Spin ‘Em Enthralled

October 2021
The Rossi Bar

So we start the evening with Dan Powell with his mic’d up tray of objects, and eschewing his Raspberry Pi for a shiny new laptop for processing. I couldn’t quite see what he was up to a lot of the time, occasionally is hands moving around through gaps between things. Or picking up something to bong on it. Starting with some scrapes and tones, big reverbs that have note-ish resonances, there are some beautiful space wobbles and synthy warbles that come through over the scrapes and chimes. Some seem sourced from clashes or clatters from his small bits and bobs, transformed by his Max MSP patches out into otherworldly oscillations.  It all actually feels oddly unhinged, detuned, deranged – but calm, relaxed even. Interestingly not “right” in the best possible way. Ambient but not in that stoner vibe fashion. There are times it reminds me of the electronics in “Outer space with sounds”, primal but not brutish, something from the deepest unconscious of electronics. Properly unnerving.


Superficially rocking a similar setup to Dan, we had Nil By Nose with a cookie tin, mic’d up mat and small synth in a tiny box, it’s a very different output, fed through with a tonal line of feedback and distortion we come from a much more confined acoustic space. Thicker and more claustrophobic. Looping percussive clacks and ruler thrums, bringing in traffic from the upstairs street. Although it’s not a looper, it’s a very slowly decaying delay. At one point our masked hero bashes and shakes the tin onto the mat bashing out a rhythm that runs for a few bars, then a flurry of conversation, mangled up with intertwining repetitions, the feedback turned into a windy howl. Distorted thumb piano crushes play compression tricks on the whine. It sounds like someone shuffling office furniture.
Rounding off the evening we had The Founders as This Sound Bureaucracy with their not entirely reliable history of the spirit of gravity. Tony running his usual looping set up, nice circular washes with a rhythm of ball bearings falling down a glass staircase – we had Nick slowly letting us know he was going to be verbalising this evening. He started the set taping a slogan onto the front of the box/table Tony’s kit was set up on, there’s a shift in rhythm and Nick starts his historical tale. This probably the best sound I’ve heard from tony, its driving, Nick sync’d up, pauses working right, changes right in place. My introduction got a nice distorted launch. As Nick gets properly into the Free Butt years, Tony winds down the rhythms and transmutes into a staggering noise pulse “we were fields, all fields” getting its usual appreciative reception. Tony gears everything back up, only thicker and noisier. Sirens. “Stand aside Nietzsche”. Then as a bonus, we get “The Manifesto Of Experiential Music”, proclaimed over laser jabs, raucous trills, noise bolts and general horrible noises. I’ve never managed to work out if Rilke was taking the piss with this manifesto, its accurate to the point of mockery. Tony finishes off the evening with a turgid, lumbering, detuned rollicking rhythm of noise and destruction. While Nick finishes off his tapework in the inevitable fashion.
This was the first time we’ve had visuals from midi_error, which was a real improvement, the screen was a bit cobbled together – it will be better in November, but the visuals were great, from filtered landscapes to static straggling lines.