seems to step between notes that buzzes around this like an angry tonal fly. It’s another set that unfolds quite slowly. Odd sounds, very odd some of them, washes that judder, drones that on investigation a granular as hell, a bass drone that could be a dozen notes played at hyper speeds. This in particular seems to fork, one side to a bass line the other a complex riff of high notes played in time with it. It’s a drone piece with an incredible amount of detail and barely a sniff of delay. It decays from this drone into a staccato stereo gated pinging with lovely organic wash and emergent Bulgarian singing. The final section moves away from the drones and becomes almost completely abstract. The voices bouncing off stray thin stabs or vast swirls, or silence, or dentist’s space drill, or falling organ.


Rosebud

The final act is a duo from Worcester “The Provincial Midlands”, Rosebud, touring with Tim.  Starting with a siren and spoken introduction, eventually the air-horns kick in like some particularly nightmarish rave, but it still hangs on, on the cusp of starting properly. Tension. Mounts. Hysteria, More shouting, more layers of Rave Alarm. Eventually it comes in at about 120bpm, but still we have more hysterical levels to climb. At some stage the singer stakes his place in the audience, dripping, and sweatily masked. A bassline provides some relief from the endless building and you feel like it’s actually started. A squelch comes up against the pure bass and the momentum seems to just start building from there, the bass mutates into a sawtooth. And at the point of delirium, we drop down to a slooow heartbeat sub bass plod, with a detuned steel drum sound stalking around it. While the declaimer keeps up his commentary. A beat comes around that an de unfold into a breakdown of delay and sparse clatter. A bass wash comes in wipes that all out then a higher temper rhythm comes tick-tacking in the bass subdues as the rhythm track fills out into a really interesting beat. This totally turns into a rhythm workout with multiple bass drums, creaks, whirrs and whistles. There’s a terrific breakdown towards the end where just have the trebly elements working away. Bloody marvellous.


… and it all started out so nice

July 2017
The Rose Hill

minimal impact

minimal impact

So, a little holiday from The Green Door Store, but we will be back there for this month. But it was a lovely trip out to The Rose Hill. Where Steve started with a remarkably bucolic start to a minimal impact set, with his Indian drone box and harmonium, slowly dredging up the trademark thickening that we’ve come to know and accept… weird wandering resonances, fuzzy tones warming imperceptibly, like a small guitar propped in a corner. About 5 minutes in its starting to sound like a normal, if slightly chilled, minimal impact set. Shortly thereafter the bass begins to kick in, heralding the start of proper density, the sound begins to properly thicken up, the sitar-y tones disappearing in the murk, as creepy judders, and hisses wash across the tonal base. By 10 minutes it’s properly intense, and just continues to build, peaking at about 18 minutes. At some point he starts spinning in 2 copies of “Metal Machine Music”, adding an unsettling note of familiarity, a little relaxation before the ending back with MMM overlaying the drone box.

To go with the holiday theme, Toby from the 55th Flotilla was kind enough to run the electrocreche for us this month, bringing in a fine array of properly mangled, way beyond merely bent, toys. Lovely.


Ræppen

Ræppen

Ræppen was next up, Tim becowled, with his Sami drum, looped some throat singing into a pedal, a fairly lengthy set of phrases, with some whistling and proper bass end notes. Over that the drum was rattled along with some more singing, before it faded out over some Brighton beach pebbles he’s been touring with for a few years, rattling and thumping on the stage floor. Again looped with sparse bells and chimes. Wind breaths add a chilling edge, before he brings in the throat singing as a top line this time -almost like an SH101 synth line wah-ing over the backing. Unhuman, and definitely uneasy stuff.


Far Rainbow

Far Rainbow

Third up we had Far Rainbow, Monster Bobby on noise making devices and Emily on drums and percussion, she has a great way around a drum kit, slipping between regular sticking and extended techniques and mousetraps. They start with the sound of the steppes again, wind and rattling bits and pieces, a bass pulse very slowly cycles underneath as Emily builds up work on the cymbals and it drops away to eeriness. An organ cycles in, it sounds Casio, with a slow vibrato, field recordings playback through cheap speakers, slowly rhythms emerge from the electronics, the drums comment on it without joining them, circling round the kit in the opposite direction. It hits peak treble before decaying to a tape loop of a diesel boat making little headway on the Norfolk Broads. It has a monstrous quality to it as it gurgles away the birds slowly coming to the fore as again Emily rattles distractingly on the kit. Slowly Bobby brings drones in and it cascades out in washes of pure reverb and drum, emptying down to gong and triangle.


Annie Kerr, Kev Moore and Gus Garside

Annie Kerr, Kev Moore and Gus Garside

And to round off the four acts of the evening we have Annie Kerr, Kev Moore and Gus Garside, on respectively violin & piano, electronic devices, double bass and words. Annie starts on violin, there is a general trebly hubbub of chirruping electronics, Gus and Annie sliding strings around, it’s slippery, elusive. Rather lovely. Sounds wash in and around, it falls out at one point to Gus bowing his bass endlessly with the side of the bow, strings resonating through his effects chain. Overtones and undertones sliding in and out, Kev and Annie conjure almost human voices to hum alongside it. And then Annie goes and picks out some notes on the piano at the side of the stage, small flourishes, space, more notes. Gus and Kev bring a tension under them as Annie gets stuck in leaning over the keyboard hammering a longer series of notes up and down the keyboard, then slowly falling away, picking out a few odd notes. The room is enthralled. From somewhere in the electronic murk it sounds like East Croydon announcements, Gus starts telling one of his stories, Annie punctuates his lines with hard notes. At the end of that Kev gets a feedback vocal tone going and this is matched by a high line from Annie, they circle each other before Gus brings in a lower bowed drone and Annie gets a bit more lyrical, slurring a single note for several minutes up and down the neck of the violin wringing some harshly melancholic tomes from it.


Punterland

May 2016
Green Door Store

Broken Star

Broken Star

For various reasons, I’m not doing things at this show, and when I arrive Andrew and Tom have just started the Broken Star set. They set up on the floor of the Green Door Store, so as not to occlude the slide-show of Toms photographs of London. Updated since they first did this show at The Komedia. Tom’s getting some pretty nasty textures from his e-bowed guitar while Andrew switches around between electric piano and organ arpeggios, he hasn’t been wasting the things he’s learnt on his recent shows based around exploring Terry Riley’s mid sixties pieces, there’s some nicely psychedelic work afoot in here, slowly unfolding melodies in strange keys.


Leaver

Leaver

Second up is Leaver, one of whom toured with Tim Holehouse last year and enjoyed his show with us so much he had to come back to Brighton and spend some more time here. They do short constructed but completely unnerving songs. There’s something very sinister, unsettling about them. They do enjoy the live ambience of the GDS though, Angel at one point fleeing his laptop on the stage to howl around the room.


Ræppen

Ræppen

While he’s doing that Ræppen has robed up and quietly set up to the side of the stage, as Leaver wind down, Tim starts rubbing beach stones together and getting his loops into shape, he starts the throat singing and things really start to get intense,there’s some chanting, and sudden drops each time buildng back to a dense storm of rich textured vocalese.


SQ feat KET

SQ feat KET

Finishing off the evening SQ feat KET clean the stage standing to each side, Thomas Bjelkeborn on the right, a Wii controller and laptop glitching the voices coming from Koray Tahiroglu’s visuals fed in from the left. Slurred, degraded video of an old Siberian mangled up by Bjelkborn’s software. Its very clean sounding and digital after the analogue murk of the rest of the evening, interesting how much space you can get into something so distorted and messed up.