Gigs, dance, art

September 17th, 2008: Talibam & Rhys Chatham / Zun Zun Egui / Peeesseye / Corridors / Gala Drop


First day of Fiasco System festival. There was one more band, Religious Knives, but I left before they even started playing because it was too late. This sucks — well I suck — but I just didn’t want to walk a couple of hours after another set. Not many people in there, which was an unpleasant surprise.

But Gala Drop was a pleasant surprise, in that seeing the couple of keyboards made me brace for a boring set whereas I liked it a lot. The drummer was pretty good and interesting, a perfect counterpoint to the krautrockish jam of the keyboard. Bonus points for the creative effects transforming the sound of a small drum on the side. I liked the first and last tune best, and as each one was about ten minutes long, I would have had plenty of time to get bored but didn’t. Come to think of it, that set was probably my favorite of the evening. I hope I can see them again.

Corridors was the kind of immersive sound experience I had come to miss lately. I quickly tune out the abstract video in the back and focused on the sound only. Dronish, with overtones and slow changes creating additional layers as I got a better feel for it. A lot going on in a somewhat subdued way, very well worth the focus. The hardest part was ignoring the people talking around me, so I moved to sit square in the middle of the room. That proved a good idea, as I noticed additional bits like moving pulses. Maybe they were not really anywhere but in my mind by then, but I don’t really care as long as I enjoy the effect.

Peeesseye went next and started with guitar, harmonium + many effects and voice. The vocalist later switched to drums and the kind of object use I lost interest in. I liked the heavy processed sound, but that’s about it. Been there and heard that too much I guess. I might have liked it better in a different setting though.

Zun Zun Egui don’t play a kind of music I like, but I ended up liking their take on it anyway. Too sunny for me, but the keyboard was my gateway into it, bringing a welcome twist to what could have been predictable. What I just don’t understand is how most of the people there could just be sitting around. Even that didn’t suck all energy out of the band, which tells me they’re probably very good with a responsive audience. Having me rank in the most alert half is a bad sign indeed.

I was my third time seeing Talibam!, and it was the charm indeed. Of course having Rhys Chatham playing with them helped. Not just because of what he did — often adding layers of long trumpet notes or short bursts — but because he managed to break their sometimes closed system. The drummer was his usual frantic and relentless self, but there was more of an interplay between trumpet and keyboard. The details paled compared to the overall effect though, and the times when Chatham overlaid slow and long notes over the regularly breakneck Talibam! assault worked very well, somehow subverting the rhythm and speed but in a way that added another dimension to it.

September 18, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , , , , , , ,


  1. Wow! This is very kind. Thank you so much for your encouraging remarks.

    I had a great time playing, but I had no idea how it was for the audience, so your comment was really helpful.

    Obviously, I think that you are a marvelous critic! ;-)

    from Rhys

    Comment by Rhys Chatham | September 25, 2008 | Reply

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