counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

March 30th, 2011: France Sauvage / Justice Yeldham / Napalm Jazz

@instants chavirés

Napalm Jazz were better than I expected, but that’s all on me. I’m getting eager to move away from this noise thing, but at the same time I keep running into people who make me linger. Napalm Jazz just extended that list. The pedals and contact mics are just tools, but there’s something primal, direct and honest in a take-it-or-leave-it way about their music that I think is worth enduring the routine. Once in a while, it’s more than worth it, it’s downright cleansing.

This was my fourth time hearing Justice Yeldham, and I intentionally stress “hearing”. Reading about his music as a kind of freak show is getting to pet peeve level with me. Sure, he might bite a slice of glass of that plate he’s playing or smash it on his face, but there’s so much more to it. So I didn’t even look at him. And it’s at least as good that way. He displays amazing control of his instrument — and glass and contact mic are an instrument in his hands — and I think it’s really worth listening to. There are rhythmic and melodic parts in there, and it’s really music. And when he broke the glass, it made sense too, because the reduced area changed the pitch. I suspect he doesn’t even need to do that anymore, but the expectation of this is part of his act by now. He plays with that too, so it’s not a bad thing.

France Sauvage sounded almost mainstream after these, especially with a drummer. But there was much more to it than that. Even when the beat was at its most repetitive and trance-like, their music packs an unpredictable undertow I emphatically recommend yielding to. I think there’s always something going on in there, and even though I chose my own level, other people probably got something quite different from their performance. Which to me is a very good thing. This time I was more interested in the electronics that were going against the flow. Another time I might like better another part of what they do. Maybe someday I’ll get enlightened enough to take it all in. Until then I can still expect to find something to latch on to no matter why state of mind. It’s that rich.

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April 2, 2011 Posted by | Music | , , , | Leave a comment

June 24th, 2010: TG / Napalm Jazz / Moliere / Damien Schultz / Centenaire

@tunnel

I liked the Centenaire opened their set, quite driven with a relentless rhythm and keyboard that was much to my liking. I’m definitely not fond of the voice, but that was nice. There were a couple other songs I liked too, but not so much the rest of the set, which was a little too mainstream pop/rock for me. Half is enough, though.

Damien Schultz had a new text, but it’s not really something to which I pay much attention. For me it’s all in the delivery and its rhythm, and the repeated phrase of that text was neat, and help but the rhythm in sharp relief. As good a performance as I’ve heard from him, which is saying something.

Moliere was another of these projects with a new name but featuring some of the usual suspects. They spent the set huddled in a corner, which avoided any antic to let the music stand on its own. It was less noisy and more immediately catchy than I expected, but pretty good and engaging as live music, nothing to sneeze at.

Napalm Jazz did the set that went the most to the usual noise side, though they were joined by Jac Pochat and Quentin Rollet, both on sax. They — especialy the former at first — brought a more melodic side to the performance without really mellowing it. Which is a good thing, and they merged well with the noise before fading and leaving both Napalm Jazz guys to conclude in a more noise vein. Nice set, but I could have used some more of the last part.

I thought the place would be a nice fit for TG and it was indeed a good set, and the first time I got to here his more beat-oriented side with a decent enough sound. What’s nice is that beyond the beats the noise is still there and there were several layers to that music, united in a set that was cohesive but not simple-minded.

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment