Getting the breaks before the sweats

June 2014

Haz ‘n’ Daz

Haz 'n' DazHazanDaz (Howard Spencer and Dan Powell) came out with nylon tracksuits and a quick blast on a whistle, and sat down at a table on the floor like a couple of school kids. Howard had his old wasp, recorder and some small devices and Dan had his laptop and a collection of small things. I was expecting some world cup related daftness, but what we got was some nice chirrups and drones. I could hear the occasional football commentator, and some samples of recorder to echo Howards. So not daft, but enjoyable. The world cup all seems so long ago now. The bane of topicality.


Meatbreak

MeatbreakMeatbreak was somewhat noisier, much denser affair than the footy chaps. Although it slides in unobtrusively with some rumbling bass drones before layering some weird trebles and squelches and then some industrial throb beefed up with distorted pulses of distorted bass drum ending with some space squelch.


Sarah Angliss

Sarah Angliss“Some old stuff, some new stuff and some extemporisation” said Sarah Angliss at the beginning of her set and that pretty much sums it up. She had a new modular synth set up stage front, which although she had to teeter on the edge of the stage to get to it, added some noise and random elements. The carillon, recorder, Hugo and (for the first time in an age) the Crow, were all present along with some penetrating bass and sweeping space noises. So, kind of Sarah Angliss in a spookier, squelchier, slightly more abstract 12 inch form.


The best excuse for being late to a sound check, ever

Something of a milestone in February, the Spirit of Gravity is dragged away from the usual geeks for a female-only show.

Embla Quickbeam

Embla Quickbeam did manage to get started at a sensible time, rather than far too early, and she rewarded us with a lovely humming set of freakish field recordings, ghostly sonar pings, bell peals from lost churches, and visiting drones from the other side. Apparently this set was decided on at the last minute as she’d been working on something new, but had suffered catastrophic system failures during the afternoon. Which was made up by finding a gorgeous clothbound copy of FC Judd’s book on electronic music. And still managing a blinding set.

Bela Emerson and Carolina Diaz

After a quick turnaround we had the debut of a new collaboration between Bela Emerson on Cello and Carolina Diaz,a Butoh dancer. The processed cello progresses from warm friendly tones to almost astringent modernity, while Carolina reversed herself in front of a low table and slowly formed a series of starkly disquieting shapes, the whole thing was mesmerisingly beautiful to watch and listen to, completely involving and quite beyond my ability to describe. A well realised collaborating improvisation between two artists working very differently – Bela’s eyes never left Carolina during the whole performance.

Sarah Angliss

Sarah Angliss I find slightly more within my linguistic ability. She set up with her famous Theremin stage centre, Hugo the robot boy up to the left, laptop, carillon and keyboard to the right with brand new robot drummer Wolfgang (the only electronic drummer called Wolfgang playing in the UK that night [take THAT Mr Flür ]). She started off using the Theremin as a controller for filtering vocals off the laptop – a sort of reverse vocoder. And it kind of goes from there – it’s a set of songs, using unusual techniques and instrumentation, a couple of favourites from Space Dog (“The Submariner” and “The Lankey” in a rather developed form) its another visit to the spooky side, with Sarah’s Fortean interests to the fore.