Tag: En Creux

Here comes summer

September 2023
The Rossi Bar

Starting the evening off, Thon is set up onstage with his hand made hurdy-gurdy noise box, effects rack and a couple of other devices that were hidden behind the huge monitor he had displaying visuals to complement the visuals he had projected behind him. Bowing the string on the noise box get this monster drone started, which he then complemented with scratches at this or thrums of that, or something untoward on the hidden kit. The drone seems to constantly morph into human/unhuman screams. Occasionally it feels like a whip of feedback folds in, but the deep undertow of the bass is pretty much constant. Some kind of Godzilla footstep bass drum, reverbed and down-pitched to below sub bass thumps along. I had visualisations of a car accident in a desert, some kind of narrative conjured itself up. Everything starts to drift, the footsteps and unrelenting bass both fade away leaving a Star Trek shimmer from two bowed ruler like bits of metal on the noise box. A new drone is built around this, oscillating slowly with much higher frequency sounds, much more feedback driven. Eventually a shaky hi-hat style patter seeps in, and almost a bassline starts to undulate under the drones, sub bass, the drones growl and work with the bass, switching around, shifting the dynamics and it slowly drops down to a far choir, then a low organ buzz. A low organ buzz with a windy, church-ish ambience. He works again at the noise box, giving texture and scrape-y grain to the sounds and then a roar slowly envelopes everything and we’re done.

So Missing Music, a set up with two very old Apple Macintoshes, one plugged into the projector so everyone can follow what’s going on, which leads to a lot of murmuring throughout his set from certain sections of the audience. To be honest the details go over my head, but a great deal of trainspotting pleasure is obviously to be had. It’s a lovely set, very soundscape-y, spacious, expansive. A nice contrast to the density of Thon. Its starts with big tonal sounds, pure, floating and bending with radiophonic overtones. A staccato bass counterpoints what we’ll take as the melody line,  providing a little drive, to propel things along. Little bursts of notes give way to great slowed loud bell tones. I recognise a piano keyboard when it comes up and a flurry of piano notes runs around our heads. The slowly modulating line continues through. We get a half beat, something of drum and bass about it, staggering in the background it throws the top line into bright relief. Something of the cathedral about it until it slows down to proper bass. We get some glitching and sparkling, a rattle of delayed snare. And breathing. Space. The sound of space in my imagination epic and beautiful, the sound of Jupiter looming into view. A stepped note part gives way to a nice little arpeggio, still situated somewhere in the cold reaches of the outer solar system. And it runs for a nice little while before the sounds suddenly mutate and we get some glitch-y stutters, smeared sounds its suddenly all a bit MaxMSP, I’m not sure as it could have been on the other screen, but whatever it is giving it the improv-y edge it’s counterbalanced  by a nice slow LFO sweep working against it. A one note pulse heralds the end as it slowly unravels.

En Creux has a no input mixing desk setup; feedback loops through effect chains in and out of her onstage mixer, with no initial signal. Her set starts with a low hum which slowly moves to an undulating buzz. There’s some squelching from a delay that disappears quite quickly. Things can move quite quickly the feedback loops are inherently unstable, and we get a staccato of high pitched before a marvellous dotting bass erupts – superfast pulsing that imperceptibly slows, before she gets to interrupt it to get some rhythm, then a subby noisy wash of bass swamps in underneath it. En Creux is very much at the other end of the sonic spectrum to Toshi Nakamuras spectral treble. We do get some blistering mid ranges here though, it feels dangerous, the sub bass is still riding the room, but these switches of deliriously nasty noises wreak havoc with the senses. She can ride the havoc well, letting it rip on, with some really nicely detailed fine control. Eventually she reigns in the noise to a muffled stutter before dropping it altogether. She does some work on the bass for a while shifting it slightly, giving it a wobble, developing it into something raucous, then back again to something more tonal, dropping the buzz and letting it get wafted about by a delay pulse. This runs for a while and then she thickens it up, and allows it to branch off, one strand filtering out into a reverb-y buzz that slowly disappears, and we’re back to a buzzing vibrating pulse again. Then some squeaking, a dog’s toy. No idea where on earth that came from, but it sounds like it brought its dog with it. Then some nice feedback whistles, before its back to the bass and a machine clacking beat, which becomes everything, even crickets. She slows it, brings it back to speed, introduces new elements that add to it, before it winds down to a saw slowly hacking through a giant tree.