Tag: Olivia Louvel

Midnight in a very slow universe

March 2024
The Rossi Bar

With travel home to Worthing being what it is, Olivia Louvel wanted to go on first, so we start the evening with a mix of her songs on Doggerland, Barbara Hepworth and older pieces. It’s her first show since before the COVIDs, it starts with a recording of the voice backed by thin washes of synth, joined by a percussive jab stabbing in fours or fives. Olivia interacts with her projected visuals (herself, lines). Doorbells. The next starts with a much warmer drone and typewriter bursts. Again, Olivia’s voice. A breathy stab. Olivia briefly sings her voice soaring above the mix. Mostly she speaks, her voice warmer. There are layers of vocals. A breathy synth riff plays against her speaking. The third starts with a more insistent mid-range riff that she sings against. Some proper sub bass and synths curl around this. A nice sonic rhythm to start the next one, a foghorn and two whistling steam escapes, strings join in with Olivia’s voice; all interlocking. No drums yet, but this the most rhythmic piece so far. Insistent. Vocal hi-hats: Chssssh ch-ch-ch. The next song picks up vocally from the end of the last, acapella. She tweaks the feedback on the delay, riding it just the right side of feedback, a gurgling bass starts and a slow bass drum on the ones. The gurgle evolves to a judder with a full strength bass drone building underneath. She sets up some kind of stutter on the vocals and it stops. Computer jabs preface a drone and speech, vocoder-y whispers, its very machine language. Modem, rewinds. Card readers; teletypes. The last song starts with a percussive interplay between bass and pinging trebles under Olivia’s singing.  The bass bends. Her voice loops and layers up. The bass line develops and warps

[Something’s Happening] are seated facing each other on the stage across a table. Iris reads and Daryl plays. Well, they start whispering, sound creeps down from understairs, it takes about 5 minutes before something like audibility is achieved. Slowly the electronics come in, or is that the fridge, no it’s definitely from the stage. A snatch of words, back and forth jagged hum, phrase, jagged hum, phrase. I believe she’s reading from a book on critical theory from a conversation after. After reading a page she tears it out of the book. Or did I imagine that. Other sounds come in, a pinging bell. The buzz shifts pitch. Iris’ voice is warm enveloping, I can’t yet make out words, but it’s a comfort against the coldly formless electronics. She applies affects to her voice. A subsonic thud about 30bpm starts, and she bounces off it. A feedback emulating synth tone starts, a gentle melodic clattering rises underneath the electronics. The words are now completely lost to me, its just a human tone, with the rhythm of speech, or something like it – messed up by delay and reverb. Communication is lost. The drum has faded. There are layers of clattering now. A guitar based drone slowly comes into our awareness and the clattering fades to be replaced by a slow chime. “Stop”; a word breaks through, but then its lost again. More notes are added to the chimes loop. It turns out to be the guitar again. Iris just lets her voice loop now against dystopian discords and buzzes. The thud has returned almost building to a perceptible rhythm. The guitar is more guitar-y now, pinging away through languid delays. Iris starts to layer her voice. The beat goes and it winds down, her voice stuck in luxuriant Max Headroom stammers.


Finally, Automouse to bring down the house. Its starts with a buzz, then more buzzing, a distorted doorbell riff, a crunching  bass drone. Then the beat thunks in bass drum staccato, switching to white noise snare, the drums drop for a nasty bassline. This is generally pummelling, bursts of white noise. Then a switch to a faster dancehall bass drum, driving, driving along. Tearing synth stabs build it up, then swamping everything brings in a synth scale up and then into another hammering beat. A double time bass line, and the bass drum is back to a 4/4. A sweep of a synth again and switch the beat up and then down to half tempo. Full on buzzing bassline that pushes forward then veers into randomness briefly before veering back, then switching again. How many synonyms for driving forceful exciting distortion can I come up with, I’m not even halfway through and the energy levels just keep going up & up. It’s a frenzy of sound, it’s not a wall of noise, everything has its place, it’s an overloaded place, but oh, how distinct every sound is. There’s a bit where it all breaks down to more or less one note quadruple speed pulse like someone thrashing the bottom e on a guitar on the 12th fret as fast as they can, blam into a new bass drum. Syncopating in, this ones dropped the tempo, a bit of relief, hi-hats ticking, then a maelstrom of nastiness, then back to the groove. A winding noise like a Monotron delay (I don’t think it is, but has that energy) that pulverises the rhythm, then its all back again to the groove. The next goes in with a tuneful bottle clank. There’s a bit of breakcore-ish switching up the beats. And we’re into the last number the tempo is back to the max, the bass is switched to destruction, the bass drum is all thud and the snare is an assault to the back of the head, energy levels are through the roof, then the bass drum doubles up, the tempo increases even further and boom, it slams into sweeping delay feedback and end.

It’s all gone a bit crispy

August 2017
The Green Door Store



Spheress is up on stage when people start coming in, a mix of hardware and laptop, some synths and Volcas, he starts with a double duck being hit with a squeaky toy quickly escalating to an industrial beat, before eventually a bass drone warps in with a gabba kick and an old-style hardcore tone providing a pseudo bass line. It falls away to a different rhythm before it’s drowned out in a squall of drone feeding back through an ancient reverb box. Back to another beat and bass line before building up to a different kind of feedback distortion falling in metallic sheets. Another breakdown before he gets to work on the synths with a Crybaby wah wah, ending on a nasty layered 2 note fuzz attack.

The electrocreche is a bit funny tonight, we have only one toy as the other broke while I was setting up, we scrounge some kit from Spheress and end up with almost a no input electrocreche. Which turns out to be quite fun.



Unfortunately Ommm is poorly so we have Xylitol doing a solo set. I don’t think we were disappointed. Catherine starts her set with abstract lo-fi electronic noises, chimes, Tardis sounds and disembodied voices. Arrhythmic part comes in with a nasty fan drone washing in and out and it ends on some weird Bruce Haack tip. She has songs, mostly 2 to 3 minutes. The next one starts with a Raymond Scott vibe before heading off into something quite 90s J-Pop-ish, with a really nice full bass that slowly rolls out to a repeated quiet organ figure with delay feedback slowly mutating over it. Next up has a glitchy rhythm and Casio organ moving around all over it. I can’t even describe the next one, it has elements of toy music, minimal techno and subtle use of noise. And so it continues, elements of the last 50 years of electronic music, blended into something that sounds like all/none of them, modern and nostalgic, radiophonic and digital. She has a few copies of her 45 remaining, it’s very good, you should buy one.

Dylan Nyoukis

Dylan Nyoukis

Dylan Nyoukis is next up, as promised with his double cassette set up of complete audio mulch. Starting with a slurred down loop of some indecipherable something, a guitar string ping and scrape add some slight sense of rhythm to proceedings. The loops slowly open out, not quite lurching but definitely elliptical in their gait. Dylan works quietly away adding small touches, bringing things in and out slowing or speeding up a touch as required. It’s hypnotic and bizarrely hooked. At some point it sounds like he sneaked the ghost of a bowling alley into the Green Door Store before smuggling it out through the back. Suddenly it switches to something a bit more pier-ish, papier-mâché monsters in cases banging against the glass, Kids with lollipops hitting the metal stands while someone is noisily bending balloon animals. It’s quite dark in an Avengers manner. As the surrounding clutter falls away we find ourselves in a field, the cows moaning not quite happily. A glottal stopping owl starts an argument with a stretched violin chicken. Someone takes a ham fist to a typewriter. A shuffle of someone sandpapering next door winds down with someone talking very slowly backwards over the first musical drone of the set.

Olivia Louvel

Olivia Louvel

Olivia Louvel is finishing the evening off with a selection of songs from her new album “Data Regina” about Mary Tudor, with visual animations written specifically for the event. They’re an interestingly odd blend of almost 80s geometric solid figures with realistically modelled faces acting out various scenes from her imprisonment. I think. (You can see some of them here: www.olivialouvel.com/)
She starts with a glitchy piece with vocal fragments minced up with the light electronic rhythms. The second has a spacious buzzing bass line, with odd notes ringing around it with a full breathy vocal part. The third is more stately affair, “Good Queen Bess” all vocal layers, slow and moving. The next song “My Crown” eschews the space and fills the room right out with a throbby bass, with vocals and further bass tones. It’s a bit epic without breaking out into a full-on beat. So the next song has a very rhythmic structure, everything in it seems to pulse. The next has alternating pulses like it’s all modulated by a square LFO, but the vocals are fragmented, lost. Then straight into the next with Spartan martial snare rolls scattered. The second half has a harmonium slowly unfolding over it. She ends on a long version of “Love or Rule” starting with violin drones and parts, occasional buzz of bass, after a long while a set of machine-like rhythmic parts come in.


Snowmen and black hats

February 2015
Green Door Store

Thanks to everyone who came out on such a cold and miserable evening.

Special words first for the combination of Matt the sound man and Steve minimal impact who between them get this weird delay on the electrocreche that delays a piano sound by 5 seconds and turns it into a human voice. Quite freaky and excellent.


Inwards The first act in at short notice for Guards! Guards! who can’t get their vocalist across the north sea, is Inwards – Kristian from the [beep] collective, with visuals from Irie pixel. Inwards is set up on the floor of the stage under the projections, he has a flight case with a modular synth and a drum machine. Interestingly he goes for an almost Baion rhythm with the bass drum, giving the start of his set a latin feel while the analogue synths cascade around it. He tweaks and turns at the knobs filtering and bringing the drums in and out. The visuals are good, mirrored lines, geometric tunnels, occasional blocks of code. Constantly flowing alongside the changes in Kristian’s music.

The Organ Grinder’s Monkey

The Organ Grinder's Monkey Second up is The Organ Grinder’s Monkey, Ben with his shiny guitar and helter skelter rhythms. I’m still not used to anyone being organised enough to monitor their set with stereo headphones while they play and he displays some nifty footwork controlling things with a midi footpad. He starts with an old song and belts through the first half at a pretty snappy pace ending up with the song where he hands a gameboy controller out to the audience (this time Kristian) who really gets into it, chopping and filtering stuttering and laughing like a drain playing havoc with Ben’s tune while he thrashes away on stage. Its a nice juxtaposition and you can really see the advantage of headphones for this one as he’d be lost trying to play along to what’s issuing from the speakers.

Olivia Louvel

Olivia Louvel If I always say that Ben sounds like Brian Eno circa 1980, then Olivia Louvel has something of the De La Salle of the 21st Century, thick warm beats and lovingly extended bass. One definite advantage she does have is a hell of a voice, which even on this outing you feel you’re only really getting a mild taste of. She does have quite the best mic technique I’ve seen on the stage of the Green Door Store at our nights, controlling volume, timbre and tone impeccably. Starting slowly with deceptively stately beats and long bass tones, she was peaking in the middle of a set with choppy pop song with circling multiple voices and warbling tones and trailing off with a drivingly insistent number with an on off bass that almost felt played with a switch.