Monday, 6 April 2009

International Noise Conference: Laundry Room Squelchers/Bbblood/Horacio Pollard/Blue Sabbath Black Fiji/Girl Mountain - Gramaphone 06/04/09

The concept for this Noise Conference evening is punchy little sets with no lappies. Kind of a raw noise smorgasbord. I caught the second half of the eight act roster, still reeling from a heavy weekend, I figured a noise gig would go down a treat. And it did.

Girl Mountain are a one boy one girl duo sitting with no shoes on running vox and mini keys through a rack of pedals and knobs in a set that was just one long crescendo. Like being
pulled through a forest of dead leaves, the howling wind slowly picking up and distorting more and more but with a warmth there, under it all. Not unpleasant, quite soothing even, but ultimately the lack of dynamics rendered this set a right old plain jane.

So then on to the markedly different Horacio Pollard old buddy old pal. Stripped down to just a mic, a few pedals and a guitar amp, Pollard rips the atmosphere to shreds with a wild beast of a performance. Pure aggression just tears through the mic, like being shouted at by an angry, industrial goliath. It's all spontaneous and reactive but it's controlled which is the real trick here, the intent. There's nothing extraneous, no leaking feedback, just a fucking staccato horror that demands your full attention. And you give it willingly.

Up next are Glasgow based lovers Blue Sabbath Black Fiji and their enthusiastic crunchings. Full of verve they roughly spank their guitars and drum machine and etceteras, It's all very free and fun and full of verve but really it's not doing much, the excitement visible on stage never really managing to emerge in the sound. An edgeless blur, an unfocused experiment, lacking results.

So to a personal favourite, the Baron, Bbblood. This is the guy. A man at one with his switch array, it's all power. All clunking metal. It's a terrible car factory built wrong, spitting out lethal vehicles. You can make out the screams of the twisted car frames in pain, and Bbblood is taunting them, poking at them with an electric prod and guiding them into the compactor. A sadistic foreman with absolute authority over his machinery. Fearsome stuff.

And topping off this lovely evening are the amorphous, Miami living, Rat Bastard headed gang o' weirdos, The Laundry Room Squelchers, with a two minute long freak out of screaming, singing, flying about, dragging along and inadvertant wire unplugging. It's a condensed mess, it's fine, it is what it is, freestyle over substance.

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