The Summer breaks

September 2022
The Rossi Bar

Standing in for Ingrid Plum at a few days’ notice we had Electric Ape, a longstanding audience member and a member of the [beep] group as well as starting his own Kosmische night, I find it hard to believe Simon hasn’t played for us before.

Set up on the stage floor with his modular synth angled up before him with a tidy tray of effects next to him he started off with a lovely unfolding set of drones. Slow chimes, breaths, the occasional wood block. Then there was a subtle shift into almost Martin Denny territory, very exotic mid-tempo percussion, overtaken by an electric hihat and booming bass, a little piano chord here or there and a very eighties sounding string synth. Nice. The next piece is almost all percussion, up-tempo, rim shot, hi tom, shaker, maybe more Afrodesia, if we’re still talking Denny, a wind gets up and a little sonic LFO activity on it, whirling through the slight shift in percussive balance. I can hear what sounds almost like Matt Johnson muttering in the background. The percussion shifts again. Building intensity with little snare roll, then its a drop,  and an end. Theresa little gap for applause. Then a boinging bass drum, hyperactive rattly hi hat, more speedy high toms, woodblock. A little gentle interlude of soft piano, then it’s back into the rhythm, then the interlude again, then a  little unison, and the rhythm thins out, and goes, the interlude takes us to a slow down into the delay tunnel of resonance.

Shit Creek is next, a warm drone from the keyboard starts, soon to be enveloped by a long note off his violin fed into a looper, they slowly rotate around each other; you can feel the beating and modulation in them, rasps and gurgles form and bubble. Some shimmers slowly emerge, what sounds like the Shangri Las “oooohhh”ing in the next basement, it’s all indistinct and revolves very slowly, blissfully, a slight warble of what could be feedback subtly swans about. It’s all very subtle, enveloping, not a lot seems to be happening even though Lewis is very busy behind his bits and pieces, it’s blissful. Marvellous.

In contrast to the apparent near stasis of Shit Creek, we have the hyperactivity of Yes Indeed. My best description of them was “like two seven year old musical prodigies trying to reconstruct ‘Yessongs’ from a single listen”. I still think that’s reasonable. They have a backing track, and play bass guitar, keyboards, and other things over it. Starting with singing distantly off mic and electric piano. It veers between very structured and completely freeform in a quite erratic manner. There’s headbanging and duck calls. Moments sound like Tuxedomoon, then space chords offset by honking, nicely rounded bass runs. Fat organ chords butt up against lead fuzz bass and twinkling lead piano. Is that a kazoo? Remarkable, haven’t seen anything quite that off the wall in a while.