Tag: Nil By Nose

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.

One in twelve

October 2018
Green Door Store

So that was the Fort Process Dispersion our contribution to the season of events surrounding the amazing event that was Fort Process at Newhaven fort.



We had a great start to the evening with new duo Loftslag (apparently Icelandic for “Climate”) starting with a what sounds like a pounding kick that quickly sweeps up to a rhythmic mid range boinging thing (it’s not a boing, but it escapes my descriptive powers) that gets a lopsided drum pattern under it, its got some major drive and gets a weird overlay of scrapes, whirrs and beeps, with words. The rhythmic part drops out to be replaced by something a bit more randomly scrapey and the drum pattern notches up the intensity a couple of places and the rhythmic boing comes back almost as a gated pad and we get some proper bass in briefly before a two note drone comes to life. With a mirroring noise layer after a few bars that slowly increasing intensity until Greg starts groaning over it. Somehow it reminds me of late 70s Eno. Eventually all the melodic elements fall away leaving kick and noise. That builds up again with snatches of bass warp and skwirls of detuned synth. This gets increasingly randomised as we head towards the end with gurgles and more intense drums. So raucous party music instead of the noise set they promised us, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.



Second on the bill, another duo ESP (Electronic Sound Pictures); 3 turntables and shed-loads of effects and a couple of boxes of records. So pitched down warped psychedelic kaleidoscope of stuff. A cash register pings and pays out, bass drones loop. A boxing record (?!) provides percussion. Records start up and slow down, voices drop from chipmunk to buzzing bass. 70s Space noise sweeps by launching swirling gurgles, audio vistas of bubbling spaceship. A spaceship that seems to be travelling through the dinner hall at my old school. There’s some wonderfully dissonant orchestral drone passages reminiscent of Attileo Mineo’s world fair music from the 50s. Train records, some denser passages where Raymond Scott daft percussion underpins winds and planes. A couple of passages get quite dense but mostly its space and decontextualised sounds. The whole thing is online on their MixCloud, it’s really good, you’ll find it at this link: www.mixcloud.com/Electronic_Sound_Pictures/esp-live-spirit-of-gravity/?fbclid=IwAR1VtzgWdewVMyvqVJCfuRaNRoxr5E2oU0CNmtW_A4YQ1t6mq7sNk9C5t-c (NB. Copy the link into the address box of your browser for best results)

Nil By Nose

Nil By Nose
Unfortunately Katie English / Isnaj Dui was ill so couldn’t travel down to play which meant that for the first time this year we had an all male bill. Nil by Nose who stepped in made up for this to some extent by basing his set around a recording of his mum. It was another audio collage, but this time off a couple of tiny boxes that he had at the front of stage (where he sat in his usual wrestlers mask). It starts with a loop of a recording of his mum playing a timple (the Canary islands equivalent of a Ukulele) with some singing, looped on about 2 bars. This continues (through a shed-load of reverb) for all of the set. The first thing that happens other this is a slowly rising pinging riff. An icy bass drone loosely comes in under it. Everything stops and restarts. Other odd noises come and go. I swear at about 5 minutes in I was starting to hallucinate. The whole thing was uncanny in the Victorian sense, but not in the Victorian way. At one point the whole thing winked out of existence in a filtered disco sweep, but came back as disturbed as ever. There are ghosts in there, it isn’t safe.
Carl, he who is Nil By Nose, produced this video taster of the whole night: