We're releasing the debut 7" record by Red Channel this April 19th! Red Channel are five like-minds from Los Angeles who decided to start writing snappy, impactful songs together in early 2017. United through a shared post-punk sensibility they began experimenting with some angular drum and guitar give-and-take, layered with duelling synth refrains. Over this Melody and Casey worked-up their vocal harmonies through impulse. The pairs vocals drift through each track, punctuating the profound and guiding us through each song's uncanny terrain.
Check out new single 'Crazy Diamonds', Tiny Mix Tapes have just premiered the track, calling it "a lead track that ends up sounding smooth yet sharp, feeling wistful yet defiant. An ideal statement to introduce yourself with". 'Crazy Diamonds' 7" EP is available to pre-order now!
VITAL IDLES' EXTENDED PLAY
8 March 2019
Today we release Vital Idles' pristine new EP on shiny black 7" vinyl and digital bit-rates. It's the perfectly pensive follow-up to last year's immensely gratifying 'Left Hand' album. To celebrate, we've unveiled a 'flashy' new video for 'Careful Extracts' from the record for your enjoyment. It features a dark room, some "proximal furl" and all of Jessica's lyrics too. Get ready to lose yourself in an eventful 1 minute and 59 second visionary swell of sound.
NOTS & ALBUM NUMBER 3!
7 March 2019
Another day, another fantastic team-up with Goner Records! We're very pleased to announce that May 10th will see Upset The Rhythm release NOTS' third album entitled, wait for it... '3'. The Memphis trio have unearthed every writhing guitar squall, every raucous barrage and every piercing vocal melody at hand.
Melting buzzing, swirling waves of sound menace and hypnotise throughout too, making for a darkly liberating, bold tour de force of a third record, infused with a rampant intensity and improvisational energy. '3' will be released on limited coloured vinyl, black vinyl and digipak CD, check out our pre-order page in our webshop now!
Triumphant news! We're teaming up with Goner to release Hash Redactor's debut album on April 26th, who they? Hash Redactor are fronted by guitarist Alec McIntyre of Ex-Cult, with NOTS rhythm warriors Meredith Lones on bass and Charlotte Watson on drums, plus George Williford on second guitar.
'Drecksound', is their debut LP, diving into territory that feels distinctly untethered from their era. It's a clattering, shambolic oasis in the sleek digital desert. A flailing, nihilistic quake of buckled, cathartic punk. Available to pre-order now, including a limited mint green vinyl version with bonus poster.
Listen to 'Good Sense' now, it just premiered on Clash!
NEW EP FROM VITAL IDLES
18 February 2019
VITAL IDLES return with an epic 7" extended player for Upset The Rhythm next month! Four astonishing tracks of intensity and momentum, carefree introspection and minimal pop practice. Here's the first listen, 'Break A', courtesy of Clash Magazine, pre-order live and European tour dates announced too!
XIU XIU - OUT TODAY
8 February 2018
Today we release our first record of the year and what an album this is! Xiu Xiu's brand new full-length entitled 'Girl with Basket of Fruit'. It's a total thunderclap of a record infused with tense hooks, errant electronics, disturbed spoken word and voodoo techno, proving as unsparing and impassioned as ever!
Released today on 180g purple/black marbled vinyl and on an accompanying digipak CD with an 8-page booklet of lyrics and artwork, 'Girl with Basket of Fruit' can be found in all the best record shops and through our own webshop too.
Xiu Xiu will be touring Europe in support of the album too, London falls on March 26th at the Islington Assembly Hall, a date for your diaries!
15TH ANNIVERSARY LABEL TOUR
1 February 2018
Next March Upset The Rhythm will be marking our 15th anniversary with a label showcase tour around Britain. Representing a lot of our current UK roster, the tour will see the likes of DIY punk progressives Sauna Youth, Trash Kit, Vital Idles, Robert Sotelo and Dog Chocolate perform alongside hypnotic drum and voice duo Rattle and Guttersnipe, a group who shredded their tonal territory into euphoria this year with their debut album. Within the last fifteen years UTR has organised over 1500 live events in London and racked up a back catalogue you'd have to ask a friend to help carry, 115 titles at point of writing. All about the 15! The big XV! Here are the dates!
Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane (Royal Street corner), London, SE1 7LG | Map
7.30pm | £11.00 | Buy tickets
NATE YOUNG is a founding member of seminal Detroit noise band Wolf Eyes. More recently he's been honing an equally distinctive solo sound that blends myriad sources from musique concrete, vintage film atmospherics, layered synths and archive library recordings into something thrillingly intense. Summoning up crushingly ominous crepuscular soundscapes and synth-washed phantasmagoria, Young undercuts the brutalism of Wolf Eyes with the kind of ambient dread that conjures images of lost horror soundtracks from the 70's. Minimal analogue synth violence is punctuated by thunder cracks of metal percussion ala the early Akita/Null Merzbow duets, massively doomy beat hypnotics and an atmosphere that's somewhere between the most apocalyptic Throbbing Gristle recordings. This February sees the release of 'Dilemmas of Identity', volume one in a new multi-part series of solo releases from Young for Lower Floor Music. These songs were commonly made as a distraction from grief, seasonal depression and isolation. Sometimes severely ridiculous and unrelenting, other times slow, sparse and strange.
JOHN R. SPYKES aka Inzane Johnny of Wolf Eyes and American Tapes will be treating us to a solo slice from his mind platter, featuring damaged rippers and modulations galore. As a part of Wolf Eyes, John Olson is responsible for augmenting the USA's longest-running homemade, primitive, electronic, poetry & radical vibes trio. They don't just release albums they launch scotched, taped nuclear audio fronts on humanity. Spykes is a project Olson has visited many times since its inception in 1999, constantly unearthing new sounds from the same old grey feelings of Midwestern winters inside. Absolute free jams promised, firing on all cylinders, a warped madness of atomised sonics.
E B U is a Bristol-based producer who casts a universe of her own both sonically and visually. Defying any one genre, she refers to her distinct sound as 'Swamp Pop'. Unnatural sounds and pitches exhale in melodic chants, ominous baselines resound and eerie loops fixate in this macabre ensemble. You are captive in her world. Moments of haunting clarity keep you wondering where she will take you next whilst strange narratives unfold. Her chameleonic visual display is charged with emotion, keeping you suspended in a state of flux as she orbits through the spectrum. Stimulated by human behaviour and existence she questions the very nature of being and invites the audience to explore through her cathartic performance.
DAVID NANCE GROUP is nothing if not prolific. Over the course of the past six years, the Omaha, NE musician has released three full-length albums for labels Grapefruit and Ba Da Bing, a 7-inch, numerous cassettes, CDRs and unlicensed "cover albums" of artists like Lou Reed, The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Doug Sahm. His latest full-length is credited to the 'David Nance Group' and features Nance alongside his recent hot-live band of fellow Omaha musicians; guitarist Jim Schroeder, bassist Tom May and drummer Kevin Donahue. Appropriately, the new album is called 'Peaced and Slightly Pulverized' as the sounds therein are alternatingly tender & brusque. Nance has an enviable way of conveying intensity and pathos in his music without necessarily resorting to clicking on a distortion pedal, instead relying on the build-up and tension from the interplay of his bandmates with his cracked, impassioned wail. There's also plenty of fuzz and distortion too, from the anthemic 'Poison' with its fuzzed-out guitar riff that leans into a Crazy-Horsian guitar maelstrom and white-hot solo, to 'Ham Sandwich'; a blisteringly frantic rant about a lunchtime torment - uncomfortable in its directness. Respite comes with '110 Blues's languid late-night desert psychedelia, and side one closes with the epic seven and a half minute 'Amethyst', expanded & jammed upon from 2017's Richie Records single into an emotional odyssey with Nance & Schroeder strangling their guitars into a twin-guitar, barbed-wire duel. The album's centerpiece is 'In Her Kingdom', an emotive ballad that fades into view with a plaintive guitar strum, and over seven minutes ebbs and flows with a rising tide of swelling guitars, it's riffs gilding the melody & adding flecks of gold to Nance's tale of poverty and grace. Alternately, 'When I Saw You Last Night' stalks the night like a predator, finally finding its prey two and a half minutes in with a stinging, blood-drenched guitar solo. The album closes with 'Prophet's Prot's biting commentary on false idolatry that again utilises the group's not-so-secret weaponry of Nance and Schroeder's six-string simpatico to bring the listener home. 'Peaced and Slightly Pulversized' is out now on Trouble In Mind.
YERBA MANSA consists of Edwin Stevens (Irma Vep, Sex Hands, Klaus Kinski etc) and Andrew Cheetham (ABC trio, Birchall/Cheetham duo etc), two of UK's most prolific purveyors of raging, outer-limits rock-ism. Both members of free-rock army Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura as well as countless other projects, they take a similar blueprint for their head-to-head skyscraping duo, only with a singularity of heavy chord chug that aligns them with Gown or even Michael Flower & Chris Corsano. Sizzling, stifling and ever so slightly ear-scraping, Yerba Mansa is a must for any lover of untamed guitars. 'Untilted' LP out now on Deep Distance. Forthcoming LP "The Cleaner" to come this year!
MAEDCHEN 84 are an Anglo German group who include Thomas on alto sax and vocals, Richard on guitar, Simon on Bass and Stefano on Drums. They play a twisted, noisy, jazzy rock and roll with spontaneous moments of joyful clarity. Also known for their cowbell orchestras and slide whistle monologues, they are currently performing songs and sketches from their new album 'Girls Four and Eighty'. M84 are an experiment in making music shaped sounds.... the squeal of Thomas' sax, the thud of Stefano's drum, the rubber of Simon's bass, the shudder or Richard's guitar!
XIU XIU is the conduit for the uncompromising and unnervingly personal musical works of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Jamie Stewart, plus a roll call of collaborators both in studio and onstage. Streaming forth a ceaseless torrent of releases, side projects, art offerings and extensive international touring since 2002, Xiu Xiu's music has veered from damaged avant-pop to artfully orchestrated rock, squalls of black-hearted noise and most bases around and between, ever served with a bruising honesty and intensity that has ripped out the hearts of a legion of obsessive listeners.
Newly announced Xiu Xiu album, 'Girl with Basket of Fruit' (out Feb 8th on Upset The Rhythm), is a rowdier, yet more stylistically splenetic offering than 2017's 'Forget', with the usual eye-catching list of collaborators this time including Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), Devin Hoff and Haitian percussionists Emmanuel Obi and Ayo Okafor. For this live operation in London Xiu Xiu will manifest in the form of Jamie Stewart, Thor Harris (best known for his percussion work in Swans) and Jordan Gieger (Minus Story/Shearwater).
JOHN BENCE is a composer and producer from Bristol, whose work tackles epic narrative themes and uncompromising sonics with a juddering emotional punch. Bence's first record, 'Disquiet' was a sort of palimpsest of a re-scored composition, whilst new album 'Kill' finds him unfurl a shocking three part movement for vocals, cello and bellicose drums that should leave no one uncertain of his talents. And in that sense it's really not hard to hear why his music has been snapped up for release by Yves Tumor's label, as the pair patently share a feel for music both fuelled by and navigating overwhelming emotion. 'Kill' is out now on the Grooming imprint.
Upset The Rhythm 15th anniversary label party!
Wednesday 27 March
Tufnell Park Dome
2A Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park, London, NW5 1HL | Map
5.30pm-11pm | £10.00 | Buy tickets
Next March Upset The Rhythm will be marking our 15th anniversary with a label showcase tour around Britain. Representing a lot of our current UK roster, the tour will see the likes of DIY punk progressives Sauna Youth, Trash Kit, Vital Idles and Dog Chocolate perform alongside hypnotic drum and voice duo Rattle and Guttersnipe, a group who shredded their tonal territory into euphoria this year with their debut album. Within the last fifteen years UTR has organised over 1500 live events in London and racked up a back catalogue you'd have to ask a friend to help carry, 115 titles at point of writing. We've always been proud to have a forward-facing, open-minded attitude towards the label, letting it be a reflection of our own personal tastes. This has led to the label's scope becoming truly international. We work with artists from Australia like Terry, The Green Child and School Damage, European acts like Pega Monstro, Makoto Kawabata and Pikacyu from Japan and Darlene Shrugg from Canada. We also release US acts such as Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu and The World and have been responsible for discovering the talents of John Maus, Future Islands and No Age with debut releases from all. It's certainly kept us busy, alongside all this, we've been tireless in our support of the noise next door, providing a platform for Britain's enthralling musical underground in all its many forms. It's this side of things we're choosing to highlight with this tour and London show, help us celebrate the big XV on our doorstep, before we wander off through the kingdom! This London show kick starts the tour and will feature:
JANDEK is the musical project of Corwood Industries, a record label that operates out of Houston, Texas. Since 1978, Jandek/Corwood Industries has independently released over 100 albums/DVDs of unusual, often emotionally dissolute folk, rock and blues songs without ever granting an interview or providing any biographical information. Jandek often plays a highly idiosyncratic and frequently atonal form of folk, rock, punk, country, classical and blues music, at times using an open and unconventional chord structure. The name 'Jandek' is most commonly used to refer specifically to the project and not an individual.
THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS are a touchstone punk jazz/brutal prog/no wave group who steadily deconstructed music and reality between 1991-2007 with their 16 releases and more than 400 performances around the world. Now, in 2019, the band is back with a new lineup, new music and a new full-length album out soon. In the interim, leader and composer Weasel Walter shifted his expansive energies into the world of free improvisation, recording dozens of albums and playing with hundreds of internationally known musicians, as well as touring the planet with Lydia Lunch, Cellular Chaos, XBXRX, Behold The Arctopus and many others. In 2017, The Flying Luttenbachers reformed and made a week long tour of France, performing an hour long set of classic material from the entire catalog. The latest incarnation of the band is based in New York City, featuring Tim Dahl (Ava Mendoza's Unnatural Ways, GRID) on bass guitar, Matt Nelson (GRID, Elder Ones, etc.) on tenor saxophone, Brandon Seabrook on guitar and Weasel Walter on drums. For this April 2019 tour, Seabrook will be replaced by UK guitar strangler Alex Ward, who cut his teeth playing as a teen with legendary improviser Derek Bailey. The band was recently invited to open a run of three sold out New York shows headlined by The Oh Sees last October. The Flying Luttenbachers have recorded a brand new double LP entitled 'Shattered Dimension' which will be released on ugEXPLODE and Ty Segall's imprint GOD? Records this April.
MOSQUITOES are a crypto, avant rock trio, who have captured the attention of more than a few heads over the past couple of years. After two self-released offerings, their latest EP on Ever/Never Records sealed the deal with its swarming mass of dubwise, no wave indebted confusion.
COOLIES have been blurting out random batches of high order avant garage spew since 1997. Sjionel Timu and Tina Pihema are the core of the band. Formed in the sprawl of South Auckland, New Zealand while they were still teens, Coolies were ostensibly a 'punk' unit, but their sound was never doctrinaire. Through sheer weirdness and strength of vision, they created music that paralleled aspects of underground noise from the forests of Olympia Washington, the squats of West London, and the basements of Dunedin. Without resorting to formal revisionism, they've managed to take the basics of the early Rough Trade sound and smudge it with fingers dipped in the art-readymades of NZ's underground pop groups and their own fevered experimentalism.
For a good chunk of the last decade, Stefan Neville (aka Pumice) was their drummer. This line-up cut a great LP, Master, for Chapter Music, and an even more dastardly EP, Punk Is Bread, for Epic Sweep. Most recently they presented, Kaka, gruntily produced by Neville on Feeding Tube Records. The tunes on Kaka were recorded in a couple of long jam sessions, then teased and smooshed into 'shape' over the course of a year or so. The results, much like their live show are both propulsively fetching and utterly fried.
THE RENDERERS come up with the unexpected; a ghostly folk song, a free-form freak out, a head-spin of psychedelic hammering; anything goes. The New Zealand group have released nine albums since they formed in 1989 on labels as diverse as Flying Nun, Ba Da Bing, Siltbreeze and Merge. The Renderers feature legendary guitarist and songwriter Brian Crook and his wife, songwriter and artist Maryrose Crook, with a rotating group of members. The Crooks have supported such artists as Thurston Moore, playing with a full band at Zebulon in Los Angeles, 2018; Will Oldham, performing as his backing band, following which he subsequently released his own recording of one of their songs, A Dream of the Sea; Joanna Newsom, and Bill Callahan, who they supported in New Zealand, playing theatre shows as a duo, to Simon Joyner and Wooden Wand, who they recently performed alongside in a house concert in Yucca Valley, California.
FUN FUN FUNERAL make brightly coloured songs like beautiful collages, always with a little glue overlapping. Bold songwriting, dense lo-fi arrangements, a dark and happy poem. With their specially crafted samples, scraped and scratched strings, high voices, percussions, the duo exhibits original pop songs of yesterday and tomorrow.
ALEX REX is the solo project from Alex Neilson (founding member and songwriter of folk-rock band Trembling Bells & collaborator with Bonnie Prince Billy) and friends. Singing songs of love, loss and loathing. This is his first UK tour to promote new album 'Otterburn' (Tin Angel Records). Known for his continuing collaborations with Alasdair Roberts and Richard Youngs, and for his work with the elusive Jandek, Alex grew up in Leeds and now resides in London. An accomplished drummer, percussionist and singer who draws from jazz, psychedelia and the darker side of folk music, 'Otterburn' reunites Alex with two of his Trembling Bells band mates, Lavinia Blackwall and Mike Hastings. Aside from being a staple part of the folk-rock revival, Rex has performed alongside artists including Lucky Luke, The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden, Ashtray Navigations, Alastair Galbraith and Isobel Campbell. He has also toured with several folk artists who have enjoyed a late rediscovery of their work, including Scott Fagan, Nick Garrie, Mike Heron and Shirley Collins. Alex's new release was the product of a cataclysmic event in his personal life which happened in April 2017. Sadly, Alex's brother Alastair passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on his canal boat in Leeds. The youngest of three boys, Alastair embodied all his family's best qualities and was a charming and spontaneous friend to anyone lucky enough to cross his path. Forged in pain and made in Glasgow, Otterburn heaves with sorrow, despair, a sense of humour and a unique perspective that could only come from experiencing deep loss.
MYLES MANLEY is a consistently inventive pop star from Sligo, Ireland. His provocative and idiosyncratic take on guitar pop makes for a thrilling and vibrant show. 'Myles Manley' is currently a three piece guitar band consisting of Myles Manley, longstanding collaborator Christopher Barry and Cork's drummer Solamh Kelly (Trumpets of Jericho, Dragons of Shandon). They spent the year honing an album of percussive, skeletal protest-pop music which is an exact replica of their joyful live set, which will have value as a historical document when it comes out.
11TH HOUR ADVENTISTS are the collaborative duo of Jowe Head (Swell Maps, The Demi-Monde) and Jasmine Pender (Rotten Bliss).
IRMA VEP is a loner, a joker, a roamer, a ribald construct riddled with both earnest anxiety and mercurial songwriting talent birthed by a young Edwin Stevens in Llanfairfechan, North Wales. Thrust into life after his mum bought a four track recorder for him, Edwin started recording for the cathartic process rather than the outcome. Having since fully grown into Irma Vep and now residing in Glasgow, Stevens' discography has expanded to document every aspect of his music, from ecstatically free group experiments to bare, sparse songwriting that cuts to the quick, shorn of ornament or pretence.
Stevens moonlights in several other groups (Sex Hands, Klaus Kinski, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Yerba Mansa), bringing with him an instantly recognisable guitar language. However, it's in Irma Vep that his most life-affirming, troubling and thrilling music is made.Much Irma Vep feels like what "classic" music should feel like if it weren't so Classic. Each record, each song and each performance exists as an evolving drama. Edwin has toured the West Coast of America after being invited by Chris Johanson to play his Quiet Music Festival of Seattle and Portland. Irma Vep's latest offering 'Evil', talks of repression and the consequences of repression,channeling Edwin's influences of The Rebel, Lou Reed, Katherine Dunn, Dennis Cooper, Michael Yonkers, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Cat Power, Smog, Henry Flynt and Nico.
ES are the soundtrack to your no-wave nightmares, proffering 'mutant synth-punk for our dystopian present' (Jes Skolnik). Ethereal synths, tense basslines, wired drums and cold vocals collide, proving curiously dark, intense and unrelenting. After releasing their debut 'Object Relations' 12" EP on La Vida Es Un Mus in 2016, all members now reside in London and are working towards an album in 2019. ES feature members of Public Service, The Worms, Primetime and Scrap Brain.
POWERPLANT embark on an eternal crusade with sizzling synthesizers & pleading vocals. True essence of synth-punk released into thin air. We truly are the last of man.
LEA BERTUCCI: Projection/Reflection
Tuesday 16 April
Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane (Royal Street corner), London, SE1 7LG | Map
7.30pm | £10.00 | Buy tickets
LEA BERTUCCI is an American composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her instrumental practice, (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique and tape collage. Deeply experimental, her work is unafraid to subvert musical expectation. Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on independent labels and last year she released the critically acclaimed 'Metal Aether' on NNA tapes, as well as a commission for percussion ensemble Tigue and a second edition of her much anticipated graphic score book, 'The Tonebook', on Inpatient Press. She has performed extensively across the US and Europe with presenters such as The Kitchen, PS1 MoMA, Blank Forms, The Walker Museum, Roulette, ESS Chicago, Sound of Stockholm Festival, and the Le Guess Who Festival. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence. For this special concert in London, Betucci will present her new sensory Projection/Reflection performance.
BRIGID MAE POWER is an Irish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, like Judee Sill, Micky Newburyor Linda Perhacs before her, paints her songs in dreamily expansive strokes, transporting earthly compositions into universal and exultant realms. Her self-titled debut on Tompkins Square was a majestic suite of reverb-swathed laments for voice, guitar, piano, accordion, and harmonium, recorded at the Portland studio of key musical foil Peter Broderick. Themes include transformation, change, motherhood, acceptance, strength, courage and trust. In the words of Power, the album was about "trusting if you lose yourself or your way - you can come back". New album 'The Two Worlds' is another masterful collection of effortless, hypnotic folk, and an album that furthers the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist's already stellar reputation. Live, Brigid can encapsulate the timeless magic of her songs either solo or as a duo with Peter. Thus far she has toured throughout Ireland, UK and the US together with artists including Lee Ranaldo, Richard Dawson, Alasdair Roberts, Peter Broderick and Ryley Walker, with performances at Le Guess Who? and TUSK festivals along the way.
AOIFE NESSA FRANCES is a Dublin born musician and singer-song writer. She is inspired by the poetic styles of folk music and psychedelic rock.
BILL NACE is an artist and musician based in Western Massachusetts. He has collaborated with an extraordinary range of musicians, including Michael Morley, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano, Jooklo Duo, Chris Cooper, Samara Lubelski, Thurston Moore, Jake Meginsky, Jessica Rylan, Paul Flaherty, Wally Shoup, and Kim Gordon, with whom he regularly plays as one half of the duo Body/Head. Their critically acclaimed LP 'The Switch' was released on Matador last year. He has been a featured musician in festivals such as ATP (curated by Jim Jarmusch and held in Monticello, NY), Colour Out of Space (Brighton, UK), Supersonic Festival (Birmingham, UK), International Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville, QC), and Homegrown (Boston, MA). Nace's range of guitar playing has been described as "veering from sculptural, almost Remko-Scha-esque chime to Loren Connors-style elegance in only a few short moves." Recordings found on Ecstatic Peace (Northampton, MA), Ultra Eczema (Belgium), Holidays (Italy), 8mm (Italy), Throne Heap (VA), HP Cycle (Toronto, ON), as well as on Nace's own label Open Mouth.
JAMES TWIG HARPER really pulls out real time-and-space bending tracks. Harper, perhaps best known for his collaborations with Nate Young in Nautical Almanac and alongside Daniel Higgs for Thrill Jockey, holds some genuine weirdness within. He has a distinctly unique fidelity and gyroscopic dynamic that makes for a deliciously disorienting experience all of his own conception. There's an animalistic or perhaps even plant-like bio-logic to its devolved, dubbed-out arcana, a grunting, scraping, grubbing ecological complexity of sounds that grows, twists and bifurcates at seemingly haphazard junctions to catalyse chain reactions of constant change and multiple layers of surreality. Sometimes Harper's music can enters passages which sound almost like a primitive take on Florian Hecker's plonging, rubbery computer music or Rashad Becker's perplexing notional folk music. Check out his releases on Open Mouth, Planam, Thrill Jockey and Heresee for the full tangle.
GLANDS OF EXTERNAL SECRETION began when Seymour Glass, inspired by J.D. Salinger's short story 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish', starts publishing the legendary Bananafish Zine in 1987, which for eighteen issues and up until 2004, constitutes a huge and ambitious attempt of presenting underground culture in its every form. Completely unknown experimental branchings, with a preference for the lo-fi, collage aesthetics, Glass's paranoid and absurd manner of writing and the whole structuring of the noise scene, with San Francisco as a starting point and every "tweaked" corner of the globe as a destination, found their home in Bananafish and their main representative in Seymour Glass. Glands of External Secretion began as Glass wanted to testify further via weird monuments of experimental and far-out studio improv, using a surreal collage of songs, sounds, Barbara Manning's vocals, voice samples, loops, out-of-context rhythms, field recordings, electronics, cut-up manipulated noises and anything else which is not considered music. The result is a twisted riot of sound bordering on audacity which the term 'extremely psychedelic' fails to completely encapsulate.
ESCAPE-ISM is the nom de guerre of mythic rock 'n' roll provocateur / theorist / revolutionary Ian Svenonius (performer, author, filmmaker, etc). Svenonius is known for his work in the music groups The Make-Up, Chain & The Gang, XYZ, Weird War and author of underground bestsellers such as The Psychic Soviet, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group, and Censorship Now! Recognised by Performer Magazine as the "greatest performer on the planet", Svenonius is profound, prophetic, perverse, and poetic. His debut solo album an 'Introduction to Escape-ism' was released through Merge last year and teamed up a drum machine, guitar, cassette player, and a single voice singing out... for a way out. Svenonius' songs cry out for love, justice, redemption and insurrection, they stomp on convention and clobber notions of what music can be. Live, Escape-ism a new paradigm of performance: raw, gestural, idiotic, sublime, revolutionary, poetic, faux naif, unknowing, a drainage pipe that leads to who knows where.
'The Lost Record' is Escape-ism's new album on Merge and is already a classic, destined to bewitch the minds, hearts, and dancing shoes of any rock 'n' roll fan who happens to discover it, for as long as such creatures exist. Without the high-octane hype machine of the mind-control minstrels who hypnotize the hapless through the mass media, 'The Lost Record' is bound for inevitable obscurity, but-with its timeless tunes, poignant message, and innovative sound-rediscovery and immortal status is equally assured! Music enthusiasts will be thrilled to be the ones clever and kind enough to have rescued this platter from oblivion. This show follows on from last year's appearance at MOTH Club, Ian enjoyed it so much he's coming back this May!
THE CATENARY WIRES
Monday 6 May
The Rotunda, Wood Lane, White City Place, London, W12 7TP (3 mins walk from White City tube directly north up Wood Lane. Venue is behind the green gates) | Map
7.30pm | £10.00 | Buy tickets
CALVIN JOHNSON has been rockin' it hardcore throughout the NW corner of the United States of America since way back. Olympia, Washington is where he hangs his hat. Beats, rhymes and lots of dark chocolate are how he whiles the hours. Calvin's work in underground culture started as a teenage fan volunteering at the local community radio station, KAOS-FM. He moved on to writing for fanzines, organizing music and film events, playing music in various ill-fated bands. Calvin established K Records, a locally oriented media outlet, in 1982. In 1993 Calvin founded Dub Narcotic Studio in which he has documented the work of Mirah, the Blow, Versus, Built to Spill, Fitz of Depression, Make-Up and Little Wings. It has also been the incubator of many Calvin experiments in collaboration and self-expression, such as Beat Happening, Halo Benders and Dub Narcotic Sound System. The decade of the double zeroes saw him set out into the world, acoustic guitar in hand, as a solo artist of musical platitudes. This show sees Calvin as troubadour, baring his soul and playing tracks from his wide-ranging opus 'A Wonderful Beast', released last October on K Records. Dig.
THE CATENARY WIRES are Rob Pursey and Amelia Fletcher. They specialise in emotive indie duets, capturing the spirits of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, and releasing them into modern Britain. In their previous lives, Amelia and Rob featured in indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and Tender Trap, and released several records on Calvin Johnson's K Records. A new Catenary Wires LP is due this Summer too, look out!
THE ESSEX GREEN are a neo-psychedelic pop outfit from Brooklyn, NY, via Burlington, VT. The band is primarily composed of songwriters Jeff Baron, Sasha Bell, and Chris Ziter and specialises in a classic sound inspired by 1960s-1970s pop and folk in the tradition of bands like The Left Banke and Fairport Convention. The group's new album 'Hardly Electronic' was released through Merge last summer and is stacked with harmonies, upbeat melodies telling melancholy tales, layers of keys, and sparkling Telecasters. Their time-honored custom of fusing obsession with spontaneity has been refined through experience and wisdom. 'Hardly Electronic' explores the evolution of old friendships, the sadness of losing touch, the inadequacies of technology, and finally, the desire for reconnection with songs like 'Bye Bye Crow' and 'Slanted by Six.' Themes of connectivity are on display in the war cry chorus of 'Don't Leave It in Our Hands,' while songs like 'Bristol Sky' and 'January Says' hint at how the same technology-connected culture can create division and distance, even in the most personal of relationships. On the flip side, the wonders of technology (and jumbo jets) made the recording possible. With Chris and Jeff in Vermont and Sasha living in Montana, finding ways to work together was challenging. The result is classic Essex Green sonic diversity.
TOM O.C WILSON is a London-based Anglo-American with an insatiable appetite for musical discovery. His music straddles the line between the classic English pop songwriting tradition (Ray Davies, Andy Partridge, Damon Albarn) and the sophistication of current US acts such as Dirty Projectors and Deerhoof. Yet his musical canvas also draws upon wider influences, be that the exuberance of contemporary jazz (Denys Baptiste, John Hollenbeck), the raw emotional impact of twentieth century classical composition (Olivier Messiaen, Gyorgy Ligeti), or the irresistible rhythmic pull of Sardinian guitarists such as Paolo Angeli and Marino De Rosas. Tom's debut album "Tell A Friend" was released in 2017 on Pickled Egg Records, and was previewed in a series of high-profile gigs, including a session for BBC Radio 3 Exposed and headline shows at Cafe Oto and Servants Jazz Quarters in London.
HEN OGLEDD is a project founded by Richard Dawson and harpist, Rhodri Davies, with the addition of Dawn Bothwell and Sally Pilkington. The name of the group is a reference from the Welsh for The Old North. Each hailing from historically different tribal regions of the Old North, the musicians in Hen Ogledd challenge the idea that the ancient world was rife with magic, while the new is infiltrated by cold logic. This has led to the band's new album for Weird World, 'Mogic', being created. This third record from the group is a phantasmal blend of images and ideas that draw upon the mystical and technological. 'Mogic' is a discombobulating pop prayer exploring artificial intelligence, witches, nanotechnology, pre-medieval history, robots, romance, computer games and waterfalls. This dynamic album of eddies and swirls, ravishing melodies, hallucinatory textures and rapid rhythms is pinned down by some deft performances: Pilkington's picture-perfect pop and earthy singing, Davies' blazing harp splutterations and guitar moans, Bothwell's twisted telephone techno and bamboozling lyric-bombs and Dawson's utter bass. No small mention must go to special guest Will Guthrie, one of the finest and classiest drummers there is, who's all over this record like long grass on dunes. 'Mogic' was released last November and supported by a short tour of the UK, this new date follows on from their sold out Courtyard Theatre extravangaza and Late Junction festival appearance.
PRIESTS are a group of rock iconoclasts from Washington, DC. Bred in punk, Priests play rock'n'roll that is as intellectually sharp as it is focused on pop's thrilling pleasure centres, that is topical without sloganeering. The high-wire physicality of their live shows and their commitment to cultural, political, and aesthetic critique have all made Priests truly subversive in a literal sense, doing things you would not expect. With fireworks of noise and arresting melodies both, Priests' 2017 debut album 'Nothing Feels Natural' feels urgently present for an album heralded as a modern punk classic. This April they return with their second album 'The Seduction of Kansas' out on their own imprint Sister Polygon Records. Entering their eighth year as a band, Priests drummer Daniele Daniele, vocalist Katie Alice Greer, and guitarist G.L. Jaguar remain an inspired anomaly in modern music. A band on its own label jolting the greater music world with early releases by Downtown Boys, Snail Mail and Sneaks, they are living proof that it is still possible to work on one's own terms, to collectively cultivate one's own world. New single, 'The Seduction of Kansas', is Priests' purest pop song to date. It is dark and glittering, though there is still something fantastically off about it, decadent and uneasy at once. Its title is a moving target, probing questions about the realities and mythologies of America in 2019 without giving in to easy answers.
ANA DA SILVA & PHEW have a new collaborative album entitled Island, full of absorbing textures, tactile beats, and a masterfully dynamic compositional style. Each cavernous track feels like a conversation, and out of the ominous dark comes a generative hope. Ana and Phew contribute pointillist bits of spoken word in each other's native tongues of Portuguese and Japanese, reflecting on isolation, friendship, and nature. The quotidian is made profound. A gripping mood is set by the shared stoicism and subtle playfulness of these two cult punk icons. Island's logic is one of wise minimalism. There is a feeling of discovery that will be familiar to Raincoats fans, a sense of poetry and inquisitiveness, of intuition and invention, of new languages taking shape.
Ana da Silva is a founding member and songwriter of the pioneering post-punk band The Raincoats. Across four daring full-length records, The Raincoats helped shape the timeless notion that punk is what you make it - an act of raw expression, not any one sound. The Raincoats have offered creative and spiritual inspiration for several generations of artists. They set a crucial precedent for feminist work within a DIY punk context, marked all the while by Ana's poetic lyrical style and innovative noise guitar playing.
After The Raincoats' hiatus in 1984, Ana collaborated with The Go-Betweens, This Heat's Charles Hayward and choreographer/dancer Gaby Agis. Ana returned to song writing and performing with The Raincoats after Kurt Cobain invited them to tour with Nirvana shortly before his untimely death in 1994, and they released an album 'Looking in the Shadows' in 1995 on DGC and Rough Trade. In 2005, Ana released her solo debut, 'The Lighthouse' - a self-recorded collection of spare, elegant experiments in electronic indie-pop. Ana's recent appearances with The Raincoats include a 2016 collaboration with Angel Olsen for Rough Trade's 40th anniversary, as well as a 2017 presentation at The Kitchen, New York of The Raincoats and Friends, a celebration of Jenn Pelly's book The Raincoats.
Phew consolidated her binary interests as a vocal performer and analogue electronics improviser with the 2017 release of her album 'Voice Hardcore'. Indeed, since her 2013 conversion to analogue electronics Phew has continued evolving her live solo project around the world. In 2015 she released her first almost entirely solo-driven album, aptly titled 'A New World', on the Japanese label Felicity featuring nine songs backed by herself on electronics and drum machine, with contributions from Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich, and synthesizer / electronics player Hiroyuki Nagashima.
In 1978 Phew started out as the singer in Aunt Sally, the Osaka punk group who released just one outstanding album on Vanity Records. A year later Phew released her debut solo single, produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. In 1981 she made her debut solo album 'Phew' at legendary producer Conny Plank's studio near Cologne, accompanied by Plank, and Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit. She returned to Conny's studio to make 'Our Likeness' (Mute, 1992) with Jaki Liebezeit, former DAF/Liaisons Dangereuses member Chrislo Haas and Einsturzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke. And in 2011, she and Erika Kobayashi formed Project UNDARK to record the texts of 'Radium Girls' with music by the late Dieter Moebius, of Cluster. In Japan she has made a series of acclaimed records under her own name and with leading bands such as Novo Tono and her contemporary punk group Most too.
TARANTULA are a free-form punk racket formed on planet Glasgow 2017; a low brow jazz melting stair tumble, the sound of joy. All associates of the Glasgow DIY ganglands and normative rock bands, Tarantula - influenced only by shreds videos - take all shapes; every moment improvised and transient. Comparisons have been made with Y-pants, the magic band, the Arkestra and Hole.
LANKUM have an alchemical ability to combine traditional folk roots with contemporary undercurrents to forge music that is dark, mysterious and transcendental. Comprising brothers Ian Lynch (uillean pipes, tin whistle, vocals), Daragh Lynch (vocals, guitar) alongside Cormac Mac Diarmada (fiddle) and Radie Peat (harmonium, accordion, vocals), Lankum channel a diverse set of influences and histories to create a beautifully rare thing: a songbook from and for the people. Born of years criss-crossing Dublin's folk, squat and experimental scenes, their two albums 'Cold Old Fire' (2013, recorded under former name Lynched) and Rough Trade debut 'Between The Earth and Sky' (2017) breath new life into ancient/modern rituals with urban punk fervour, rural psycho-geography and, underpinning it all, the eternal drone of the uilleann pipes. This event with Cafe OTO presents an intimate two night residency for Lankum, debuting a new live show, alongside special guests.
CHRIS COHEN's songs initially sound easy. They're each tiny jewels that unfurl at a leisurely pace, but dig a little deeper and you'll reach a melancholy core. His previous two albums, 2012's 'Overgrown Path', and 2016's 'As If Apart', were built from lush, blurry tracks that embedded themselves in your subconscious, like they'd always been there. 'Chris Cohen', his new solo album on Captured Tracks, was written and recorded in his Lincoln Heights studio and at Tropico Beauties in Glendale, California over the course of the last two years. Cohen would sing melodies into his phone, fleshing them out on piano, then constructing songs around the melodies, and later, adding lyrics and other instrumentation with the help of Katy Davidson (Dear Nora), Luke Csehak (Happy Jawbone Family Band), Zach Phillips, and saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, among others. It is his most straightforward album yet, but it is also the conclusion of an unofficial cycle that began with 'Overgrown Path'. 'Chris Cohen' is an album about pain and loss but it's also about accepting loss. Of the song 'Green Eyes,' Cohen says "[It's about] the men in my family and how they passed their worldview along to each other from great emotional distances. My father and grandfather were full of secrets and longing, which were communicated through everyday actions like driving a car or cooking a meal. We all wanted closeness, but never found it in each other." This is a statement about a specific song, but it is also a statement about the album as a whole: it's a beautiful sound, but it's also unflinching in its depiction of emotional turmoil.
BILGE PUMP are long term linchpins of the Leeds DIY scene, they now follow their own paths; growing veg, running up hills, building musical paraphernalia. Every now and then the call goes out; the time comes to do another tour, put another record out. With new album 'We Love You' (their first in 10 years) out now via Gringo Records, Bilge Pump unveiled a new single, 'Wheel of Yew' - it's PiL bass lines, Spacemen 3 guitar and a blistering Butthole Surfers-esque solo are all held together with the tightest drumming this side of Bill Ward. They have spent a while getting this album right, writing songs that describe a world where the council lets it rot and the kids make trouble, or sometimes music. For Bilge Pump, who first formed in 1996, this isn't a career, it is more important than that, feeling the right moment, not forcing it. Drummer Neil Turpin says "A gig is good when the rhythm created and projected propels the crowds arms and legs, looping into a glorious reciprocal exchange of energy." Anyone who has ever seen them will tell you they are loud. But loud and clear, defined patterns, riffs smoulder into drones and then catch fire again lyric's trimmed of fat, precise and witty.
WITCHING WAVES formed in 2013 by Emma Wigham and Mark Jasper and released a tape EP on Suplex Records. They then released an album on Soft Power entitled Fear Of Falling Down in late 2014. This was followed up with their second LP Crystal Cafe in February of 2016, after which they toured the U.S. and Europe. In 2017 Estella Adeyeri of Big Joanie joined the group on bass, and the band continued a relentless schedule of touring and recording. Witching Waves are now set to release a new album on Specialist Subject called Persistence on April 6th.
ADVANCE BASE is the electronic solo project of Chicago, IL singer/songwriter Owen Ashworth (formerly of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone). Using a two-handed arsenal of electric pianos, autoharps, Omnichords, loops, samples & drum machines, Ashworth builds minimalist, heavy-hearted, & nostalgia-obsessed tunes around his conversational, baritone vocals. The sound of Advance Base has been described as "lo-fi," "depressed" & "weirdly uplifting." Advance Base has supported live dates for The Postal Service, Pedro the Lion, The Mountain Goats, Dean Wareham, Alan Sparhawk, Mark Kozelek & Stephin Merritt. The debut Advance Base album, 'A Shut-In's Prayer' (2012), was released by Caldo Verde Records & Ashworth's own Orindal Records. 'Nephew in the Wild', the second album by Advance Base, was released in 2015 by Orindal Records & Tomlab Records. PopMatters named 'Nephew in the Wild' the number 1 Indie Album of 2015. 'Animal Companionship', the third & most recent album by Advance Base, was released last September. The sound of the album is soft and thick and comforting. And when we're working with songs as sad as the ones that Ashworth writes, that level of comfort really comes in handy. He used to write sad love songs, or sad songs about love. He's still doing that, really, except that he's now middle-aged, with a wife and kids, living in suburban Chicago, and the songs reflect that. The songs on 'Animal Companionship' are full of a whole life's worth of regrets and missed opportunities and moments of acceptance and dead friends. It's not as bleak, either; there are moments of happiness, or at least sustenance, sprinkled all through 'Animal Companionship'. But in its sharp and unrelenting and empathetic specificity, this is some real masterly heart-wrecker music.
TIM PRESLEY'S WHITE FENCE, informed by the extreme polarities of punk rock and psych, brings forth songs like no others. Two years on from his solo missive, the sense that something has cratered and someone has walked away, somehow alive, is heavy in the air. With his new album 'I Have to Feed Larry's Hawk', Tim Presley meets White Fence again, and together, they move on. He started writing songs for this album in a small rural town in the UK called Staveley. Tim was staying with Cate Le Bon there during winter. While she was there going to school learning how to build & design furniture out of wood, he started writing on her piano. Tim came back to San Francisco to record, but first he had a fervent dream that Johnny Thunders asked him to be honest & simple with this album, and also why dolphins were not given arms. He booked studio time with a very talented fellow named Jeremy Harris and they worked together out of a studio in the Dogpatch district of SF (owned and run by Paul from the UK band The Bees. Jeremy was able to learn the songs on piano, keys and finesse the parts, including most drums and also record/engineer the whole album. Also playing on the album, is S.F. Mission district native Dylan Hadley who plays drums on two songs: 'Until You Walk' & 'Forever Chained' and H. Hawkline adding guitar and vocals on 'Phone.'
With this new record Tim re-learned how to walk. The poppy stomp. He'd been tethered to a hawk, that he must feed on the dot. While 'I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk' has tinges of both sides in its '60s guitars and whimsical, pastoral folk, however, what dominates is Tim's ability to pen strange, warm tracks like 'Lorelei' that are totally out of step yet tug on familiar melodic heartstrings. Like Syd Barrett or, more recently, Euros Childs before him, White Fence continues to make the peripheries seem oddly accessible. Things really soar when Presley privileges space and simplicity and with this album he's created a bare-bones, diary like project that bounces between optimism and melancholy. 'I Have To Feed Larry's Hawk' came out on Drag City this January.