Sunday, May 18, 2008

No Fun Fest 2008. Caution.

Afternoon Penis: It might be tempting to draw a line from Afternoon Penis' percussive inventiveness back to Angus MacLise, but I'd stop the line before I got back that far and let it rest on Jamie Muir of early King Crimson or Frank Perry's work in Ovary Lodge. Thrilling set with the only member of AP improvising with himself and the accident of delay. Plus, for his second song he used a Slingerland kit to lay his fills underneath the looped madness above.

Pax Titania: A rough use of sequencers that sent me directly to the merch table after the set to find anything I could by this guy. Utterly engrossing.

The Nevari Butchers: The cellist was like Janos Starker on viagra and mescaline. Mix that with Aaron Dilloway's ferocious electronics and you've got a winner.

We interrupt this post for the Best Shouted Line of the Night from a Fest-Goer: "Quit playing Radiohead . . . GODDAMNIT!" Yeah. For some reason they kept playing Radiohead between sets on Stage 2. Obviously, it didn't go over so well.

Eskimo King: Glacial chaos sourced from acoustic guitar that was then underlayed with electric guitar machinations. Massive and gut churning. Made Fennesz look like such a lightweight.

Nautical Almanac: Kinda boring and hysterical at the same time, even with the visuals. Although it would have helped if the Knit had turned off its stupid purple laser lights. The video reminded me of Jason Cosco's work on quaaludes minus the porn. There should have been more porn, and better plink distortion.

Baby Cobra Headsz: Exactly what the crowd did NOT want. Which is part of why it was so refreshing. The duo dared to start to their set with actual beats. The beats eventually mutated into a noise workout and the audience was back in their comfort zone. Quite obstinantly BCH then launched into a twisted electropop ditty. People were starting to leave. This was hilarious. Drums and guitar were used by the band to put the nails in their own coffin. But that was ok, because these guys hammered hard. A pity that so many of the exitors missed such an excellent and explosive set.

Keith Fullerton Whitman: Like Async Sense but with more terror and reverb. Edgar Froese's Aqua was also brought to mind as well, the way the sequencer tumbles over and folds back into itself. So engrossing that I could barely remember the set as soon as it was over. I was in it, dissolved. Set of the night!

Cornucopia: Tectonic plates shifting. Distressed tones shot through the middle of deep throbbing drones. One of the best performances of the evening.

The Skaters: Well, now. That was scary.

Emeralds: The performance I was most looking forward to Saturday night went way beyond my expectations. I never thought that drones that were so beautiful could be filled with so much aggression and muscle. Euphoric.

Carlos Giffoni: Giffoni's performance felt like an ode to German legends Cluster (Who played later that night.). That doesn't mean it was some kind of nostalgia session though. It's a natural extension of the analogue explorations Giffoni's been pursuing over the last couple years. And more than anything, what always lays at the foundation of CG's work is solid composition. He never ceases to amaze me.

Alvars Orkester: Nothing new here, but a nice, simple slab of noise. No complaints.

Demons: Oh. Hell, yeah! Last year Rodger Stella was involved in the performance most related to space travel. With Stella on board, Demons turned in more a journey than a song. Totally enjoyable. Totally tripped out.

No Fun Fest 2008, first night.
No Fun Fest 2008, third night.


Sean said...

Yes on the "Quit Playing Radiohead" guy. Not only was it Radiohead it was an endless loop of the SAME GODDAMNED ALBUM

Heart As Arena said...

OMG. Yes! You're right. I forgot about that detail. Thanks.