Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Eric Chenaux in London tomorrow, OTO Xmas fair this Sunday and Still House Plants next week!

Morning everyone!
Thank you for coming out recently to see Hen Ogledd and Mary Lattimore, what a great pair of shows they were? We must’ve been going through a harp phase! That ends tomorrow though as we have the magnetic Eric Chenaux in town, a musician so alchemical with his craft that his love-struck guitar epics sound like the heavens cracking open, sad trumpets on high, with Eric’s incomparable swoon drifting throughout.
It’s set to be an exemplary evening of balladeering from the experimental fringes, with the offbeat musings of Robert Sotelo and band opening the show too. This event will take place at The Islington, with live music kicking off from 8.30pm, tickets on the door from 7.30pm, see you there!
Read on for all the details of tomorrow’s concert, along with the full story on next week’s special team-up with Bison Records at Servant Jazz Quarters featuring live sets from Glasgow’s Still House Plants and the wondrous Ashley Paul.
We’ve also added new shows from avant-disco vendors Amor and sturm and drang duo Mésange to our listings section for February too.
This Sunday, we’re taking part in Café OTO’s Xmas Fair which is a free all-day event (starting from noon) heavy on the mulled wine, mince pies and record / book stalls. We’ll be selling our records, cds, shirts and associated sundries at some bargainous prices throughout the day, before handing over to the OTO Xmas choir and Pat Thomas in the evening!
Strange Attractor, Alter, Bison, Penultimate Press, Fitzcarraldo Editions, The White Review, Wire magazine and many more are also represented. Certainly going to be a good one, drop by and say hello!
OK, onto some excited 2019 news next… this coming 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 from Leeds 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!
Fri 29th March - LEEDS - Brudenell Social Club
Sauna Youth, Trash Kit, Rattle, Guttersnipe
Sat 30th March - MANCHESTER - White Hotel
Sauna Youth, Trash Kit, Vital Idles, Guttersnipe, Robert Sotelo
Sunday 31st March - CARDIFF - Clwb Ifor Bach
Sauna Youth, Trash Kit, Robert Sotelo, Rattle
Right! Now it’s time to soundtrack the rest of your week next! Episode 10 of our Upset The Rhythm radio show for CAMP is now uploaded into the interwebs. 120 minutes of our favourite tracks (including Red Channel, Jon Hassell, Errant Monks and Mauve Sideshow), plenty of chatter, plus recent live recordings from Rattle, Mary Lattimore and Terry, listen up!

Upset The Rhythm presents…
Wednesday 5 December
The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, Angel, London, N1 0XT
7.30pm | £10 | TICKETS
ERIC CHENAUX makes conceptual music that’s not meant to sound conceptual. He operates among various ‘traditions’ but perhaps most broadly, Chenaux’s records grapple with the relationship between improvisation and structure in very particular, unique, idiosyncratic ways – and quite without irony or cynicism, through love. Because fundamentally, Chenaux writes love songs, which he sings in a voice honeyed and clear, while his guitar gently bends, frazzes, chortles, diverges and decomposes. This juxtaposition of his mellow, dexterous crooning and his highly experimental (and equally dexterous) guitar explorations, explodes even unconventional notions of singing and accompaniment, of tonal and timbral interplay between guitar and voice.

As a solo artist, Chenaux’s improvisation methods are in certain literal ways solipsistic: as a singer-songwriter, he plays his guitar around and against his voice, challenging easy notions of harmony/harmoniousness, improvising ‘with himself’ in pursuit of surprising himself (and his listeners) as he unfurls ribbons of voice and instrument often to the point of seeming independence, all the better to capture­­ – and be captured by – unforeseen, intimate moments of interdependence: a definition of freedom, as a profoundly intentional state of openness, presence and play. Even within avant-garde currents of folk and jazz balladry, Eric Chenaux feels like an outlier. Yet his music remains wonderfully warm, generous and fundamentally accessible in spite of its irrefutable iconoclasm. While the constitutive elements of Chenaux’s solo work in recent years might suggest some underlying devotion to asceticism, the opposite is much more true: his musical reveries resist, critique and counteract austerity (in all its forms) in a joyful abandonment to the improvised space where playfulness and light-heartedness are taken seriously, and where love is invoked and expressed, without reductive or facile sentimentalism, in a full, nuanced, clear-eyed suspension/rejection of the cynical life.

Slowly Paradise (on Constellation Records) is Eric Chenaux’s most recent solo record – a lovely collection of mostly long songs guided by soothing, buttery singing and bent, fried fretwork. It is arguably Chenaux’s most assured and essential solo work, expanding upon the critical acclaim his previous releases Guitar & Voice and Skullsplitter have rightly garnered.

ROBERT SOTELO is the nom de plume of Andrew Doig, a 36 year old serial musician originally from Peterborough, UK. Andrew's middle name is Robert, whilst Sotelo is his mother's maiden name. Sotelo's verdant world of sound is at once intimate, choosing to build songs up from ambitious layers of instrumentation into miniature psych pop overtures of genuine sincerity of feeling. Very much grounded in that particular forward-facing strain of mid-60s rock that edged towards psych, Sotelo's music owes as much to Davies and McCartney's unashamed belief in melody as it does to the uncertainty and confusion that comes with mid-thirties existentialism. Debut album ‘Cusp' (Upset The Rhythm) was an album that explored the individual in a post-social life era, with Sotelo starting the project initially as an attempt to re-engage with the people he used to know, without relying on nostalgia as a common bond. From this worthy spark of a plan, he's created something grand and compelling, a vast tapestry of songs that stand up and sound afresh. Check out his exquisite recent cassette ‘Botanical’ on Nicey Music too.
Upset The Rhythm & Bison Records presents…
Thursday 13 December
Servant Jazz Quarters, 10A Bradbury Street, Dalston, London, N16 8JN
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
STILL HOUSE PLANTS are an experimental three-piece from Glasgow. This December they’ll return to London in support of the release of their debut LP, 'Long Play' (Bison Records). Combining visual strategies, free improvisation, garage and punk, Still House Plants build melodic hierarchies scaffolded around ambiguities and intimacy. Fresh from being selected for the Cafe OTO x Jerwood Foundation Artistic Development fund, and following two sold out tapes on Glasgow label GLARC,  'Long Play' collects the group's raw guitar-drum-vocal palette and stretches it to include violin, piano and home recording. Ranging from seconds-long to seven:minute:somethings, the album coagulates to form a heady meld of rudimentary phrases, kinetic repetition and malleable samples. Experimental songwriting is rarely so forthcoming, emotive, or approachable. Still House Plants have also been artists-in-residence for the CCA/AC Projects Music Residency and at The Pipe Factory. The trio have performed internationally too, touring with Mette Rasmussen to perform at Ultra Eczema's 20th Anniversary, Fasching Jazz Club with Rasmussen and Richard Dawson, as well as at KRAAK festival.

ASHLEY PAUL is an American composer/performer whose intuitive process integrates free form song structures with a focused approach to sound and clatter. A complexity of instruments including saxophone, clarinet, voice, prepared strings, bells and percussion create a delicate palette, uniquely her own. Her solo albums have received critical acclaim being chosen in The Wire: Top 50 Albums of 2013, Pitchfork’s “The Out Door” best experimental sounds of 2013, number one on Byron Coley and Thurston Moore’s “Tongue Top Ten” in Arthur Magazine. Paul’s recent LP on Slip, ’Lost In Shadows’,  is a bewitching, expansive, deeply personal excavation of recent motherhood, told through songs dissolving and re-crystallising at the threshold of free improvisation. At the LP's heart is Paul's mercurial multi-instrumental style, which renders the primal wails, clunks, and twangs of clarinet, saxophone, percussion, and guitar uncannily melodic, alchemised by frank, vulnerable vocals. The deft negotiation of the fragile and the coruscating evidenced on Paul's 'Line The Clouds' (2013) and 'Heat Source' (2014) has now reached a kind of hesitant sublime.
Thanks as always for your time and attention!
See you tomorrow at the show.
Upset The Rhythm
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Wednesday 5 December
The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, Angel, London, N1 0XT
7.30pm | £10 | TICKETS
Thursday 13 December
Servant Jazz Quarters, 10A Bradbury Street, Dalston, London, N16 8JN
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
Friday 18 January
Moth Club, Old Trades Hall, Valette St, Hackney Central, London, E9 6NU
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
Thursday 31 January
The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle St, Angel, London, N1 0XT
7.30pm | £7.50 | TICKETS
Friday 1 February
New River Studios, 199 Eade Rd, Harringay Warehouse District, N4 1DN
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
Thursday 7 February
The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, Angel, London, N1 0XT
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
With ROB AHLERS (drums) & FRED ABONG (bass)
Sunday 10 March & Tuesday 12 March
Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London, W12 7LJ

Thursday 14 March
The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, Angel, London, N1 0XT
7.30pm | £7 | TICKETS
Monday 25 March
The Shacklewell Arms, 71 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, London, E8 2EB
8pm | £7 | TICKETS
Upset The Rhythm 15th anniversary label party!
Wednesday 27 March
Tufnell Park Dome, 2A Dartmouth Park Hill, London, NW5 1HL
5.30pm - 11pm | £10 | TICKETS  

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