Gigs, dance, art

June 28th, 2008: Elsie Else festival

@instants chavirés

I haven’t posted in a while for several reasons. One is the winding down of the season, with dance already done and gigs slowing down — I just don’t go to arena-like events anymore. Another is a computer meltdown that knocked me out, which also kept me in the dark about most gigs going on.

Anyway, catch up time now, starting with this festival. I don’t know anything about Elsie Else, a couple of familiar faces but I haven’t even checked out their site yet. My memories of the actual music tend to have faded by now, leaving me with shreds of words that I remember thinking then. Of course there being nine sets isn’t helping now.

YuJun Ye started  her set by layering her own voice while counting, then went on to add some beats to the less extreme layering. I do love that stuff, and it had its moments — thanks in part to her voice which I happened to like — but it seemed tentative and lacking some sense of direction somehow. Might be worth checking out in a year or so? Bird and bear used a lot of toys and toyish keyboard sounds, with almost Newsomish vocals. I didn’t like it, probably too pop and nice for me, and I’m suffering from a bad case of toy overload right now.

Toba turned out to be my favorite set of the festival, even though I missed the beginning. Maybe her playing with the lights out helped, but something enabled me to really get into her music and hear something fresh and new in there. I hope I get to hear her again, maybe I’ll be better at describing then.

Alexandre Navarro played guitar, with quite a lot of feedback at times — not that I mind. It had a SigurRosish feel to it, especially in the beginning, even though no bow was involved; maybe something lyrical to it, I just can’t remember why that name popped in my head. Nice set, I just wish it had been a bit rougher. Ecoplan was the most frustrating of all the sets. Laptop music that kept feeling as if it was on the edge of a breakthrough but never quite delivered, switching to something else instead. Too bad because this guys looks like he has a bunch of interesting ideas, but I wish he would go just a bit deeper with some, or just switch and mix them all faster; it just felt like a lukewarm middle ground to me.

Yannick Franck started with the familiar sound of bow on metal, and I felt like he was right at home in this place. Actually it was not exactly the free improv stuff I’m used to, because he had a lot of pedals and electronics as well. Quite nice, but probably too long, or more accurately lacking a more assertive trajectory, or interactions with others who could have thrown a few wrenches. Unfortunately, I draw an almost complete blank on cbaonet. That sucks, but I only have hazy memories of a somewhat interesting use of voice samples and that’s it.

Emmanuelle Gibello was the cleanest sounding of the event, and that was a good thing because her set felt to me as all about sound. Probably worth hearing in a different setting, but interesting, if a bit cold and somewhat too clean. I think that comes from the setting — a diverse festival with probably didn’t require that much focus — and by the time I switched to a better frame of mind, it was almost over. And finally Un escargot vide? who had the fine idea of using a likembe at times. I must say I was put off by his use of a child’s voice though, that was grating to me and distracted me enough to spoil the second half of the set. The first one was OK though.

So that’s all I could coax from my old brain cells. I think I want to know more about these people and Elsie Else, and probably check them out for other gigs, they do seem interesting people with — relatively — diverse musical interests.


July 5, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , ,

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