MATANA ROBERTS is an internationally renowned composer, band leader, saxophonist, sound experimentalist and mixed-media practitioner. Roberts works in many contexts and mediums, including improvisation, dance, poetry, and theater. She made two records as a core member of the Sticks And Stones quartet in the early 2000s and has gone on to release a diverse body of solo and ensemble work under her own name on Constellation and Central Control over the past decade.
She is perhaps best known for her acclaimed 'Coin Coin' project, a multi-chapter work of "panoramic sound quilting" that aims to expose the mystical roots and channel the intuitive spirit-raising traditions of American creative expression while maintaining a deep and substantive engagement with narrativity, history, community and political expression within improvisatory musical structures. Constellation began documenting the 'Coin Coin' project in 2011 and has released the first three of a projected twelve album-length chapters to date.
ERIC CHENAUX is an adventurous guitarist, singer and composer based in Paris. Having been an active player in Toronto experimental music circles with a host of group and collaborative works, Chenaux has more recently amassed a body of solo work across five albums on the Constellation label, centering around his dextrous, fried guitar playing as juxtaposed with a gorgeously lyrical vocal style. An ingenious recombinant use of traditional folk, psychedelic pop and consort music in earlier albums has over time evolved into a wholly uncategorisable form of balladry, shot through with a singular vernacular of guitar improvisation.
2015 has seen Eric release 'Skullsplitter', perhaps the strongest document yet of the exquisite, poetical songcraft he snake-charms from the roiling and changeable sonic environments bedded beneath. Alongside it has seen a blooming of his collaboration with Canadian filmmaker Eric Cazdyn, with a set of visual pieces made for each track on the album testament to their ongoing exploration of a fresh, symbiotic approach to music-video.
MATANA ROBERTS hails from Michigan, and is perhaps best known as a founding member of formidable trip metal gods Wolf Eyes. Since he left that band a decade ago, he's delicately extended his exploration of tape manipulations and found sound appropriation, simultaneously bringing warmth and acidity, high-end assault and dreamy dislocation in a way that could be said to unwittingly form a bridge between Robert Ashley and hauntology. A serial collaborator, he's also made great records in cahoots with Jason Lescalleet, C. Spencer Yeh and many more and been compared to Maryanne Amacher and Nurse With Wound. Currently based in Oberlin, Ohio, from where he runs the Hanson Records label and mailorder, this is his first (and long overdue) UK appearance since appearing alongside Nate Young at The Grosvenor, over six years ago!
SISSY SPACEK is the band project of american noise artist John Wiese and often includes Corydon Ronnau and Jesse Jackson. Based out of LA, Wiese often describes them as grindcore though their work more often features rapidly spliced samples and blistering noise. Live their performance is more closely related to a furious punk maelstrom, utilizing bass/guitar/drum machine in rapid, heavy metal and hardcore inspired bursts with screamed vocals.
MOOR MOTHER GODDESS' music is a history lesson, a future lesson, and a comment on the present all at once. And really it is more than a lesson, its a soundscape to these different time dimensions, so that you are hearing and experiencing not only music, but you get the voices of the ancestors, the whispers of our descendants, and the field sounds of the future and past landscapes. She presents an immersive experience in her music that unfolds or unearths some of the hidden dimensions that are embedded in sounds.
THE SPACE LADY began her odyssey on the streets of San Francisco in the late 70s, playing versions of contemporary pop music an accordion and dressed flamboyantly, transmitting messages of peace and harmony. Following the theft of her accordion, The Space Lady invested in a then-new Casio keyboard, birthing an otherworldly new dimension to popular song that has captured the imaginations of the underground and its lead exponents ever since, with the likes of John Maus, Erol Alkan and Kutmah being devotees. Of her early street sets, only one recording was made, self-released originally on cassette and then transferred to a homemade CD.
"The Space Lady's Greatest Hits" released last year through Night School features the best of these recordings - mostly covers but with some originals - pressed on vinyl for the first time and features archival photographs and liner notes from The Space Lady herself. "Greatest Hits" contains The Space Lady's personal favourites; her haunting take on The Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)," a frantic "Ballroom Blitz" amidst other reconstructed pop music. Following on from this wonderful record, The Space Lady has begun writing new material and travelling the world to present her message outside the United States for the first time. This show follows on from her sensational appearance at Rudolf Steiner House last year!
MELTING HEARTS is Samuel Meri, a man with a reputation for slow movements but despite this, he has still managed to spend hundreds of hours in some of Helsinki's sleaziest karaoke bars, gathering inspiration for his enigmatic, fantasy pop group 'The Melting Hearts'. Taking cues from Dub, Tango, Finnish Schlager music & disco, Samu has contributed several of his songs to various cassette comps over the years (akin the the infamous petrol station only/truck driver friendly cassette comps rife through-out Finland during the 70s & 80s) as well as recording an excellent 7" for Jaakko Eino Kalevi's JEKS imprint. Flash forward to 2015 and The Melting Hearts set their sights on the UK & Europe at large with a long player for Neen Records currently in the works.
have always operated as a collective of musicians rather than a band per se. It was during the dark times of the mid-80s post-punk permafrost that their third album 'Return Of The Ranters' was written, recorded and shelved, by a group comprising Guy Smith, Simon Marchant, Alun 'Wilf' Williams, Noel Blanden and Jimmy Miller.
Extending their free experiments in compelling arrhythmia and seemingly organised sound, the record takes a loose trajectory from their previous albums and earlier, more confrontational approach. Lucid, candid, politically engaged, rarely metronomic but always humane, tired but still fighting, 'Return Of The Ranters' is now finally being released by Upset The Rhythm the day before this show.
Normil Hawaiians will be celebrating with this live manifestation - a double set at The Lexington.
MAXIMUM JOY formed in 1980 in Bristol from members of Glaxo Babies and The Pop Group, along with the then 17-year-old singer/clarinetist Janine Rainforth. They represented a break from the dour frown of post-punk. They were a dance band first and foremost, with a raucous disco pulse, blasts of brass and yelping, chanted vocals that lived up to the band’s name.
Maximum Joy combined myriad influences from the city's storied music scene to inform a sound that reflected the political and social climate of Thatcher-era Britain; funk, dub, disco, reggae and jazz all informed their particular strain of post-punk. Their output was by turns moody and exuberant but always highly danceable, carried by the ethereal strains of Janine.
The band's output was confined to just a handful of releases: four singles preceded an LP entitled 'Station M.X.J.Y', which was produced in part by legendary producer and dub trailblazer Adrian Sherwood. This year the band have reunited to play at Bristol’s excellently curated Simple Things festival and we're extremely pleased to have them visit London to play their first show here in 25 years around that date. Joined by DJs Bullion and JD Twitch from Optimo all looks set to lift the roof!