Archive for December, 2011


Ear Burps

I thought I’d link a couple of tracks I’ve posted up on Soundcloud.
Dreadfruit was me and Spookyfruit faffing around ijn real time with a Kaossilator and Thumbjam. We were in our chalet at Nightmare Before Christmas, it was a sunday afternoon and we were feeling a bit fragile. We actually did three or more tracks but this was the most palatable, mainly cuz I didn’t start wigging out on the noise generators and slathering everything with feedback and harsh frequencies.

Dreadfruit

Wring is me on a kaossilator and iKaossilator, it is a pretty accurate rendition of the state of my cranium after 3 days of music, sleep deprivation and menthol chewing gum ๐Ÿ™‚

Wring

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After the trippiness of Roll the Dice I went to see The Junior Boys at the centre stage. I had a neck massage while listening to them and it really helped to get me back down to earth. I kinda undid all the good work by going into see Omar Souleyman. The place was jumping to a relentless drum pulse and Souleyman worked the crowd up into a frenzy. Bloody brilliant.

Factory Floor are another band I’ve seen before but this time they were feckin’ brutal. There was no let up as you were pounded with gallumphing drum patterns and unforgiving sour acid burps. Nik Kolk’s disembodied moans and sighs added to the disorientation. It was pretty full on – I was bouncing away when there was a commotion behind me. People were grimacing and their appeared to be a soiled pair of long johns or diapers on the floor. Oh and a strong smell of faeces. Classy.

Once Factory Floor finished I was too. I shambled back to my pit and started decompression back to reality.

I regret making the decision to ditch my video camera. AT this stage in the festival there was a great party atmosphere. I was feeling relaxed and buzzing off the music from the last three days. I’d had some mild visual synaesthesia while watching Nissenenmondai the night before but I wasn’t expecting what happened when I went to see Roll the Dice.
They were two Swedes hunched over a modular synth set up. They played behind a gauzy back cloth which had images and shadows projected over it. I’d say there music is more hypnotic than danceable but I found myself swaying to it as it built up to a climax. The music was slow moving and eerie. Before long I started to feel little electric shocks coursing through my muscles. I found myself being really drawn into the music and felt my heart pounding as tingling waves rippled up my legs into my chest. If I was religious I would have said I had a spiritual experience. Someone asked me if I was ok cuz I guess I must of looked like I was tripping out, fair enough I probably was in a very altered state. I found it really difficult to verbalise just how awesome the music was I probably came across as some acid casualty. Needless to say this was my highlight of the festival – apologies to anyone who was weirded out by the sight of a middle aged beardy bloke apparently off his tits on something illegal.
I don’t have any footage of Roll The Dice from that night but here’s a clip from another show to give you an idea of what they are like.

(edit: I thought I would play RTD’s last record in the car as I went out for a drive. That was a big mistake. When “way out” came on I started feeling body waves again, my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my mouth and I felt weirdly euphoric. I definitely need to be careful playing this in the car.)

I had a very late start to the day so missed some of the earlier acts. First one I saw was Orchestra of Spheres. They shambled on wearing a variety of LED adorned headwear and commenced a tribal freakout. I really enjoyed it but my colleague Spooky Fruit though I was having an EAR PWR moment. (He has a theory that as a music festival progresses, my musical faculties disintegrate, the proof of this is my stated enjoyment of EAR PWR at Animal Collective’s ATP). For the record I think OOTS were good, here’s a short clip so you can see for yourself.

We left early to catch Sun Ra Arkestra. It’s not really fair for me to comment on them as I have a strong aversion to jazz, needless to say it didn’t flick my switch. We had a short break before seeing Roll The Dice and that’s when things started to go really strange.

Day 2 Part 2 : Freaky Dancing

I saw the Psychic Paramount next and they played a swirly psychedelic blues fug. Bitch Magnet were moody and unsettling but the highlight of the night was Underground Resistance. Apologies for the crappy footage but I was bouncing up and down to Mirage, personal favourite of mine. Techno Techno Techno ๐Ÿ™‚

I was feeling a little fragile from the excesses of the night before. I wasn’t alone. Battles apologised for being hungover (at their afternoon show) but that wasn’t apparent in their playing. They had backing videos of their guest vocalists for the tracks off Gloss Drop and when they played Atlas they played a prerecorded vocal track. Not that matters, Atlas still sounds feckin awesome live.

I enjoyed Ice Cream’s wonky charm and Battles are amazingly disciplined in their performance. I was too frazzled to make their night show so I dunno whether they had Gary Numan sing live with them for My Machines.
Next for me were Nissenenmondai. I’ve seen them before at SUpersonic and was blown away by their drummer, she’s like Animal on Ritalin. They played Fan and Mirrorball and just as you thought they were ending on a protracted drum roll ending they powered up into another delerious trancey epic. There is something very “technoey” in their sound, especially the way sounds are slowly warped and modulated. It was a blistering performance, you couldn’t keep still. Here’s a few clips of them in action.

I had wanted to see Phil Manley Lifecoach as the stuff I’d heard had a nice tinge of Hallogallo about it with the driving Motorik rhythms and melodic guitar work. I walked into his performance at The Crazy Horse and a fairly harsh smudgy mess of frequencies and feedback. Not pleasant. This worked out well because it meant I got to The Field. I wasn’t planning on seeing them as the stuff I’d heard on record seemed to be a bit too slowly invariant for me. Live is a different matter, those hypnotic beats pack more of a bodily punch.

The Field

I felt duty bound to see Gary Numan, it would be rude not too. He’s a good performer, he can strike the poses and I’m glad he’s been recognised as influential. The music he’s doing now still has a large electronic component but the dominant sound is the chugga chugga of a downtuned guitar. I used to listen to a lot of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Cubanate in my youth but it’s a sound that doesn’t really appeal to me as much now. Of course everyone went mental when he played Cars.

Cars

I thought it would be a shame not to devote some space to Les Savy Fav but during the gig Tin Harrington told us we were not to speak about what we had seen so sorry, no review I’m afraid.
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Awww sod it, it was an awesome show.
It started in darkness with sparkly stars and I think (my memory is a bit hazy) the band started playing from behind a curtain. The lights came up and shone on a backdrop of silver / foil and helium balloons.
Tim was dressed in a silver body stocking with something reminiscent of a gimp mask with no eyes or mouth. During the gig he removed layers of his outfit. Underneath his mask was another glittery eye mask. Underneath the silversuit was a rather unflattering body stocking that looked like a sausage skin. By the end of the gig he had stripped down to a pair of black briefs. If I remember rightly at one point he simulated giving birth to a helium balloon.

Here’s a clip from the start of the show (You tube seems to be playing up and just streaming audio. If you can’t get the video up go to youtube and search for MrNoimspartacus to find my channel).

The whole gig was like some gleeful party. Glitter, stars and balloons were thrown into the crowd as was the lead singer. At one point he waded into the area by me and started climbing the lighting rig and sang dangling upside down from the platform. He then disappeared into the crowd, god knows what he was doing as he had a circle of fans forming around him.
The gig was delerious, joyful, and celebratory. If you asked me at that stage what my favourite set was I would have said Les Savy Favy. However this was only the start of the weekend and things got even better.

Due to us having to spend the first couple of hours tring to sort out our accommodation, we missed Les Savy Fav opening the event. They were due to play again at the end of the night so we were not too worried. The first band we saw was Total Control. They reminded me a little bit of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. I only saw the first 3 songs as we wanted to see The Budos Band.

Total Control

Earlier we were speeding down the M5 listening to the Budos Band III on the stereo and their 70’s afro funk wigouts makes excellent driving music. Live they were an assorted bunch of New York hairies funkin’ the joint up. They blasted out a fantastic brew of rude parping brass, sinous bass, Hammond and relentless percussion. Excellent stuff, I hope I get a chance to see them again.

The Budos Band



Future Islands were next on the list. They consisted of a synth player, a bass player (Who looked like Guy Garvey with a ‘tash) and a singer with a very distinctive voice and performance style. He would grimace, mime pulling his face off, beating his chest and throwing himself around in anguish. Voice wise he sounds a little like Vic Reeves’s Club Singer. I guess he has a marmite effect on people. I loved it but I saw a few people shaking their heads. I would rather watch an emotional and impassioned performance like Future Islands’s than another glum techie nodding behind a laptop screen. Anyhow, here’s some clips of them pulling their still beating hearts out ๐Ÿ™‚

Future Islands

After that we tried to see Holy Fuck but the queues were a bit off putting, so we ended the night with Les Savy Fav’s show………


I’ve just returned from the latest Nightmare Before Christmas ATP event and I have to say that it was the best one I’ve been to so far.

I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t go ahead as the Jeff Mangum event which was scheduled for the weekend before was cancelled. There is an interview with David Yow on emusic.com where he says that ATP had made a loss at the I’ll Be Your Mirror event and were advised by their accountants to postpone the event till March. It would be a shame if ATP winds up bankrupt, there really is no festival like it. If you’ve not been then go! goddamit. Tickets are still available for the March event.

Les Savy Fav, Battles and Caribou curated a night each and this led to a varied mix of music. Maybe I was lucky in the bands I chose to see but there was no filler and all put in good performaces. I’m pretty sure I spotted William Bennet of Cut Hands and Whitehouse at some of the shows.

Unfortunately the curse of Butlin’s ever diminishing standard of accommodation ย struck again. After a long drive to Minehead we got to our room to discover a tiny box room with one [supposedly] double bed. However, after getting no help from the Butlin’s staff the very nice ATP staff upgraded our room to a four berth apartment with a kitchen.

I will post up some video clips as the day goes on but apologies in advance, they are a bit ropey, partly because I was trying to dance and film at the same time. Also by day three I was very very “refreshed” so in the end couldn’t be arsed to try and film and just danced like a chimp with an itchy arse.