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Stumblings Raven Peter Hollo FourPlay

[Stumblings in the dark] - a sporadic weblog

Tuesday, 10th of June, 2003

So hard to believe that he only… well about 25 really (2:15 pm)

I started to write a review of Friday night's Kid 606 gig on Saturday morning, and the bloody browser window did something funny and I lost everything. Gotta love editing in browsers. So I'm doing this in a Notepad window where everything's safe, and I'll paste it in afterwards.

I really wasn't planning to review the show at all, but, well fuck me, it was outstanding. Definitely deserves a write-up. Best show I've been to at the Annandale, and I've played a couple myself *grin*
First up was Pimmon, aka Paul Gough (webpage here too, way out of date). I missed the beginning unfortunately but still saw quite a bit, and he was fantastic. Sitting hunched behind a laptop, creating huge swathes of sound, with as usual an extraordinary emotional depth for glitchy processed laptoptronica. Lovely stuff to get immersed in. Afterwards, I was chatting to some of the oldtime experimental electronic set (Shannon and Adrien from Wake Up And Listen, who were the year above me at school along with Seb from Sub Bass Snarl – ah, takes one back!) when Paul, who was standing next to me, suddenly exclaimed "Peter!" Nice to be recognized… Paul-Pimmon did a remix for FourPlay's Digital Manipulation album (see link above), which I "curated", and we've met a couple of times. He also works at ABC Radio and we talked about FourPlay and radio and stuff for a while. Pimmon has become rather well-known among the Mego-type glitch crowd around the world, and as well as some compilation appearances, will have an album out on the Kid's Tigerbeat 6 label in a couple of months – the much-awaited beats album…

Following Pimmon were Brisbane's Ponyloaf, who unfortunately kinda sucked. It amusing to see Caleb K and Gary Bradbury (aka Size, ex-Severed Heads) heckling them mercilessly… Tom Ellard, afterwards, was trying to convince Bradbury that when he'd seen them in Brisbane they weren't bad, but on the night they had too much gear and did nothing with it. Some big breaks, lots of bad synth pads, lots of mad action on stage but it was just tediously try-hard. As somebody commented, "very Brisbane". *sigh*
Then followed Curse Ov Dialect, for whom I've always had a soft spot. They've recently signed to Mush Records in the US, home of various Anticon-related projects (they were the ones who first released the Boom Bip & Dose One album), so they're in good company. Their stage shows are always action-packed, with The Guy With The Antlers (on Friday he had something unidentifiable replacing the antlers), The Guy Who Likes To Take His Clothes Off, The Mad Macedonian (making loud claims about how Greece is a racist state), The bare-chested Turk (I think he's Turkish) and so on. Unfortunately the mix was pretty crappy, so we could hear the rapping but not much of the music – a shame, because they love sampling from extremely odd sources…
Still, a lot of fun.

Before Miguel hit the stage, we were treated to about 15 minutes of Lucas Abela aka DJ Smallcock torturing LP records with his patented (probably not) 17-needle-stylus-through-distortion-pedal combo (setup rather decoratively on a wheelchair for the proceedings). Lucas's Dual Plover records may be responsible for some CD pressings of a Tigerbeat 6-related label ;)

And then, after a brief wait, Kid 606 hit the stage, with 3, count 'em, 3 laptops. We engaged in much speculation regarding why he really needed 3 laptops… He had one black powerbook (presumably a G3 or something), one older titanium G4 plus a lovely widescreen G4. Nigel from Cindii thought he was probably only using maybe two at once, and they didn't seem to be synced, but it all worked very nicely thank you.
So what was it like? I'd really been getting the feeling in the last couple of years that the Kid's a bit overrated… We all loved the original Attitude 7" on V/VM (the NWA digital fuck-up) and the following 3" CD on Tigerbeat… But somehow he's got a bit too much hype attached, and there were some (admittedly amusingly) sordid tales regarding my man Keith-Hrvatski too (all water under the bridge now)…
Well blow me down, it really was a sterling performance. If nothing else, the physical impact was huge. Somehow all the sound problems earlier on (note: Pimmon sounded superb) disappeared in a puff of Kid magic. You could feel the bass 5 metres from the stage, and everything was crystal clear despite being deafening… It was straight into drum'n'bass'n'hardcore, with constantly evolving beats and relentless DSP processing on everything. I suspect one of the laptops was just controlling DSP effects, and Miguel has it all down pat. It was impressive that such micro-programmed stuff could leave so much room for live input – perhaps he really needed the three laptops just for processing power. We got the drill'n'bass Get Ur Freak On mashup, and a cute synth version of Anarchy in the UK, and all the new material was stellar. There's an up-and-coming album on Mike Patton's Ipecac label (picked up a not-bad CDEP on Tigerbeat which is a sort-of sampler for it) which I await with no small anticipation…
Also notable were the visuals, controlled from a laptop next to the sound desk, courtesy of Brisbane's Rinzen. Very stylish indeed and a great backdrop for the music. He had some nice-looking t-shirts for sale, but at something like $66 dollars a pop I wasn't going to bite.
Altogether a great night!

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