Thanks to Cafe Oto for the image

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.

Harrison in action in Brighton (image from his website)

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:

Duncan Harrison:


Slow Listener:

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