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 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
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
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 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.