Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest split release from Swedish masters Altar Of Flies & Mirrors Are Black. The untitled LP on Tamed Records. Or "Split" as i have had to call it for filing purposes.
I have recently been discovering Altar Of Flies thanks to recommendations from ARKHE and BBBlood. What I have heard so far has been very varied...and I like that. The Altar Of Flies side comprises of two pieces opening with "Attention Please". The sound is "old school industrial". Progressive - not dated just reminiscent of the old sounds from the school of "industrial". (Past student from the Industrial Training College in Wakefield?). "Attention Please" has the feeling of abandonment, it is the soundtrack to encountering the Marie Celeste. SOLAS. Waving synth sounds with bass rumblings hit a "Gristle" chord and add a dimension of unease. Deep in the background there is metal and earth...superb opener that leads into "Fragments". "Fragments" is like a diary ~ a day in the life kind of piece. Field recordings, botanical gardens, a children's playground (as opposed to?), planes, bi-planes fly overhead..it is pleasant listening. Audio reportage that drifts into electronic chaos, crumbling synth and venomous voices and I think...bloody hell...how did it get here. Excellent.
As mentioned Altar Of Flies (here) have a very 70's electronic feel. Loads of reverb and (space) echo. So far and what I have heard Altar Of Files are reminding me of Column One.
Mirrors Are Black is the solo project of Amph member Peter Henning. I mentioned before that Peter is ex-Amph....I apologise, Amph are still going strong and releasing. I have sacked my researcher.
Mirrors Are Black provide three pieces that play as one. "Tesco Days" has a martial sound. Percussive. I think it is the sound of the gong that makes it martial. That is gong as in percussive instrument not 1970's psychedelic rock band....although....I don't know. "At Bethania" is the main opus of the side. A great astral drone work with kosmiche synth and voices hidden behind the wall of drone, the piece moves on with the slow introduction (through collapsed metal) of a high pitched frequency, a pulse, developing into HNW. (or what I believe to be). The side ends on the superbly titled "Girls Who Like Camel". A great guitar loop, the sound of an acoustic guitar being hit rather than strummed! The effect gives it a strange "Middle-Eastern" feel. Mirrors Are Black present one hell of a journey...a journey on an edge.
Classic album that stands out because of the use of real instrumentation. "I could be wrong, I could be right" but I don't think computers were used during the making of this LP.
Buy. Buy Now! www.tamedrecords.com
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Back on a Scandinavian tip with Gaerra and Mirrors Are Black, two completely new projects to me. This split 7" from 2010 was the debut release on Solformorkelse.
Gaerra is the solo project of Flowers Must Die member Rikard Daun. His piece is entitled "Steglad" and is built from oscillations and synthesizer drones over a metronome. Distant radios and reversed voices add to the sense of unease. Good stuff, highly listenable....but..towards the end the pitch and tone of the keyboards varies ~ no need.
Whilst the machines are operating and making a grand sound there is no need to alter or manipulate the sound...just let the machines play themselves and see/hear where the sound goes...the machines will take you there. A lot of folk these days see/feel the need to interfere, must be seen as doing something ~ I say command the machine and let it do its' own making!
Mirrors Are Black bring us "Flickljus" ("Female Light"). Mirrors Are Black is the new name for Peter Henning's noise. Peter used to be Amph, a project I got "into" just as they stopped operating. "Flickljus" is a brilliant noise wall ~ not harsh but brilliant (BNW). Brilliant in a pure bright and clean way. Found sounds, voice, feedback and keyboards create an excellent six minutes of bliss.
I also have an Altar Of Flies/Mirrors Are Black split LP in the "to play" pile - can't wait! Recommended. Neither label or groups seem to have operating websites, but try Millstone distro..if they can't help I am sure they will point you in the right direction.
Finally, this week saw the release (or at least the arrival at Hartop Towers) of the The New Blockaders / Vagina Dentata Organ "art-multiple" box set on German based Tochnit Aleph Records. Originally planned for release on the day that TNB and VDO performed at the NK Projekt in Berlin, March 31st 2012, it was delayed due to pressing then packaging hiccups, but now 9 weeks after the event the release sees the light of day. Now limited to 40 copies ~ I seem to remember the initial release was to be 25 or some such number ~ and probably sold out from source.
The evening of the 31st was special,beautiful and almost magickal. The energy contained in the venue that evening was phenomenal therefore this record / document of the event was/is essential. The New Blockaders performance was TNB at their very very best. The Rammel Weekend in Nottingham at the beginning of March was just a trial, a warming up (if you like) .. and the performance at The Dome in London at the beginning of May was a merciful release ~ a wind down from the 3 live performances. Berlin was special. Undoubtedly The New Blockaders will release the full Berlin performance in some format or other - everything is documented - but for the box they provide two 10 and a half minute pieces both entitled "-----------".
I am no aficionado of The New Blockaders, despite folk in Berlin & London insisting I was Richard Rupenus. The line-up here is Richard Rupenus, Michael Gillham (he of Nihilist Assault Group + Smell & Quim) and a chap called Hutchinson..who may or may not be Hal Hutchinson. (Certainly not Don). The vinyl sounds like one is inside a bottle bank, one in a scrap metal yard and the other has attached contact mic's to the wheel arches of a Boeing 747. It is fast and furious stuff, and masterful editing of sounds. Sounding nothing like the three performances over the Spring months of 2012...it plays and sounds like a breath of fresh air, a clearing of the lungs - Classic Blockaders and at 20 minutes..just the right length.
The Vagina Dentata Organ contribution is a piece of art called "Kleenex". A crumbled art blood print embossed with the VDO logo. I have a feeling that each piece has been created from the blood splattered toilet rolls that littered the floor during and after his performance. I haven't taken my piece out of its' wrapping yet - I have been instructed to keep behind glass and until I am told the dimensions of the piece so I can get a frame constructed it shall remain folded and in the box. I have got a full roll of blood splattered and glass encrusted Kleenex from the evening (a memento), I intend to start a VDO shrine with it...one day.
Also with the box came an event postcard.
Worth the wait ~ almost certainly...but who is the guy selling a copy for £1,020.84 on Discogs? (why "and" 84p).
I shall treasure this release and probably be buried with it.
1: TNB/VDO Box Cover.
2: TNB/VDO Box Reverse.
3: TNB/VDO Box Inner.
4: VDO "Kleenex" (section).
5: TNB "-----------" Side 2.
6: The New Blockaders are lead to the stage by Steve Underwood. Berlin 31/03/12.
I am a notoriously slow reader. I am still reading the Tuxedomoon "Music For Vagabonds" book by Isabelle Corbisier, and I started that back in early March. It's a great book that not only has a main narrative but has side-stories, third party recollections and interviews running at the same time...it's like two books in one. Anyway, I broke off from the Tuxedomoon chronicles to read "160 Performances" by Danny Devos.
The book covers the performances of DDV from 1979-2011. Presented in a thick, hardback and hefty tome. 320 pages covering the great artists work. The introduction is in Belgian (naturally), and then carries two pages per performance. Quality documentation in text and photographs on quality paper. The book ends on an interview with Danny (thankfully in English) on "performance" art.
Danny Devos' work is body orientated - putting the mind and body to extreme limits - a lot of his work includes self harming...not all ~ but alot. To find where the mind and body goes by putting it to painful extremes, also reflecting on the audiences reaction is fascinating stuff.
The book also includes documentation of prank art and street art.
Essentially a coffee table book and like the Forcemental compendium that Club Moral put out last year, a book that can be devoured and then dipped into for pleasure.
I picked this book up at the Broken Flag:Never Say When weekend earlier in the month. A bargain at £49. Copies are available from Club Moral. Try www.performan.org the edition I have is limited to 979 copies.
1: Danny Devos "160 Performances" dust jacket.
2: Danny Devos "160 Performances" book cover.
3: Danny Devos live at the Dome, London. May 2012.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
For the past couple of weeks I have been exchanging information and viewpoints on the Scandinavian "underground / sub-culture" noise (for the want of a better word) scene (for the want of an even betterer word) with good friend Paul Watson (a.k.a Mr. Bbblood).
I think it all began with me mentioning my new found joy of Sewer Election and White, and Paul mentioning the latest release by Jaakko Vanhala, which I don't have but like his work with (or in) I.Corax...and moving onto Bestializer and Paul had never heard Karmanjakan Inotonarumori, and then I probably brought in Grey Park, Henrik Rylander and White Stains ... you know how these E Mails go. I have spent a few weeks with Scandinavians, going to Sweden and staying in the company of a few and then Scandinavians seemed to be littering the bar and Merch' Stall of the Broken Flag Festival.
So...all this talk made me dig out the compilation CD "Scandinavian Noise Manifesto" featuring Bad Kharma (Sweden), Lasse Marhaug (Norway) and Grunt (Finland). It was a joint release from each projects labels (Bonbon. Jazzassin & Freak Animal Records respectively) in 1998. Sweden's Bad Kharma begin the CD with "Wasa" a 23 minute piece built from the sound of crispbread. Crispbread is place on turntables and played with a stylus, other pieces are mic'ed up and crumbled, eaten and tossed. Interesting sounds. Speed and volume varies and i imagine seeing and hearing the recording live would have been amazing....I seem to remember Project D.A.R.K. doing/releasing something similar around the same time. Next up is four pieces from Norwegian sound artist Lasse Marhaug. Lasse comes from the great Origami collective, a band of artists based in Trondheim - Origami Galaktika being a favourite here. Lasse is blistering noise - high volume white noise, close to JapNoise. The final track "Himmel Og Helvete" sounds like a thousand cats in labour through pitchshifter and distorto box. Great looped sound. High speed, high energy, high frequency, high sine-waves,high volume stuff.
When I bought the CD (back in 1998) I didn't like Lasse's contribution too much but now I can take the punishment - I can hear different loops and hooks that I couldn't before....In 2008 I saw two great live performances by Testicle Hazard (Lasse and Finnish ex-Sefahat mainman Tommi Keranen) in London...perhaps this has warmed me to the sound of Marhaug?
Grunt offer seven tracks. Seven tracks of dark and disturbing electronics. The tracks sound like Whitehouse of old...Whitehouse when they were dark and menacing and not comedy and/or vaudeville. Whitehouse of "New Britain", "Psychopathia Sexualis" and "Great White Death". Classic Whitehouse. This is no Whitehouse copyist material...don't get me wrong...it is just the feeling of unease the sound carries. Excellent titles like "Family Life", "Liquor Homicide", "Inbred Community" bring to the fore Grunts' take on Suomi life. Standout track being "Innocence Kills". A voice tape looped and manipulated to the point of genius over a soundtrack of despair. A piece that is close to Mikko Aspa's other work as Alchemy Of The 20th Century. The sound of Mnem is also prevelant in Mikko's work around this time. Despite being released under the noise banner only the tracks by Lasse Marhaug can be seen (and heard) as noise Per Se.
I have rediscovered this album - it's a classic, file alongside other "old school" Scandinavian noise compilations such as Negart's "Members Ov Sonic Cults" tape, Freak Animal's "Degenerating Finland" CD and "Sweetness Overcome" on Swedish Segerhuva label.
And now there are so many Scandinavian projects to discover. Paul recommends the Danish Posh Isolation labels' output and a group called Alleypisser (awful name). Do Danes count as Scandinavians? The only Danish band of note (I can think of) is Sort Sol - I'll look out for Posh Isolation releases.
1 - 5: Scandinavian Noise manifesto CD cover + inlays.
6: Lasse Marhaug, Phil Taylor + Tommi Keranen boozing in London. 2008.
Monday, 21 May 2012
"The Olympic Torch is designed to shine through the centuries, a signal of peaceful understanding between nations, with the aim of arousing more and more enthusiasm for the ideal of humanity" (Carl Diem 1936).
The first Olympic Torch relay took place at the 1936 Olympic Games where a torch was lit in Greece and relayed across countries to Berlin. The torch was carried by athletes from Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia and finally Germany - each athlete running 1 kilometre with the torch held high.
2012 and the Olympic flame makes it to Torbay as part of the torch relay throughout Britain in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, it was also coming close enough to Hartop Towers to warrant the nomadic famalie Cammai to wander onto the streets of Saint Marychurch and "have a look". After all, not many Nazi ideas are still "used" these days - I thought it was worth seeing what all the fuss was about. The good folk of Saint Marychurch gathered in their hundreds to see the Samsung/Coca-Cola/Lloyds TSB Roadshow being followed by a flotilla of police motorcycles and then a man with a torch. They stood waiting for 2 hours to see an event that lasted roughly .... seconds. I was watching the relay "live" on the Internet y'see...I could see the delay, there was some guy in Totnes who just stood with the mini beacon and waved...then walked a few steps and waved some more, there were pensioners, folks with walking sticks and kids - not so much "Olympic Ideal"...more "Day Out from the Care Centre." Not really what Carl had in mind, so the whole event was running behind time. I left Hartop Towers when I knew I would only be waiting ten minutes...forward planning - always helps.
The kids were excited. It was "for the kids" as Jimmy Pursey would say. Oscar loved the police motorcycles and big busses and Isabel F. just wanted to make sure Minnie Mouse got a good view. I got tossed a "torch relay" bottle of Coca-Cola and with all the hoo-ha about 2012 memorabilia I might stick it up on EBay next week, well, if highly inflammable tracksuits and used torches are going for a couple of grand ... who knows.
That was my contribution to the Olympics - I doubt whether I'll watch any on TV .. they never show the football (I have become to hate highlights), I feel like I have done my bit!
1: Isabel F. & Tamsin wait in anticipation. (Oscar is looking at toys in the shop window).
2: The Torch approacheth
3: The Torch passes
4: The Torch heads towards Shaldon
5: My limited edition 2012 Torch Relay bottle o' Coke - what do you bid?
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
It is good to see that reviews and recollections from this months Broken Flag weekend extravaganza are popping up on various web sites and blog pages. Interesting to read other folks' accounts / thoughts. There was one guys report where he claims he was the only gay sausage at the venue. I can assure you Joseph that you were not the only gay (male or female) at The Dome that weekend. Also yet to read a shared opinion on the Consumer Electronics performance. I thought it was awful, embarrassingly awful, still it is funny to see what people will swallow these days. (I have seen Consumer Electronics live on a few occasions and can never forget the powerful performance in Bristol 2005 - the gig with Onomatopoeia and Emil Beaulieau - it was compelling stuff, violent vitriol over a dull and aching soundtrack. I stood, watching, listening, amazed. Nottingham a year later - with Dieter Muh and Prurient - was similar but with a poor PA the poetry was lost).
It was at the Broken Flag weekend that I first saw and heard Lettera 22. The N.K.O.T.B. of noise. I picked up the CD "Lack Of Attention" (on the Swedish Ljud + Bild Produktion label) a couple of weeks ago from Dan of Sewer Election / White fame, but didn't get a chance to play it before the London event. I never caught them live either, I was "working the door" during their slot. I did get to hear the soundcheck. A glorious soundcheck too where electric shapes and frequencies, angular and angry noises were bounced around an empty room. The noise lasted minutes, mere minutes and seconds but it was a noise that rooted me (smiling) to the spot. It was like hearing the live sound of Das Synthetische Mischgewebe and/or Government Alpha for the very first time. The head just fills with bewilderment and delight and the ears are left ringing.
"Lack Of Attention" also reminds me of Das Synthetische Mischgewebe "some Conceptual Obligations" CD and "Snakes And Ladders" by Government Alpha. Two releases I went out and bought after witnessing their live assaults. A lot of the sound just doesn't cut it on CD. Dynamics are lost somehow, a dimension is removed. I am not saying that "Lack Of Attention" is a poor album, it clearly isn't ... there are moments - usually the quieter ones where the sound grabs my attention, small experiments with synthesizer, metal and the surroundings but largely it plays like a Japanese creation from the mid-1990's. Masonna or Merzbow and neither are my cup of tea.
Undoubtedly a noise classic (the word on the street - or forum boards - prove it) and beautifully packaged in a monochrome and grey gatefold digi-pack. The Macronympha "Super Oxide" CD on Ljud & Bild Produktion is similarly beautifully packaged. Available from all good noise outlets ... in the UK that means Second Layer Records.
1 & 2: Lettera 22 "Lack Of Attention" CD (Ljud & Bild Produktion).
3: Lettera 22 live at The Dome. 05/05/2012.
Monday, 14 May 2012
Have spent the last few days listening to Anemone Tube. In particular their recent CD on Silken Tofu "Dream Landscape" and the split 7" with UK outfit Shift on Unrest Productions. Both are excellent releases. Anemone Tube is the project of Berlin based artist Stefan Hanser. Stefan began Anemone Tube in 1996 releasing on his own Transfixional Entertainment label and then in the early noughties kind of disappeared, but in the last couple of years Anemone Tube have become visible again and releasing strong and essential material.
"Dream Landscape" is 5 pieces in 23 minutes. "Above The Dark Waters" opens with electric swirl and dramatic keyboard...a maelstrom is present. "Dream Landscape" has an introductory feel, slow grinding guitar floating over a desolate (dream) landscape. The CD is packaged in an A5 fold out panel wallet and contains a drawing by Alex Tennigkeit .. a pictorial interpretation, I must say at this point that the drawing does nowt for me..... Track 3 "Demoniac Reign" has a Cocteau Twins guitar feel to it. The whole CD is very guitar based - that surprised me a little, but I soon warmed to it - strings pitched on the brink of feedback. "Winds Of Fire" begins with the line "soon the demon mark will spread and kill you" and descends into multi-layered guitar ... I don't remember Anemone Tube sounding like this, I think that was the biggest surprise and thrill ... I don't remember Anemone Tube being this "harsh" or guitar based. The final piece ""L' Enfer C' Est Les Autres" is a full 360 degree experience with guitars, amps and keyboards creating a massive whorle of sound before ending on bowed cello and wailing voices - the song "Cabbage" by Mass immediately came to mind here.
23 minutes over and two early 1980's 4AD bands brought to mind. Excellent.
The split 7" with Shift is two reworkings of the initial piece "Dark Waters". Two pieces of fine lock grooved power electronica. It works, it works really well - especially "Dark Waters 2" - it has a crunchy Boyd Rice feel to it. Bloody awful sleeve - limited to 111 copies and sold out from source.
Re-invigourated by the sound of Anemone Tube - I have dug out my copy of "Forget Heaven" the 1997 tape release on Bawler Tapes ... I'll give that a spin tomorrow.
1: "Dream Landscape."
2: "Dark Waters" 7" & "Forget Heaven" Tape.
3: Stefan at the Broken Flag Weekend, London. May 5. 2012.
Saturday, 12 May 2012
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
I must admit that I am not a great fan of the Chocolate Monk label, they have released an awful amount of cheap looking/sounding shite in the past and when I found out that the latest offering from Duncan Harrison was on Chocolate Monk I must admit to feeling a tad disappointed, but not to worry the Monksters have done a fine job, with excellent sound quality and an OK sleeve (artwork by Karen Constance).
Since getting this beauty on Saturday it is all I have been playing. Instant classic, and not what I expected (as Crispy Ambulance once said). Duncan Harrison "Young Arms" is a slice of the absurd, of dadaism, of concret and surrealism. Past Harrison releases have been spacious, noisy and (in parts) rhythmic...."Young Arms" is none of these. If anything it is more claustrophobic. I have a feeling it is a collection of recordings from Duncan's youth - tape recorder experiments and field recordings combined and put together to create an album of beauty.
The CDr begins with the title track. The sound of interference through a broken amplifier. Dead air caught on a CB Radio before "Young Arms" a short poem for three voices. Everything including the kitchen sink is thrown into "17/18", a short sketch piece that would not be out of place on a La Monte Young retrospective. "Olympiad" is a 9 minute dadaist jigsaw, with pieces of stretched and scraped violin strings, flute, cymbals, ukulele, tambourine that when assembled has voices of Inuit chanting, drunk ramblings and defecating grunts. Fascinating listening..then home electronics are made to sound like distant drills.
"Duncan...this onion is fucking strong....Duncan"
"24/25" is a five minute composition of environmental ennui from a bedsit that is too close to the Northern Line. A damp and disconcerting vibration takes over before Dale Cornish (from Baraclough) reprises the short "Young Arms" poem. Masterpiece. This CDr is only 35 minutes or so in length and half of it is taken with Frippesque titled "Transmigrate To Solipsist Hut (All The Young Dudes)". It is a great slice of celestial drone, weaving patterns and frequencies a la vintage Maeror Tri before sounding like an intro tape to a 1974 Camel gig! And to think....15 years ago I used to have a dry ice machine...damn you EBay.
The final piece "Prodigal Youth" is a sixty second track of the composer standing in the dark holding a microphone.
So far 2012 has been a great year for new releases (anyone want a new Dieter Muh vinyl LP)? "Young Arms" is added to that list. It is available for five and a half quid - yes! just five and a half quid from Chocolate Monk: www.chocolatemonk.co.uk/available.htm - they have paypal. You have no excuses.
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
I have just returned / recovered from the weekend that was the "Never Say When : 30 Years Of Broken Flag" festival in London. Initially I wasn't going to attend the event, with it being seven days after the Dieter Muh / Contrastate Stockholm gig but Steve Underwood convinced me to come along and be an "assistant" and Simon Kane offered free food & lodging...so how could I refuse?
There are many many words written about this weekend already on various forum boards and blog spots, even some live footage on YouTube so I won't dig deep into my thoughts on what I experienced / saw ... I will just say that there were a few projects / artists that really interested me, and fortunately I got to see some of them perform. A few of the bands on were awful, bloody awful. A couple were amateur and seemed to forget that folk had paid hard earned cash to be in the same room as ... and then there was:
I could not make the Friday night due to work commitments so I sorely missed Le Syndicat & Con-Dom.
The venue itself was a strange choice. The Dome in Tufnell Park is a room above a pub. A bleak house called "The Boston Arms". When hearing about the event being held at the "Dome" I had images of a grand venue with multiple rooms and interesting spaces, like the venue where the LAFMS event was held a few years back, but no. The Dome is a room albeit a large room above The Boston Arms pub. As mentioned I missed the Friday, but the magnet for Saturday was Esplendor Geometrico - the debut UK live performance. Hard electronic rhythms, pulsed loud across the dance floor, bodies moved in time. There was no light show, no subterranean no occult feeling, the sound was loud-as loud as it had to be and it was an absolute joy to see and hear but the performance fell short of experience - perhaps I was expecting too much? I was surprised to hear that the dance beats had an end. Press pause, stop, play effect between tracks...surely they could have "mixed" the set into one 40 odd minute piece? Or perhaps it was a comment on the "rock" surround?
I missed Grunt and Lettera 22 (door duties) but both projects sound checks were quite amazing.
Sunday was a necessity for Giancarlo Toniutti & Club Moral. Again, work held me back from seeing a lot of Giancarlo's performance, a shame but I saw/heard enough to know that the room was in the presence of a genius.
Club Moral had me in tears by the end of their performance. "This is a prelude to a motorcycle accident" declared Danny Devos stood high above the throng on a wooden table. DDV & AMVK were bringing their art to The Boston Arms. Danny recited the importance of May 6th before responding to the dates and repeating the words with his head in a bucket full of water ... the performance went on........PLEASE plumb Club Moral Broken Flag 2012 into the YouTube search engine and you will discover why I ended up in tears of bewilderment and joy. I have (patiently) waited almost 30 years to see Club Moral, Giancarlo Toniutti and Esplendor Geometrico perform live, and despite it being in a room above a bleak pub in North London I fully enjoyed the experience.
I spoke to Pete of Second Layer and he explained the reason for the weekend being held at The Dome - and his "argument" stands, it was a capacity choice, and that is fair enough.
Big thanks to Pete and Steve for letting me assist over the weekend. It really was enjoyable and great to see some old friends and meet folk like Frank from VOD, Jean-Marie from Le Syndicat and Ethan Port from Savage Republic for the first time. And thanks to folk who gave me CD's and tapes and vinyl to listen to...much appreciated.
1: The Dome in Tufnell Park.
2: Frank Maier at the Merch' Stall.
3: Grunt soundcheck.
4: Esplendor Geometrico live.
5 & 6: Giancarlo Toniutti (a Ladies Man).
7: Mike Dando with Club Moral.
8: Club Moral live.
9: Backstage with Le Syndicat.
10: Ethan Port.
Thursday, 3 May 2012
I have a couple of test pressings for the new LP "Heterodoxie". The LP itself (released by German label Verlautbarung) will be available at the Never Say When weekend in London this coming Saturday as well as available via mail order from Millstone Distribution the following week. I will of course keep all updated with availability etc, and please feel free to contact me with any questions.
On the 27th of April, Simon and I were taken from the suburbs of Stockholm on a magickal mystery tour that ended up in a strange basement building in Hokarangen.
A dis-used apartment block. Partially dis-used - floors for galleries and studios, and a basement room. An old laundrette or boiler room, down the stairwell, through a large metal door, down a creaking wrought iron staircase into the bowels. This evening was owned by X Club.
A large space with flickering dreammachines situated around, lit from behind and from suspended light bulbs. Chairs situated communally around the machines. TV Screens showing the works of William Burroughs, Psychic TV's First Transmission, Ian Sommerville and the BBC's "Arena" documentary on Burroughs and The Final Academy. Mattresses to crash, beers to drink, dry ice to get lost in. Cinema screen sized wall projections, visuals from Mikael Prey & Fetish 23, thumping industrial dance beats from Roberto N. Peyre & Jean-Louis Huhta. Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia were alive and well and pumping out of the speakers this night.
Three young men took to playing a live cacophony to some B Movie cut-ups. This was Psychic Warfare. It could have been Ain Soph or Zero Kama or members of thee temple. You see, walking down those creaky wrought iron steps we had entered a time warp, strolled through a gap in the time space continuum and ended up somewhere in 1982.
I never thought I would experience anything like this, and certainly not a few miles north of Stockholm. Industrial Night - Magick Call Thyself. There was a shrine built for Brion, Henrik Rylander and Joachim Nordwall provided a live improvised soundtrack. It really was heaven.... (or an experience of).....
I don't know if recordings were made. Audio and/or visual. www.blot.se/blot-xclub--2.html might hold some answers. An evening I shall never forget.
2: Joachim Nordwall, Jean-Louis Huhta, Henrik Rylander and Mikael Prey
3: A view from above
4: Carl & Love
5: Psychic Warfare (live).
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
"Let me tell you about Sweden".
The 47th Dieter Muh performance took place at the Fylkingen, Stockholm on April 28th. 2012.
The evening was organised by Stockholm's finest: Segerhuva Records, with the provisional title "Sweetness Overdue".
I like Stockholm, it is one of my favourite Cities and always a pleasure to visit. Originally the evening was to coincide with the latest Dieter Muh LP "Heterodoxie" but pressing plants, artwork, masters delivered on time etc (you know the story) means that the LP will appear 7 days later...still the show must go on!
For the occasion Dieter Muh were myself and Simon Kane on live visuals.
The evening began with a rare live performance from White, a solo project of Sewer Election main man Dan Johansson. White has released on Segerhuva in the past. Dan's set was short and sweet, compulsive pulsation, white electric noise and distorted voice. Ten minutes and the show was over - how live noise should be.
Dusa followed. Under a black light Dusa performed an intricate set of samples, rhythm and careful looping - it was like watching a surgeon at work. Jazz records and gentle orchestra...that is what I remember. There were moments when I thought visual aid would help....but they were the moments I should have simply closed my eyes and relaxed - which is very hard to do when playing a gig! I bought the Dusa LP "Ljung" on the strength of the live sound.
Kristian Olsson performed a live soundtrack to a very interesting film. A black & white film of folk with animal heads performing ritual scarification and sex along with book burning and shenanigans. Think of Throbbing Gristle performing "In The Shadow Of The Sun" live and you are close to what Kristian performed. Again, compulsive and fascinating...but whilst sat there watching it - taking it all in, I could not help but think.....it's me next!
The sound at the Fylkingen is superb. Loud and crystal clear. I performed the same "set" as The Rammel Weekend in Nottingham last month - difference being that I started from a different point and built the last 10/15 minutes or so into a solid track. The sound check was for checking the equipment had stood the flight from Heathrow - it had....the performance time was for playing and exploring...it was a joy. Whilst performing Simon Kane (assisted by Mikael Prey from Fetish 23) created a new film to accompany the sound. They did the same 10 years ago, when Dieter Muh last played The Fylkingen.
It all ended with the machines playing themselves and me leaving the stage and heading for the bar - the sound guy and Simon finished the show off. It was probably the best Dieter Muh live sound since 2009!
Contrastate made their first live appearance in 12 years. The line-up was S.R.Meixner, Johnathon Grieve and Stephen J. Pomeroy. They came dressed as preacher and preists and spewed forth a manifesto of righteousness. The live sound was very close to the "Mort Aux Vaches" CD that Staalplaat put out back in the 1990's. Textured and deep vibrations over the excellent treated vocals of Mr. Grieve, hopefully Contrastate will perform in the UK soon - I will travel to see them again!
And then it was all over and time to chat to the folk at the bar. Thanks to all who handed me their CD's, DVD's and cassettes...much appreciated and after the Never Say When weekend I will take some time to listen to them all.
This was Dieter Muh's second performance at the Fylkingen, and hopefully not the last. Big thank you's and undying respect goes to Simon Kane (my dark companion), Love Rosenstrom, Magnus and their fellow organisers, Heikke Lintula, Tommy Carlsson, Morten, Jocke, Thomas Ekelund, Dan Johansson, Kristian Olsson, Proiekt Hat, Dusa, Ville, Mikael Prey, Carl Abrahamsson, Henrik Rylander...and the guys who told me their names but I was too deaf to catch!
1: Event Poster.
2: The Fylkingen.
6&7: Dieter Muh. (photos by Simon Kane).
8: Kristian Olsson & Heikke Lintula.
9: Thomas Ekelund & Love Rosenstrom.
10: Kristian Olsson.
13: Behind the bar with Tommy. Simon & Love on the wrong side!
14: Final drink at Arlanda Airport.