Tag: Karl M V Waugh

Monotron bridges

November 2023
The Rossi Bar

Cour’en start with laughter, and then whistling, slowly out of nothing a two note bassline starts to form,  drum machine follows, a fizzing distorted organ and Louise’s voice through loads of delay. Thoughts Collide, shouting “Broken!”, an organ solo. Brief. Back to words again and pitch bent organ and end. Some banter. The second song starts on an altogether more buzzing tip, they turned it up and the volume gives an energy to the bass. The organ this time is used for slicing punctuation. An evil guitar solo, feedback and screwdriver fuzz. Back again to words. Then everything stops into delay and guitar feedback “Wot-ot-ot-ot?”. Next one starts on bass drum, then a moodier bassline, less buzz. A spooky organ riff as it’s just after Halloween, the guitar played with an electric toothbrush this time. It drops down to drums and voice for the final voice and stop. The next one starts with an indistinct bass and strident rhythm. The bass suddenly bursts into a pinging acidy burble. The guitar on this one a filthy deep churn. Filtering synth, another one burbling. An exchange of heckling and a proper full throttle bouncing bassline, the vocals come in before the drums, “Who the fuck are you?”, a nice B52s fuzz organ riff. A guitar burst channelling Andy Gill then down to a bassline stomp to end. The last song starts with a rubber band bassline, and a weird CZ101 backwards detuned riff that warps into a modulating drone during the verses. The weird riff to end into reverb and noise and laughter.

Karl M V Waugh next up. A very different type of set, sound-tracking an op art video he’d made. “Watch this, don’t watch me”. A buzzing drone murks up out of the silence, modulating deep layers building up under it. A higher buzz sneaks in, slowly the sound develops, thickens. Still builds nothing lost, more layers; more, more layers. Nothing lost, the top layer warps out into a top buzz. Constantly shifting. A delayed keyboard clanging riff. Still building. A big Tardis modulation enfolds everything as it sweeps into existence. There’s a sound like someone struggling to shut down a feeding back 500w Marshall stack in the dark warehouse next door. It floats along like this for a while, then continues to build as a sea-swell roar swoops in. A synthetic pterodactyl can be heard over this as everything reaches the peak. I can’t see the visuals properly from where I’m sitting, God knows what’s going on there. The storm breaks into fierce acoustic winds that batter the room. Eventually it the wind dies and the bass drone slopes back in, the sea recedes and a nasty buzz envelopes everything. A distant choir, the bass splits into a thrumming bass and circular saw. There’s a lost swirl of synth and slowly everything mushes up into white noise then back down to the buzz to wind out as a single drone from a long lost set of pipes.

Finally we have a new set from Rashamon; vocals he promised us, but the lack of a mic wasn’t promising. The first track starts with what sounds like a recording of Christmas heard coming from a mall. The bass drum kicks in a marching beat, Monotron delay, staccato synth ping. A high melodic line filters between the beats and the rest of the rhythm kicks in.  Some pads before it finally breaks down for the bassline. A nice heavy filter on that. And to make up for the lack of basslines to this point we get a second and a third. A female vocal comes in, ah, its pre-recorded, its provenance unknown, we’ll find out. Hooky, mind. Some synth spirals and what sounds like the chorus and another breakdown into some squelch. Some nice little flourishes of the Monotron, it’s easy to go overboard with the filter and delay, so it’s nice to see it used in such a restrained fashion.  This is pumping. The next starts with an old style breakbeat, booming away in the largest room. Ratchets down sparse drums and a melodic mid synth line and Monotron squelch swoop. It builds up around that, layers of pads and drones, sirens, bells. No vocals on this one, just layers of dark intensity. The next one starts with a nicely modulating squelching arpeggio. Drums and whistling drones gather around. Pointillist synth lines complement it and a rolling beat gathers momentum, an interlocking track of total dynamics, suddenly it shifts and we get a melodic line over a popping rhythm. Again this one just turns into a driving stomper of interlocked rhythmic parts. The final track starts with a voice from a film, a classic bit of Rashamon, something about Halloween and Christmas, a bit funny a bit dark. The final track starts with a monster beat, not so fast, big, jingle bells like some 1990 hardcore tune from before the race to 180bpm began, the bassline is melodic rather than pulsing, swooping under another female vocal, bells, counterpoint it.  Again its intensity to the max, unsettling.