Tag: Gun Boiler

Before the chill

December 2022
The Rossi Bar

sThe evening started with Jake Smiths return this time as The Warped Love Group; starting with a bell and tube noises, a shimmery delay, a tonal siney, bass drops with a hint of an organ offbeat. Subtle sonic effects bubble away just drifting in and out of hearing. Is that a guitar strum, a voice, the delay modulates, the bassline mutates slightly. Are we on the second piece. Whistling, the sea. A full blown organ skank. A ticky tack rhythm track. The delay goes full on copycat tape delay and a stripped down new bassline and male vocal comes through. Two note clock organ. Repetition. But not repetition. Always evolving. Shifting. The bassline changes again, the organ only slightly. The rhythm track gets lost in shuffling ball bearings. We lose half the notes in the bassline, new voices. New bassline. Same shimmer. Stray percussion; slow actual drums. Ponderous. Actual singing from the computer. The organ skank is back. This bassline may be from Roots Radics. Everything drops and the last syllable from the vocal is stretched beyond recognition.  New bassline, a rhythm made of breath. Electric piano. A melodic part. A Rockers beat. A clocked snare, double up, a smear of a bassline. No snare. Electric piano, submerged by something that resolves into a two note snare. A vocal snatch from earlier. It builds like something off Dark Side of the Moon. Shiny. Ends on the bell.

Next Emma Papper’s new project with Jason Smart “A Day Trip to Europa”, Emma on laptop and Electronic Wind Synthesiser, Jason on words. Arpeggios start; with warped noises from the EWS swirling round it. There is something of the Space Age Bachelor Pad to the start, when flight was glamorous rather than a threat. Jason soothes as we set off. The second song is thicker more luxurious, the arpeggios muted, surrounding sonics slightly awry, unsettling. Weightless. The third starts with picked guitar, as Jason sings, we orbit Jupiter’s ocean moon. The next one is all drifting liquid. The next one continues like that but vocally goes all Solaris, but with fish. Jaunty guitar chords start the next singalong: “Who put the cosmos in my cocktail” I assume, it has a nice cosmic middle 8. The next track starts more disturbingly- random beeps. Seems to be about Euthanasia, a bossa nova beat referring back to that mid 90s lounge revival again, just adds another unnerving layer. The next one has picked guitar effected to almost harpsichord, and EWS spirals. Jason sings back to earth through bass burbles, swirls and twitters. Or he could be singing from the bottom of the European sea.

And the quite literally finishing us off is Chris midi_error in his Gun Boiler guise, promising us a set starting at 200bpm rising to 1200 at the end. He’s dressed up in a white mask and green spike wig, and in his garish shirt and jacket looks quite alarming. His set is surprisingly melodic and not as jarring as we may have anticipated. Staccato string stabs and superfast washes lull us into a false sense of security before the kick does come in along with the rattling snare, the drum rolls start turning into washes already: Chris has set out his stall. Submarine pings, I start laughing already. The drops to the kick just sound amazing. Some backwards stuff on the next breakdown. Its interesting enough to keep us distracted from what he’s doing. I assumed this would be brutal, and purely percussive, and although melody is going to be scarce it is surprisingly musical. I’m not going to describe each song individually, especially as get into abusing them with his Kaos pad. Sometimes they try and seduce us by pretending to be half speed, so we’re like “Oh, yeah?” before pow, in comes the bass drum again. I wish Wrong Music was still going at this point, this is made for the Volks. The second one has a sound like a hyperactive 7 year old bashing a 6” nail around the inside of a beer tankard. It does indeed get faster as we go, without getting furious or even dark. It’s fun. One track has a vocal sample, needless to say its incomprehensible and reduced to hypnotic percussion, he uses this as an excuse to do a slowdown. It doesn’t help us work out what it is. Is it like a frog in hot water, it seems normal. I can’t really process the differences in tempo now. By the final track the bass drums begin to blur into each other. The hi-hat’s a smear.

Some days you break it all

November 2019

The Rossi Bar

So the recordings I usually take are pretty much broken, so I’ll have to work on memory. I can tell you we had 3 cracking sets by the 3 artists playing.

Gun Boiler

First we had Gun Boiler. This was to have been a duo but ended up with just Chris midi_error playing a solo set, largely on odd home built devices, open circuits and some odd granny thing that made some funny noises. Chris had a mask that he was to don when he was happy with the sounds coming out of his kit. Happily, that happened quite quickly. Some fat bubbly synths, nice gargly drones. Short vocal loops through some odd filters. I remember things getting quite noisy at points. And some really nice sounding deep space tones.

Nuclear Whale

Nuclear Whale was second up playing probably the best set I’ve seen him play. Jonathan had a bit of a stripped down setup compared to the fine racks of synths he used to bring to the Green Door Store, but I think the lack of space on The Rossi Bar stage may have focussed his attention. Carrying on pretty much where Gun Boiler left off, he started with some nice tonal drones and space whooshes, developing into proper bass washes before a drum track starts. The drum parts were pretty abstract, at first getting more like a skittery wash of hi hats and snares as the set progressed.

Drill Folly

Finally we had Drill Folly, Sarah playing her first set at The Rossi Bar, and it was another good one as I may have mentioned. Her set completed the arc, much more rhythmic than the previous ones. Mostly slow, syncopated, spare. Proper bass. noises, noise forced into lurching form. There is still an urgency about what she does. It has modern dark overtones, sounding more rooted in the second decade culture of the 21st century than most of what we have at SoG. I can’t comment on her kit as it’s mostly in a case on the stage. I can see a controller, sound card, some big unit.