Morning everyone!Thank you for coming out to see Virginia Wing, Trash Kit and Mich Cota last week, a real exercise in how performance can enthuse and entertain in equal measure!
Upset The Rhythm presents…
INGRID PLUM / YONI SILVER / ALEX WARD TRIO
Monday 15 October
Servant Jazz Quarters, 10A Bradbury Street, Dalston, N16 8JN
7.30pm | £8 | TICKETS
HEKLA is a Berlin-residing Icelander whose sparse, delicate, fractal music exists within these two worlds: dark and magical as Iceland’s permanight folklore; and as deeply sonic and intense as Berlin’s electronic scene. A long-term scholar of solo theremin, Hekla (shortened from her own name Hekla Magnúsdóttir) uses her instrument as an otherworldly and highly evocative Siren-call. A spectral, wailing, howling, lamenting yearning second-voice that underpins a soft vocal delivery, as if her studio had been haunted with a chorus of ghostly backing singers. Hekla’s debut album for solo theremin and voice ‘Á’ is out on September 14th through Phantom Limb Records (this show is the album launch). The album was written and self-recorded by Hekla in her home studio in Berlin around her son’s daycare schedule. Icelandic super-musician Mr Silla (a part-time múm member) guests on a number of tracks. Tallinn-based engineer Jose Diogo Neves - a stalwart of Icelandic and Portuguese music - mixed and mastered the record.
While a handful of reference points share similar ground, Colleen’s interplay of voice and instrumentation; the richly immersive filmscore work of sadly passed fellow Icelander Jóhann Jóhannsson; “grandmother of theremin” Clara Rockmore’s close relationship with such a singular instrument; Julia Holter’s intelligent and classically-aligned songwriting - Hekla’s music still exists singularly. A one-off talent, emerging from no particular scene, ascribing to no particular rules.
INGRID PLUM uses her voice with extended technique, improvisation, field recordings and electronics, to create layered soundscapes, spoken word and songs. Described by The Guardian as “gorgeously atmospheric vocal techniques woven around field recordings & electronics” she has performed and exhibited installation art internationally since 2002, creating work that combines sound art, contemporary classical and folk music. Incorporating her research into folk traditions with field recordings and studying directly with Meredith Monk her recent performances have been described as “succinct and nourishing... a luxuriant space between almost excessive precision and looser improvisation" by The Wire.
YONI SILVER is a bass-clarinetist and multi-instrumentalist whose activities include hyper-spectral adventures with Iancu Dumitrescu's Hyperion Ensemble; a bass clarinet and percussion duo with Steve Noble; a bass clarinet/violin and possessed vocals duo with Sharon Gal; Denis D’or with Grundik Kasyansky and Tom Wheatley; bass clarinet and drums duo with Crystabel Riley, and solo performances on amplified bass clarinet. He has appeared on labels such as Creative Sources, Confront Recordings, Wasted Capital, Chocolate Monk and Edition Modern.
ALEX WARD is a composer, improviser, and performing musician, working primarily with clarinet and guitar. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. He subsequently took part regularly in Bailey's Company events, and has gone on to become a major figure in British improvised music. His current work includes the avant-rock duo Dead Days Beyond Help in which he plays guitar, sings and co-writes the material; various groups which perform his compositions-for-improvisers including Forebrace, the Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and the Item series of ensembles; and improvising collaborations both regular and ad-hoc with musicians including Steve Noble, Dominic Lash, Kay Grant, Joe Morris and Weasel Walter. Besides his own groups and improvisational work, he also performs in ensembles including the Duck Baker Trio/Quartet, Thurston Moore’s recent multi-guitar projects Galaxies and New Noise Guitar Explorations, and Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward’s This Is Not This Heat. He brings a unique energy and inventiveness to all these projects, elevating them far above the ordinary and injecting them with a thrilling sense of danger and possibility. Much of his work is documented on the label Copepod, which he co-runs with Luke Barlow.
A LILY is James Vella, who is also a writer. Based in Brighton, UK, and bringing together influences as diverse as ambient drone, delicate indie-folk, pop songwriting, electronic music and modern classical, A Lily is a solo project with a far-reaching net. James has released a handful of A Lily records with Blank Editions, Kingfisher Bluez, Fierce Panda, Dynamophone Records and Sound in Silence among other labels. The son of a choral / operatic soprano and music theory lecturer, he grew up around music and saw his first record release as a teenager. Using the ‘A Lily’ name to encompass all of his solo music, his releases have covered broad stylistic ranges, from dark alt-pop to piano solos to mechanically-hearted electronica to abstract avant-garde.
Upset The Rhythm presents…
THE SPACE LADY
Tuesday 23 October
Moth Club, Old Trades Hall, Valette St, Hackney Central, E9 6NU
7.30pm | £10 | TICKETS
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 in 2014 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 released a split LP in 2015 with the Burnt Ones on Castle Face records which included her spectral take on 'Across The Universe' and a brand new LP this year through Mississippi entitled 'On The Street Of Dreams'.
SPINNING COIN are a fiercely independent rock group from Glasgow, something you could probably guess by listening to any of their songs. Their roots are all over the place but a simple love of playing together in their rehearsal space, and almost never turning down shows, has seen them coalesce a winning group sound in almost no time at all. Drummer Chris White is part of the Winning Sperm Party collective, who document of a world of shadowy Glasgow music running all the way from the Glasgow Music Collective to Fuzzkill Records today. Where Spinning Coin branch out from things is in their cascading melodicism topped with some amazing shredding. This connects into a slightly different Glasgow music scene more associated with Orange Juice, Teenage Fanclub, and of course The Pastels, who released their debut album through their Geographic Music imprint. Their music is beautifully rough-hewn guitar pop that takes in frustration, but also gracefulness and splendour, in equal measure. The fourteen songs on debut 'Permo' trace all kinds of terrain, though the overarching story might be that of a group looking for escapism, somehow and anyhow, in the midst of a social and cultural climate that's closing down possibilities for difference and community.
Upset The Rhythm presents…
Thursday 25 October
The Courtyard Theatre, 40 Pitfield Street, Shoreditch, N1 6EU
8pm | £10 | TICKETS
EARTHEATER (aka Queens based artist Alexandra Drewchin) distills foley-filled digital production, a three-octave vocal range, and classical composition into works suspended between obsessively detailed sonic tapestries and almost recklessly romantic and gestural electronica. A body of viscerally emotive live performance stands alongside her recorded output, realized by her fearless physical investment and gut-wrenching vocal sincerity. 'IRISIRI', Eartheater's third full-length record (out now on Pan), lays out a shifting network of abstract song craft, laced with sudden structural upheavals and collisions of mutated tropes from numerous sonic vocabularies. Modular synth staccato plucks hammer out in arrhythmic spirals over a carefully muzzled grid of pumping kicks - unleashed in unpredictable disruptions. Technoid stabs mingle with crushed black metal. An icy OS reads poetry against a bed of granular synth swells. Drewchin's sirening whistle-tone vocals drape over relentless live harp arpeggios. Drewchin's lyrics, strewn with flourishes of wordplay and symbolism, explore themes of her autodidactic experience - playing with the tutelage of the 'pupil' within the 'iris' mirrored in the palindrome IRISIRI. Eartheater confounds expectations of structure and resolution before deciding to thread in a sugary melody that snaps us back into some conception, however hazy, of pop songwriting. Drewchin performs and collaborates with art duo and close friends FLUCT. In February 2017, she starred in Raul de Nieves and Colin Self's opera The Fool at the Kitchen. In April 2017, featured on two tracks from Show Me The Body's Corpus I mixtape alongside Denzel Curry and Moor Mother. She's currently composing work for the contemporary chamber orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, that will debut in May 2018. Her new live set sees her accompanied by the concert harpist Marilu Donivan.
CUCINA POVERA aka Finnish-born musician and artist Maria Rossi, has been active on the Glasgow underground scene for a while, but her recorded output has been sparse. Recent debut album, ‘Hilja’ is an album of rare beauty and conceptual rigour. Rossi loops and layers her vocals over minimal synths and environmental recordings, but the music remains fluid and amorphous, never falling into rote repetition. While you can map out some reference points – Julia Holter's early synth-based work, Akira Rabelais's digitally manipulated Icelandic choral laments, Polish duo WIDT's ambient synth operatics – Rossi's music inhabits its own universe. The combination of her clear, unaffected voice and minimal synth creates a sound that is simultaneously icy and warm, like sunlight breaking over a frozen landscape. ‘Hilja’ is out now on Night School.
RICHARD RIGGS is a Bromley-based musician who released his new album ‘Unique Ratios’ this August. After a series of dark ambient limited cassette only releases beginning five years ago, favourably reviewed by the likes of Wire Magazine and Tiny Mix Tapes, Richard took some time out and returns with a 41 minute album that encompasses techno and ambient, lurking in the interzone where electronic music and post punk intersect. The goal was to draw a line and create a more immediate and aggressive set of songs that combine digital technology with recent analogue instruments such as Moog’s DFAM drum synth. The tracks reflect the belief that electronic music is able to both comment sonically on its environment, as well as providing the ritualistic, repetitive means to transcend it.
Upset The Rhythm presents…
Thursday 25 October
The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Rd, Dalston, London, E8 3AS
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
JO PASSED sound like a messed-up Beatles, one where Lennon & McCartney reunite in a parallel 1980's having discovered Can, Neu! and Sonic Youth. The band's new album on Sub Pop, 'Their Prime', demonstrates the band's timeless knack for dreamy melodies and chord progressions that sound like they were created in a land far, far away. Lyrically, however, it's imbued with a philosophical longing for answers to questions that have resurfaced for the first time since the explosion of counterculture. Frontman Jo Hirabayashi is crucially aware of the world around him crumbling, yet he's not lost sight of his sense of fun. His approach to the album was to create a collage record of everything he's inspired by. The last track 'Places Please' is his attempt to make Grouper dine out with Frank Ocean, whereas 'Undemo' enquires about Leonard Cohen joining This Heat. Jo, along with his friend and drummer Mac Lawrie, moved across the country from Vancouver to Montreal and back again. The two would play shows in Montreal and eventually tour the far right corner of North America. Upon Jo's return to the west coast, multi-instrumentalist Bella Bebe officially joined the band in January of 2016, expanding Jo Passed from trio to a full quartet. Multimedia artist Megan-Magdalena Bourne began working with Jo Passed on a video project for the song 'Rage' (from the Out EP). This creative partnership would eventually lead to her taking on the role of bassist for the band.
'Their Prime' is a record about identity and the loss of time that happens as a direct consequence of being in the city with nowhere to rent, no time outside of employment and no realistic expectations to live up to. It encompasses that fear of being beyond the glory years, the most creatively fruitful period of one's life. Those years were lost to contemporary struggles for working relationships, home, identity and space. "It's me owning my worst nightmare," Jo admits. "A lot of the Jo Passed project has been about confronting fears. I was afraid to move away from Vancouver to Montreal on my own. Afraid to leave musical relationships I had. Afraid to bare the full responsibility of a project. I've been putting out records and not ones anyone's necessarily heard. Being open about those fears is a good way of dealing with them." You can hear the frustrations and the jitters in the crashing loud-and-quiet motifs throughout the album's twelve tracks, which offer up a patchwork quilt of sound, similar to Faust's 'IV' or 'Red Medicine' by Fugazi.
SLUMB PARTY are funked up post punkers from Nottingham. Point your ears in their direction and you'll find the righteous blast of a post-punk-skronk party of such hip-gyrating magnitude that you'll wanna take a bulldozer to your nearest nightclub and pull shapes on the ruins. Their debut 7" dropped earlier this year via German label Erste Theke Tontraeger, and their debut LP (Drunken Sailor) followed shortly afterwards. Fittingly, songs are concise and snappy, with flashes of everything from the rhythms of 80s Athens, GA (Pylon, early B-52s), the soul/punk hybrid of both The Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up, the hyper-whacked sax rush of the Contortions...plus yer Minutemen, yer Gang Of Fours, yer Shoppings, yer favourite bands with attitude and heads so full of ideas you'll find yourself wondering why most bands fail to make a sassy combination of arts and smarts sound this essential.
PET HATES are a London four-piece who play crunchy and infectious hook filled jams. Fully formed in Jan of this year, they've been busy gigging their brand of 'All over the shop Indie Rock' around town and have a few demos to boot.
Upset The Rhythm presents…
Tompkins Square Records night featuring…
BRIGID MAE POWER
Friday 26 October
St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Rd, London, E2 9PA
7pm | £10 | TICKETS
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, affecting 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. This show follows on from Brigid's jaw-dropping performance at Servant Jazz Quarters earlier this year.
DUCK BAKER is one of the most highly regarded fingerstyle guitarists of his generation. His repertoire ranges from traditional Irish music through old-time mountain music and bluegrass to blues, gospel, and ragtime to swing and modern jazz, to free improvisation. Duck was born Richard R. Baker IV in 1949 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. His teenage years were devoted to playing in rock and blues bands before becoming interested in fingerpicking blues and old-time country in local coffeehouses. By the time he moved to San Francisco in the early seventies, Duck was performing the wide range of material heard on his first record, 'There's Something for Everyone in America' (Kicking Mule Records, 1976). In the late seventies, Baker recorded four more solo records, including the first ever solo guitar record of Irish and Scottish music. He also found time to participate with John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne and others, in the "downtown" loft scene that was so important to the course of avant-garde music. Many of Duck's recordings since 1980 have focused on his own compositions, but he also made recordings of blues and gospel material, a collection of early European Christmas carols and another devoted to Irish and Scottish tunes. His most ambitious record, 'Spinning Song', got rave reviews in Jazz Times, Cadence, Coda, and the New York Times, and helped establish Baker as an important voice in the world of fingerstyle jazz guitar. Tompkins Square recently issued an album of Duck's demos and outtakes between 73-79 entitled 'Les Blues Du Richmond'.
GWENIFER RAYMOND is a Welsh multi-instrumentalist, originally from Cardiff but now residing in Brighton, England. Gwenifer began playing guitar at the age of eight shortly after having been first exposed to punk and grunge. After years of playing around the Welsh valleys in various punk outfits she began listening more to pre-war blues musicians as well as Appalachian folk players, eventually leading into the guitar players of the American Primitive genre. She has since been playing her own moody and often-times manic original American Primitive styled compositions on guitar and banjo around the UK. In 2017 Gwenifer signed to the esteemed label Tompkins Square, who released her first single 'Sometimes There's Blood' in October of that year. Her debut album 'You Never Were Much of a Dancer' came out at the end of June to much critical praise.
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Upset The Rhythm
UPSET THE RHYTHM