new music reviews authored by paul khimasia morgan

Friday, 17 April 2015

Splitting The Atom, Green Door Store, Brighton 5 APR 2015

It is staggering to realise that this already is the 25th STA.  That’s silver and time for a celebration, surely?  I couldn’t stay for the whole day, but here’s what I did manage to see:

Ardisson & Pugh
Charlotte Pugh and Charles Matthews utilising gamelan, recorder and computer in various interesting ways.  Delicate improvisation utilising gamelan bowls hung from a microphone stand and Pugh’s recorder which I initially mistook for a Sho or Shakuhachi.  Here’s a taste of their music:
They were playing against a back ground of Věra Chytilová’s 1966 film Daisies.  It worked really well.  I’m not sure if Ardisson & Pugh had chosen it specifically or whether it just happened to be projected at the time but it was great.

Accidental beats, conflict between man and machine, misbehaving loops Aphex filtered through a sedated TG/industrial sieve.  I liked the overall result, but judging from Timeron’s perplexity toward the end of his set, what we we getting wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.

Antipattern is Alastair Strachan who is a long-time fixture on Brighton’s experimental scene.
More misbehaving beats minimal but searching when the kick drum is found it is colossal through the Green Door’s massive pa.  Sttrachan seems slightly taken aback before taming the beast somewhat although I for one could have listened to that untamed kick for hours.  Alastair introduces a hydrophone in a pint of water which is treated to a tube outputting some kind of sonic material into the liquid.  A nod to Lee Patterson, perhaps?

2 lads, 1 x mac + doepfer a100, producing pleasing minimal electronica although I was in and out of the room during their set so I’m not best qualified to report on this with any authority.

Cao is Constanza Cao originally from Peru, now based in London.  She produces some beautiful harsh electronics from just a laptop and a Korg ms20 synth.  Dark stuff.  Fantastic.

As I am one quarter of Kuroneko, I can’t and won’t comment further, apart from to say that I enjoyed playing at STA very much.

Orok whom I have seen before at a previous STA felt it necessary to make an announcement to the effect of asking for silence, saying his was “…quiet music…and relaxing – you might want to sit down on the floor…”  Audiences for experimental music are there because they want to be and don’t need to be told what to do, in my experience.  That said, Orok’s set was excellent and fulfilled his own criteria perfectly.  I would have sat on the floor if it wasn’t for the Green Door’s uneven cobbles.

Mouthful o’ Hakarl & The Fiery Biscuit are a new-ish collaboration between two Kevs and a Graham.  Pleasingly reminiscent of North African musics to these ears, possibly due to The Fiery Biscuit’s duduk drum and Hakarl’s saz-like instrument.  Mouthful Of Worms’ Kev Kilter augmented these very musical proceedings with karaoke-mic feedback shenanigans from what I could make out.  Possibly my favourite part of the day.

It was at this point that my own domestic existence cut in rather abruptly and halted my participation in this latest STA, so regrettably I missed Graham Dunning & Embla Quickbeam, Left Hand Cuts Off The Right, Harmergeddon (who Kuroneko performed with at a live cinema event in London earlier in the year and who I recommend seeing wholeheartedly for their unique presentation of video and self-built instruments) and Q’LIL GLB GELLS THALL.

Keep ‘em peeled for the next STA.

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