The Rossi Bar
First up was Rapt, sat behind a laptop, his whole performance was an exercise in stasis, an almost Zen-like lack of activity, featuring variations on his first EP. Starting with shimmering drones layered several deep the overlying shifts between, I don’t know, three or four notes in an almost achingly emotional slowly unfolding melody line. The second piece takes things a bit more up-tempo, the parts moving around more dynamically, some murky bass drum and hint of hi-hat. It keeps the intensity up, without appearing to do much. Close listening reveals cycles of clacked bottles buried in the mix, but he is stationary at the monitor, not giving anything away, occasionally sipping Polish lager. The third and final piece has another slow motion melodic top line (this time it starts the piece off), the sound slowly filling out with bass washes and modulating synth lines underneath it. It doesn’t really unfold as engulf you in a warm wave of feeling. His new stuff is quite a bit different, but worth hearing: soundcloud.com/raptmusicuk/albums
Kina:Suttsu was about as far from that as you can get, we’ve been playing some of her music as bobobobin!!!? On the radio show, but this was a different thing. She was joined by local percussionist E-da Kuzuhisa. Kina starts on her odd guitar stick with gentle strumming, E-da has a contact mic on a rain-stick and some bells, Kina sings gently out of focus. The sound comes out of the quiet, slowly. Occasionally E-da bats his floor tom with a beater. Some cymbals wash and we shift; slowly the guitar becomes effected a Sitar-like chime, a rhythm picks up on a hand drum, her vocals shift into gasped phrases. This breaks down into a reverberant rainstorm. After that E-da picks up a tapping rhythm on a ride, and Kina moves briefly onto an Alto sax and gives us a good skronking while E-da gets a proper battery up on his limited percussion. Then she is back with the guitar on her lap with beaters and E-da is getting some shakers going. And some more distant singing to end.
Finally And to finish we have Simon James, we had intended bringing his Synth and space echo to the front, but in the end it was too intricate a setup, so we left it at the back of the stage, which meant that Simon had to perform with his back to us – but that did mean we got to see the Buchla synth in all its glory. Simon had his NASA suit on as the set was to be a tribute to the Apollo 11 mission which had just had the 50th anniversary of its launch, so his set was suitably radiophonic in sound. Starting with a thin drone underpinned by a Sputnick-y beeping and full bass, this soon picked up space arpeggios and all sorts to take us on our journey. As we move out into orbit we get a stripped down bass drum and odd pong sound that slowly evolves into a grooving bass thing with more odd space noises. The further we get into this piece the harder it gets to describe. Glorious old style electronic space music. We can feel the stars moving in the sky and the Earth recede. As we get into Earth orbit things quieten right down for the slow beauty of Earthrise as we come round from the dark side. And finally they walk on the moon. Simon gets called back for an encore, so he treats us to a bleep and booster space jam, that ends abruptly with an “that’s what it sounds like in my room!”. Marvellous.