Gigs, dance, art

May 20th, 2010: Cluster / Evil Moisture

@instants chavirés

Evil Moisture’s set started with a deep rumbling and some harsh noises I liked a lot, but then it settled down with that and not much went on for a while. The second part of the set was much more to my liking, with more layers and something happening at last. That was good enough to make me like the set, but still fell short of what I know he can do.

I wish I could say as much about Cluster. I didn’t know them before, and that set won’t make me rush to fill that gap. I guess it’s just not my thing, that’s all. There were some nice moments with conflicting rhythms that had me interested, but these were just short-lived transitions, and I wasn’t into the synth sounds themselves either, so I never really got into that set. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the profusion of gigs these days.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , | Leave a comment

May 24th, 2008: Sister Iodine / Super SS

@instants chavirés

Super SS had quite a setup, with a half dozen screens and a VJ. I didn’t care much for these though, pretty colors and all, I just wasn’t interested, and kinda repelled by the additional performer. So I just ignored that and focused on the music. Loud, repetitive drumming that just stuck to a pattern for a long time, not interesting by itself, but the repetition finally made it worthwhile, in that despite its loudness it kinda faded in the background, letting the electronics of Andy Bolus emerge. I wish I could have picked these earlier, but the drums were just too distracting. Anyway once I could focus on these, it much improved my experience. Not as good as some of his solo or collaborative efforts, but the combination of both elements improved it. So it was good enough, though not great it was not a disappointment.

Sister Iodine was a very pleasant surprise. I had seen them once and wasn’t impressed, an impression much worsened by the constant praise I’ve been hearing for years. I was feeling like I missed them when they were at the top of their game. That might still be true, but at least I now have an idea of what the fuss was all about. That set hooked me quickly, with a song featuring a lot of stop and go, where the mayhem would fade and pause before starting full speed again. A lot of feedback of course, with an interesting drummer in his ability to withdraw and come back seamlessly. Amazingly cohesive unit, where the individual contributions merge perfectly into a better whole, one where the separate parts become totally irrelevant. Some of their stuff reminded me of early Sonic Youth, but rougher. I really liked that set, and it might be the first time I didn’t feel any irritation at Lionel Fernandez’ playing or specific awe at Erik Minkkinen’s, so well did the the parts mesh. It was over all too soon, which probably means just at the right time, what with my usually short attention span.

May 25, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , | Leave a comment

March 8th, 2008: Les Sciences Bruitistes

@instants chavirés

8 hours, 12 projects. That was the plan, but I fucked up and missed the first one. Still, that was a lot and I didn’t really attempt to keep track of who was playing. I ended up liking most of it, but not all. Most was more or less regular noise, with a few exceptions. Standing out as one of the latter were Christine Sehnaoui and Ryan Jewell; even though I lost interest in that kind of drum playing a while ago, it was refreshing to see people from the free improvisation scene take that kind of chance. Any attempt to build bridge between these many niches is most welcome.

I guess I somehow avoided burning out, because I liked the final set by Family Battle Snake. Maybe a bit too easy at the very end, but it was suitably tranceish to bring it all to a close. Vomir stood out as well, with an onslaught that kept somehow introspective — I didn’t stick my head in that plastic bag though. Evil Moisture vs FRed Nipi turned out very different from what I expected, much calmer and slowly evolving where I expected something more furious; I really liked the early part of the set, surprising tendrils of very low frequencies.

Unsurprisingly, my favorite set was Bobby Moo; even though I thought it didn’t rise up to the level of last year’s performance, they still stood head and shoulders above the rest of the day’s projects in my eyes. Miho was less steadying and had less of a presence this time, and that’s disappointing because I feel she really brings the best out of Alexandre and Arnaud. Overall I thought ideas were not flowing as freely as last year. But it still was about trying a lot of stuff, developing some for a short while, crashing down and starting in another direction. Bobby Moo is definitely not about consistency, and even though there were many valleys, I only really care about the peaks, and there were some mighty ones in there.

March 9, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October 3rd, 2007: Fuckhead / Panicsville / 10 / Rubro

@Point éphémère

In famous carousel day 2. Four quite diverse band, if more in line my familiar noisy fare. I’m no longer that fond of the venue, but I found out I don’t really care that much either.

Rubro made me feel right at home with their set — that could be a bad thing, but it was OK. They set up their drumpad, toy keyboard and effect on the ground, ignoring the stage. That was a nice touch, as were the rolls of colored duct tape that had we wondering until they proceeded to wrap it around the room. Good thing they were not obnoxious about it, as it stayed true to the overall fun of their music. Nothing amazing about it, but good old noise. It might not be much, but it’s enough for me.

10 were the highlight of the evening for me. I liked their red theme — reminded me of Afrirampo, even though the music is completely unrelated. A layered mix of contrasting elements, with a guy bent over his laptop generating the beat and background instrumental mesh, in a sense laying down the foundations and holding the whole together; but paying attention brought its rewards for said instrumental background was more sea of shifting patterns than wallpaper. All this allowed the more theatrically minded girl to go through a lot of instruments and objects, from a small accordion to balloon deflating into flutish tubes. She also has a great voice, maybe not in and of itself, but in her ability to use it. I was quickly swept into it and remained there for the duration of the set. Maybe longer actually. The downside being that I might not have been receptive enough to the following sets. Oh well, I can live with that. And it’s not that often that I get to enjoy that kind of stuff.

Panicsville came next, although I was surprised that he was not alone on stage. He had invited Evil Moisture and Helicotere Sanglante. Funny thing is I had just told someone I was avoiding Evil Moisture because I really loved what he did the last time I heard him and wanted to keep that in mind. But it turned out OK. I thing it took some time for them to find common ground, at first each was kinda doing his own thing — HS was mixed too loud compared to the others, but that comes with the territory. But they eventually reached some kind of balance. I remain unsatisfied because I still like Panicsville better on records than live, and I can’t think of any reason why it should be so.

Fuckhead entered to close out the evening. I had been warned it would probably not be my kind of gig, too male. In a sense that was true, but I didn’t think it was that grating actually. Maybe that warning helped me, but I thought there was some softness to it. Musically it was pretty much regular hardcore stuff, but the vocals were more interesting. The cookie monster part was tongue-in-cheek — or so it seemed to me — while there was also some operaishly deep vocals — maybe their hailing from Vienna played a part. Unfortunately, it grew old for me after about ten minutes or so. I kinda blame 10 for that, but “blame” is not the right word for it.

October 4, 2007 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

August 3rd, 2007: Usurpers / Evil Moisture & Aluk Todolo / Nackt Insecten / Blue Sabbath Black Fiji & Hélicoptère Sanglante


Probably my last noise/experimental gig for a while, at least it was a good one overall.

The first band was Blue Sabbath Black Fiji feat. Hélicoptère Sanglante. BSBF were the ones I came to see: they’re talented, they’re very active in organizing stuff and they’re real nice people to boot. Did I mention they’re good? I love their music, a dense wave of distorted guitars where I hear more evolving patterns the more it goes on. I didn’t think HS brought much to the table, but I didn’t mind. I loved it that way; to me it’s commanding, evocative, positive and weirdly relaxing.

Nackt Insecten was next, a pretty good set in a more standard electro-acoustic way. My almost standard fare of effects spread on the ground yielding a fulfilling cloud of noise. I was a bit put off by the keyboardish parts, but it was OK overall.

Another pleasant surprise from Evil Moisture. This time he played with a kick-ass band called Aluk Todolo. They played fast and loud, and even though the drummer was not great, he was relentless, which is a very good thing to me. Evil Moisture’s sound was meshing perfectly with this metal sound, taking the whole to a different level. Really great set.

The final set was Usurper, the quietest set of the evening, mostly using different objects and whistles. Unfortunately, I was too pumped up after the previous one to be paying enough attention. So I just didn’t get it.

A couple of great sets in a evening is nothing to complain about though. Note to self: I need to make a better job of keeping up with Blue Sabbath Black Fiji in the future.

August 4, 2007 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

July 20th, 2007: Otto von Schirach / Strom Varx / Evil Moisture / Cicerobuck


So much for my wanting to take a break from experimental noise stuff, here I go again. On the other hand, it turned out to be a pretty good move, as my recent dabbling in jazz probably made me appreciate it more. I found myself enjoying most of it, and I’m pretty sure I would have been much more jaded a mere couple of weeks ago.

I didn’t care much for the opening DJ, the records were weird enough, but I didn’t think he was adding much to these. And with that material, playing two or three of them at the same time isn’t changing much.

Then came Evil Moisture, and I have to say I was expecting to get bored quick, having seen him too many times. Was it him or just my ears having been cleansed by my recent experiences? Anyway I really liked it and think it’s the best performance of his I attended. Still harsh of course, but with some underlying cycling complexity I never noticed before.

Another great performance by Strom Varx, in the dark as usual but at times there was a beat. I had been told it would be hip hop performance, but I didn’t believe it. I’d say I was right, but I guess I can understand where that misguided comment came from. Beats are not enough to qualify, though. And of course these beats were mangled most of the time. Anyway the tag doesn’t matter, the result was real good. Still a tad too brainy for me right now, but the sound was awesome. This guy definitely knows what he’s doing.

The final performance was by Otto von Schirach. Pretty rousing mix of breakcore, death metal and plunderphonics. I don’t really care for the circus of costumes and jumping, but their cover of Prince’s When Doves Cry was a real treat. Unfortunately, it was a short set as the show started late and going on would have been inviting the cops to the party.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | Music | , , , , | Leave a comment