Upset The Rhythm presents…
Thursday 11 October
OSLO, 1a Amhurst Road, Hackney, London, E8 1LL
7.30pm | £8 | TICKETS
VIRGINIA WING are an inventive psych-pop duo based in Manchester, who take their name from Grace Slick's mother. Consisting of Alice Merida Richards (Vocals, Synths, Organ) and Samuel Pillay (Synths, guitar, noises, bass), their music is a sprawling amalgamation of experimental pop songs with texture, depth and nuance; daring, progressive and forever bold. After two previous stunning albums, Virginia Wing return on June 8th with renewed strength, optimism and clarity for their new album 'Ecstatic Arrow' (Fire Records).
'Ecstatic Arrow' borrows from the heterogeneous terrain of The Flying Lizard's 'Fourth Wall', the exuberant technology assisted pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra and the playful sophistication of Lizzy Mercier Descloux, arriving at the evergreen intersection of pop music and conceptual art. The voice of Alice Merida Richards is more compelling and expressive than ever. The glacial deadpan of previous records has given way to a more candid, self-possessed delivery, showing an appreciation for the humour and tragedy innate in the downtown Arcadia of Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley or even Lynn Goldsmith's Will Powers. It's with this voice that Richards outlines a simple ideality that fortifies the entirety of the album - inequality pervades, destructive behaviours are inherited and each subsequent generation has to reconcile the debts of its precursor - yet a space exists within ourselves and each other that houses a fact we must be reminded of - we have the ability to choose.
TRASH KIT are Rachel Aggs, Rachel Horwood and Gill Partington. They have a wild feel for melody, writing songs that pull at the reins with a spontaneous charm. Their music is primal yet thoughtful, affirming yet sincere, drawing on the potential of post-punk and the naturalism of an internal folk music. Although Trash Kit have their forebears in bands like X-Ray Spex, The Ex and The Raincoats, their sound is very much their own take on facing forwards. Galloping polyrhythms, overlapping sung-spoke lyrics and entwining guitars are all drawn together into a taut unity, sounding wilfully alive. Both Rachels tangle their vocals with each other whilst expressive drumbeats and restless guitar flurries provide the rhythmic drive. Trash Kit's music is full of pauses, woven silence and punctuation too, and this is where the resonant bass lines find a perfect home. With two albums under their belt for Upset The Rhythm, Trash Kit are currently adding the finishing touches to their incredible third record.
MICH COTA’s identity has always been ingrained with the language of sound. As a two-spirit woman, raised by a native father and a white mother in Southern Ontario, Cota began composing small melodies on the piano from the age of three to create her own sacred space in an intensely religious home. Inspired by her countryside surroundings, she would ingrain herself in nature, imagining herself in a place free of theology and restraint. This is something Cota has carried with her throughout her creative existence. Her music is a way of navigating past traumas while exploring her queer experience, with open, unapologetic sincerity. It's through her artistic expression that she relates to others, to build collective understanding and empathy, with the intention to heal and to challenge normative ways of being.
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.
Thanks for reading, see you on Thursday!
Upset The Rhythm
UPSET THE RHYTHM