Caught up

May 2024
The Rossi Bar

I O M starts his set with a pulsating rattling over-reverbed drum, like Stomp playing at the end of a long tunnel, a long washed out synth drone drives over it, hissing and echoing. Occasionally everything falls away leaving a gentle sine wavy pulse, the ghost of the drumming beat, but it all comes back again. The next track starts with a much slower lopsided elliptical rhythm with drums on one extremity and a monstrous buzzing bass on the other. And endlessly delayed stabbing riff provides melodic interest before getting lost in more delay. Somewhere in the middle of this track it all gets lost in a swirling turmoil of echo feedback before the riff returns and is lost again and again. The third starts with a slow attack bass one note bassline, some muttering from Iker and an old style industrial rhythm that ups the tempo again. A shout into distortion and reverb by way of a breakdown and then back to the groove. Then a breakdown to a staggering staccato squeal, set against a pinging hammered metal sound are set against the bassline. The drums don’t seem to quite come back. Everything circles itself swirling round delays , pinging, bass pulse, delays, pinging delays, delays… The next kicks off like vintage Mark Stewart and the Maffia, vast bass, big distorted beats at about 130bpm, a right groove. Indistinct vocals lost in delay and gurgling. The vocals drop an the snare just keeps getting bigger and more distorted, a machine whirr comes along. A slow down again a different groove with syncopated percussion, floating alongside the washes of hiss. The washes overrun, warping beeps and squeaks integrate of the bass, a noisier Masters At Work. Its time for the bass to go all distinct in reverb now. There are drums here and there that coalesce into a beat after a while. The npoise ramps up behind the beat, layers of distortion, siren and growling, drop and build again – nastier. The final song is another vocal one, something like trance swamped in reverb and racket, with I???? growling over the top.

Second up was Faex Optim, the Scots filling in a tasty London sandwich, it’s a name most accurately pronounced phonetically in a very cod Scots accent. Starting with a boing-y bass drum, toy piano note offbeat, joined by arpeggios and female voice washes, and interesting beats, a cleansing refreshment devoid of distortion to clear the mind. The second has a one note piano / synth line modulating in and out of attention, joined by a bassline of equal seeming simplicity that reveals surreptitious shifts, the shuffling snare & cymbals rattle for alternate bars, giving a slight stagger to the rhythm, a stringy pad heralds a drop with a quiet single line from a voice and then back with an ecstatic lead line lost in reverb. The third starts with a radio voice, minor piano chords filtered and slightly warped. A slow windy chugging builds then a fat bassline drops with the beats. The beats and bass disappear leaving entwining lines of piano, washed out chords hanging in space for a seeming age before the rhythm bounces back in. the next starts with a toppy bass slowly ascending, before a deceptive bass drum and clicky cash-register snare come in, another submerged female vocals hidden amongst the circling keyboard parts. We get Wes to turn up the volume a light amount and we’re back with a fat droning bass line that warps into a buzz as the kettle rattle drums start, there’s an ascending piano part that heralds a sudden suspenseful pause before restarting again. The drums drop and the piano part continues out into reverby space to end, then we’re into a murky lo fi organ for the final track, this is underpinned by a razor sharp string sound swooping again from space for a cavernous bass / bass drum a hesitant synth part attracts attention so that a pinging space echo line can weave away. The drums lose clarity at the top ends for a new hi-hat line to come in, the space echo drops down into a lower register, developing into the new bassline. And it all rides out on a repeating piano motif.

I only gave you Faex Optim’s pronunciation so that I could tease you by saying your guesses at pronouncing Kinga Janicka will be wrong, the Polish “c” at the end is something quite wild. You’ll need help. Any they start with a cloudy whirring delay feedback, soon joined by a harsh ticking hi-hat & syncopated heavily reverbed bass drum that kicks like fury. Kinga rides this groove for a while, with some gentle tweaking to the noises before a running train grind comes in and the bass drum morphs around. More rhythm detail before an decayed orchestral stab offbeat and cowbell and space laser pulses join in, the balance is constantly shifting the noisy murk has separated out into its constituent parts. Threes a doubling up of the bass drum, scraping one of the noises has a definite squelch to it now, then after some scraping gets proper acidy. The erst of the noises blast one, the energy levels pick up a bit more as the bassline switches and the hi-hats drop to a more conventional line, the acid squelch drops and another bass moves in to work with it, a fierce top line heralds the breakdown. It blasts back with a four to the floor bass drum before the other percussions starts to twist around it. Energy levels are up around Automouse’s from last month, but without the overriding distortion. More rhythmic parts come in, the kick gets more complex again and the pressure starts to build again. Another drop to a bass drum, then a machine grinding groove motors off with suburban doorbell beeps  and rubber band thrums giving energy and a drop down to a passing train and farm machine, and a nasty cymbal synth beat distortion to something else brings in a wall of reverb that seems built around a bass drum.  The wind is up to gale strength, the bass drum is lost a a sound like rave stabs from 3 warehouses across joins in, clarifying until you’ re in the room in with it and then it modulates off into a synth riff, and rattly percussion  starts up and the stabs are back. Slowly bit crushed to grit. A gated swooping rusting screech adds Morse dots, everything seems to degrade at this point, filth. The bass drum has slowly got more distorted and reverbed as it drops and comes jumping back. All the lines continue to morph around each other getting increasingly delirious as they go.  Theres a brief period where things start to sound more normal before a dusty, bitty synth line starts. The bass drum starts skipping the occasional beat to add tension, syncing squelching synths push everything along as the rhythm falls apart, pitches rise and tweak, new notes added to existing lines, parts dropping out to return inverted or stuttered, the sound seems more stripped back, but staggering, resonance maxing out, the bass has somehow slowly risen back into consciousness on the 16ths speeding away, and then down to a bending twisting maelstrom lost in reverb and grit and murk.