Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Aaron Dilloway/Nate Young/Family Battle Snake - The Grosvenor 07/04/09

Slowly slowly builds the background, swirling up behind the insistant dull thud that almost sounds like it's coming from next door. It's drone and it's a fairly unremarkable set from Family Battle Snake but it serves as a decent enough warm up to the evening's events, lulling everyone into a half asleep, half wired state, perfect recepticles for the slow noise meanderings to come.

Nate Young sits in front of his contraption stacks with a single drum at his side and gurns his way through a quiet, creepy set. All itchy contact mic abuse, delayed into a rhythm and uncomfortably sustained as if restrained by shackles, prevented from dissipating into the atmosphere. There's even a bit of spoken word in the middle there, evoking black holes and bottomless pits, complementing the soundtrack far more than sounds likely on paper. And there's a stunning transition midway, when the almost overwhelmingly tense, slowly growing rough boulder of sound is suddenly crushed to a distant rumble, only to become the deep beat running under the rest of the set. Affecting stuff.

Not to be outdone, Aaron Dilloway takes to the stage and sets in motion the whisper of a tape, the loose loop of it hanging over the back of his desk, artfully placed on the heads so it slithers around, wrong and organic looking. And the set winds slowly denser, with more tape manipulations and noise administrations, the quiet caution gradually abandoned until two contact mics are stuffed inside his cheeks, wires trailing out of his mouth like a war torture victim and the creature that seemed so reluctant to be heard is suddenly bearing down on you, fitting and spasming and tearing at your ears, a pained sound, attacking out of fear like a cornered animal until it's abruptly shot dead by it's own father.

Fucking excellent.

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