Sunday, 8 May 2011

KRAAK All-Dayer

Kraak All Dayer

Stevenson Square


Joint MIE & Hibernate promote

7th May 2011

Henry MIE, Danny Saul, Mike Cook, Stephan Mathieu, BJ Nilsen, Wendy Cook, Martyn Walker 

It was all alright in the end but we all know computers were designed to make grown men cry and though there were no actual tears, more than one unhappy soul made his way through a thorny afternoon.

Ithaca Trio (Oliver Thurley to his mum), busy working on something more complicated than string theory for his MA, decided to showcase it prior to his MA performance piece in three days' time. But the piece of wonder when transferred to the laptop fell over, leaving Ithaca Trio and Tom I'Anson (trombone) on the Leeds – Manchester train with no discernible purpose. Undaunted our heroes composed a new piece en route and despite two noticeable coughs from the computer and a brief (Stan) Laurelesque head-scratching it certainly sounded like music. Well the bits that didn't sound like a trio of Salford busses or a cow in labour.

Talvihorros was less melodic than I'd hoped and at one point decided to explore that interesting fingernails-on-blackboard sound that everyone's so fond of. 

Richard A Ingram, having spent the last ten years of his life standing on stages across the planet as one fifth of Oceansize, was a bundle of nerves for his maiden solo appearance but all went hitch-free as he launched some rich piano samples to bookend a tightly structured crashing core of static.

Simon Scott was next victim to the technical gremlins - his short AV piece refused to come out to play. A gallows was glimpsed outlined against a twilight sky. There were rumours of contact mikes and creakings in the wind but it all remained just a concept.

Relmic Statute is one of the Leeds lot – some while back we saw his maiden performance there where he looked awfully worried. It must be his trademark look. Despite reasonably melodic murmurings he remained miserable throughout.

Danny Saul is a very naughty boy and plays too loudly and hurts eveybody's little ears. And that's a shame because he can produce interesting noises and much of the time he does.

Rob Curgenven, working as TSU with Jörg-Maria Zeger hopped around like a jolly sparrow laughing at the band-practice noises that were leaking from upstairs. Sadly I can remember little of their set beyond dour agricultural pacing from Zeger, ploughing his guitar beneath Curgenven's electronic sunshine and showers.

Simon Scott was living in hope of a wi-fi link which, as things were getting seriously behind time, I rather hoped would fail to materialise but when we returned from The Castle he was in full flight.

BJ Nilsen, Norway, was the next to lay his head on the block and give those gremlins more fun. Pro Logic hung, the rainbow wheel of death spinning and BJ Nilsen threw a wonderful tantrum scratching jack plugs in his palms and flinging things across the floor.

Stephan Mathieu, a neat disciplined German, set up with care and played his set with calm concentration, nudging 5 e-bows with their tiny blue lights like careful chessman. He created an expansive miasmic shifting field of sound. No peaks, no earth-rending cracks here but an enveloping eternity conjured smehow within the finite limits of a 40 minute set in an undistinguished warehouse in this northern industrial town.

Meantime a convocation of wizards assembled on the stone stairs, beardy men with bright ideas about inflicting their human wills on a wilful computer and Lo! eventually it was mended. So, late in the day, BJ Nilsen took to the floor again to rather grand effect for he had waterfalls, bells, and noises hurtling from left to right. Sometimes he grinned, sometimes wound knobs with gritted teeth, nursed a drawn out coda and silence. He looked relieved. 

Like I said, all came right in the end.