Tag: You&th

They’re redeveloping my waste ground

April 2023
The Rossi Bar

Starting with Andrew Greaves & Dan Powell onstage set up facing each other for a run through of the new piece they composed while on residency at The Rose Hill. Dan with his tray of small objects, his laptop and a new tray pf glasses from the location, Andrew with his usual mix of serious synths and trusty Casio. They start with Dan’s glass armonica warblings played against synthesiser drones from Andrew, some gentle clatter and bell chime mutated by MaxMSP and proper bass rumblings. Emergent is a slow haunting, detuning melody first on a synth, then the Casio organ, the clinking falls away and a bassline is revealed, Dan filtering in some subtle scraping of bow on glass. As the melody ebbs away we get some radiophonic beeps and arpeggios blending in, if the first piece felt like Dan, and the second Andrew, this is a nice meld of the two. Andrews repeated organ figures with Dan’s sinuous drones piercing snakelike in between, until overwhelming with a fat bass-y wash, phased in with wind FX and Andrew providing the drone. Plane, car or sea recordings, glass pub clatter, rattle and chime ruler thrum on table. Spacious churn of a bit of a rummage through what’s on the table, roll of saucer, shortwave whistle. Some speech, sounds like my friend Ursula. The organ riffs are back wedded with odd noises and washes again.

Next it was You&th, Maria and violin, field recordings, LoopStation and effects. Starting with a looped bass violin figure playing off against seagulls, Maria winds a melancholic line over it, something about it takes me back to my youth and the sound of the one legged violin player every Saturday playing under the railway bridge at Earlsfield station. Next up is a song called rainbow, I think, a drone underpinning this one, the lead line sliding between notes, I can hear the traffic along the main road behind the man’s back. The melodic line changes slightly; sawing, insistent. The traffic thrumming as it passes. Weird delays spiral off. The third song starts with an aching melodic line, solo, I think this is one of the songs Maria learnt from her Neapolitan father, at the end of the verse a little pizzicato phrase and we can hear the streets again.  Maria sings, birds chirrup, she has some odd double tracking on her voice. There is rain, loud on sheet metal, wind provides bass. It’s beautiful. The violin is back. I can feel the trains riding overhead as I hold my mother’s hand and can vividly see the man’s empty left trouser leg neatly pinned up, the arm holding the violin jammed firmly against the crutch holding him up. It’s amazing the unexpected images great music can conjure. That’s something I haven’t recalled in a very long time. Beautiful set. I wanted to write more but every time I try I’m lost in time.

Finally, it’s a newcomer to The Spirit of Gravity, Pylon&on&on coming to us via our friends at Electronic Music Open Mic. He’s launching a CD. He starts with a continuation of the melancholic lines from Maria’s set, slowly lifting them with some shimmering, shifting pads, everything seems to ebb and flow. An enormous, massive bass block swings slowly in, the pads fade to birdsong. Boom its back slower than plodding, birdsong; BOOM; harmonium; BOOM, occasionally something like a snare. Rattling, a bassline, slow – but double speed of that boom – and an organ part comes in. It’s as if he’s channelling the evening to date into the first few minutes of his set. We get what seems like a breakdown to a detuned synth phrase, bass tomes and mutating buzzing synths swarm around it. We get a distorted bass drum salvo, it almost has the sense of a pattern that’s constantly just beyond comprehension. Some voice then its back again almost breakcore in intensity, then something that’s definitely a drum pattern boots its way in boom clack rattle, some repetition – I can tell, then developing quickly into stop start distraction. There’s a voice, like clipping. rhythmic then nothing, a wash of gentle white noise, a hint of siren, filters, a slow half a bar of recurring beat. The other half filled with typing, the bass drum slowly consuming the whole bar with its insistence then  four to the floor in it comes, bosh, siren flailing. There is some shuffling (the horror) amongst the audience. Arpeggio, breakdown, filtered noise. Clanking and we’re into the next track, half a vocal phrase rhythm against a double beat bass drum in another building and untuned synths. A bubbling line slinks up under everything, then to end it veers off into some grime bass fatness that suddenly shoots off into breakcore crazed beats for the finale.

Motionless on the Roman underground

October 2016
Green Door Store

Steve Gisby

Steve Gisby

Steve Gisby introduces his set as an iterative set based on a sample from the London Underground. He explains the process in a bit more detail actually (you can read an online version here) it starts as a short repeating block of agreeable but white noise that opens out into what’s recognisable as a tube announcement looping, as we listen more layers come in, there’s one layer that has the rhythm of a train passing over points – but I’m pretty sure just that rhythm is a part of the process rather than anything particular for this evening. It quickly reaches a level of almost stasis, where you start to get sucked into details – the announcement loop shortens until the recognisable voice elements are gone and it sounds like a snare drum with the snare itself dropped bashing away. A wheel squeak whine comes slowly up out of the clatter which becomes chopped into another layer of two noted rhythm, things have fallen imperceptibly away, the noise elements shifting into tonal qualities and then the chop comes in to slice things up into a gated beat to close. Its almost syncopated.



Another set that starts with an introduction – I do like artists who communicate. Maria Marzaoli starts her set with “Fenesta ca lucive” a piece she did at Infrasection, Its an old song written for an old style Tenor, but her version is outstanding. She starts with field recordings from an Italian street, bells, footsteps and her voice low in the mix thin and plaintive.
The scene shifts to a café, someone else is singing and a family gathers while she starts to play her violin back against a previous version on the backing track. I seriously want to cry. Beautiful stuff. The piece finishes with sounds like a fishing trip while Maria sings again.
Her second piece is really empty a field recording of what sounds like a pretty intensely hot midday while she scratches out some unpleasant creaking loops of violin bow noise. Occasionally a squeak or a flurry of clean notes, a playground swing, distant bark. I feel creeped out fearing a zombie attack in a spaghetti western set. The final piece is based around a recording of the beach, Maria reciting verse too quietly for me to discern, she wrenches even more unpleasant sounds from her violin for this one – a base metal drum being hauled over concrete, plucked notes, delayed, train whistles, parched.
Before ending on a repeated lyrical thread that builds to a climax for the end.

The Static Memories with Al Strachan


Gus Garside starts the Static Memories set with some strokes of his bow across the double bass through the effects to through us off our track.
Alistair Strachan breathes through his cornet into a double effects chain and Dan Powell gets some unplaceable whirrs. For the three of them this may be an even Quieter and emptier set than Maria’s. sounds come and go, digital warbles, distant taps and clanks odd lengthy notes from the other side of space. Occasionally something of a melancholy tune escapes from Al and spreads itself gently through the sound stage. Gus may gently remind of his instruments range and dexterity, or Dan take some stately ascent into hyperspace. One of the oddest moments comes with Gus singing into god-knows-what effect that chirrups his voice into unintelligible electronic burblings. There is little in the way of melodic content, but the confluence of sounds between the three of them (or any two as often one will sit out) can conjure wonderful images. There is a rhythm at one stage. Drum machined, simple, flanged into some kind of muffled shimmer. It’s another rather lovely set.