counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

October 29th, 2009: Projet Piscine / Ntwin / Jubilé / Zaraz Wam Zagram / Berthold

@gambetta

I was there early so I went for a spiral in a neighborhood I had not seen in years. Some places looked familiar, but there’s been some serious gentrification going on there, and this is a change for the worse to me. It was my first time in this bar, and I pretty much hate the place. Way too much light for me, and there’s even a mirror. But despite all this I knew early on I would enjoy the show because a darkest cloud had been lifted.

Still, I had some trouble getting into Berthold‘s set. I guess I can blame Benjamin’s contributions here for setting a high bar, but at first it was a little too mundane rock for me. That got better as the set went on, and they added a few wrinkles to a steady basis. It remained too predictable for my taste, but I really enjoyed their last couple songs for some reason.

I’m grateful for all he’s doing setting up gigs all around, but I wish he was playing more often. Again, Zaraz Wam Zagram used sounds I love with sounds I hate, usually at the same time. He started with something almost catchy, close to a beat, before shooting that down. I still don’t know if I hated or loved the high feedbackish tone he pulled out at the end of his set, and that’s a big part of what’s interesting in his music. I didn’t like the middle of the set, but I suspect part of that was intentional after the catchy start. I just wish he had used the tapes more, because I just love this medium, but that was a good set.

Jubilé had a good guitar sound, but it took me a while to like what they were doing with it. At first it sounded a bit confused, but I guess it was their getting used to the place. Much better as the set progressed, and I really liked their last song. It reminded me of a fave Oneida live tune, without that reference spoiling the moment. I think they would have been better off building that one up and stopping on a peak though. Or maybe playing the exhaustion card all the way.

Ntwin‘s set was the one I liked the least. Way too much control there. That alone spoiled it for me, because they had the right involvement and energy, but they seemed too much in control and that made the set a little cold. They seemed to have some mic issues at the very end and that little glitch probably helped me because I did like their last couple of songs best.

Projet Piscine did play even though I thought it would be too late, but that set was again a short one — at least what I heard, maybe I left too quickly. The first song was very different from what I had heard before, close to krautrock in its relentlessness. I totally love this new direction, so maybe they should record their second album before the first indeed. The second song was closer to what I expected, pop and new wave with something both earnest and aware of the history. The third and last song — at least for me — was a personal favorite, because I think it’s not as much a song as a template, a synth backbone supporting vocal and guitar forays. I think it’s a great live song, because it leaves so much room to whatever might be happening, while retaining a definite identity. Maybe it’s better not to attempt recording it.

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November 1, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , , , , ,

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