An entertaining evening of low end rumbles and gritty noise at Café Oto, in a four deck bill containing some of the most talented of the new generation of underground musicians in London at the moment.
Proceedings were kicked off by a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it set from Slow Listener. With a minimalist setup he sculpted an elegant, doomy soundscape, carefully assembled from cavernous drones and crackles, overlaid with loops of clanging, metallic percussion suggestive of a scrap-metal marimba.
If Slow Listener was controlled and minimal, BBBlood’s set was just the opposite. On a table piled with pedals, mixers and all manner of kit, he piled up samples, loops and bursts of sound into a dense, undulating cacophony. An almost plunderphonic collage switched suddenly into an everything-up-to-11 onslaught of howling noise – interrupted briefly for an impromptu chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ for a chum in the audience.
Another abrupt change brought Duncan Harrison’s tape and vocal collages. With only an ancient cassette mixing desk hooked up to an even older sampler, he gave a surreal, comedic performance. He mangled cassettes and mixed snatches of recorded conversation with his own vocal improvisations – including a strange monologue about seeing Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson on a train – to produce a fizzing, uneven soundbed that felt like eavesdropping on a data leak from the matrix.
Rounding off the night was a one-off collaboration between droney noise people Daniel Thomas, Kevin Sanders and David Thomas. Seated facing each other around a tiny table with all manner of archaic and home made gubbins, they resembled a trio of sorcerers gathered to summon some heavy winters magic. They proceeded to rustle up a thick, grainy stew of noise that whipped around Oto’s small space like a viscous sandstorm and made me feel like my brain had been scrubbed clean with wire wool.
A great, varied evening, all for the price of a pint at my local poncey gastropub. Superb.
For more about Daniel Thomas, Kevin Sanders and David Thomas, see their biographies on the Café Oto website: http://cafeoto.co.uk/duncan-harrison-bbblood-slow-listener.shtm
Duncan Harrison: http://duncan-harrison.blogspot.co.uk/
Slow Listener: http://godsblood.blogspot.co.uk/