Wednesday 3 February 2016, 8pm
Mesmeric double bill of electronic music pushing at the edges with Drew McDowall (Coil / Psychic TV) and Helm.
“His sets are nothing short of captivating; bringing the spectator to full attention and rendering entire rooms completely vulnerable, leaving those present emotionally pulverized to the point of near devastation. Seeing Drew McDowall live is an experience of equal parts pain and beauty. Simply put, It is the work of a master.” – Noisey
McDowall formed art-punk trio Poems in 1978 with his then-wife, Rose McDowall. During the 1980s, McDowall was a member of Psychic TV. McDowall performed with Coil regularly for several years, becoming an official member in 1994. McDowall currently is a member of the groups CSD (formerly Captain Sons and Daughters) and Compound Eye (with Tres Warren of Psychic Ills). The notoriously reclusive musician, who resides in New York City, has done a number of public performances for the Modular Synthesizer Solstice and Equinox series in Brooklyn, beginning in 2012. In March 2014, McDowall provided the score to Are You Okay, a short film written by Bret Easton Ellis for the "Are You Okay?" single by Dum Dum Girls.
From his base in London, Helm (Luke Younger) has come to the fore as a crucial voice in experimental music today. With a palette that draws from electronic music in its broadest sense, Helm's work is marked by the thrilling unknowns of exploratory sound practices, and loaded with a tearaway's attitude. It's euphoric, narrative-driven music, but it has its despairing qualities. Helm operates the label ALTER, though much of his work has appeared on the highly revered PAN. This includes 2015's acclaimed album Olympic Mess, a crowded work of influences set in congested dub.
"In a world which tends to reward the prolific, give it to the man who leaves it fully four years between albums. Acolytes’ (self-titled, camo-concealed, highly recommended) 2014 debut was a brilliant side of gnomic DIY, and we would’ve happily settled for more of the same; instead, on new LP Rupture, London-based D. Shan has overhauled his solo project, steering it into the realm of rhythm-based computer music.. an utterly fresh and forcefully idiosyncratic offering that ignores all the rules of the game (OK easy) and basically comes up with better ones (nigh-on impossible, WHAT'S GOING ON). One of the tracks is called 'Autocannibalising Loop' and that pretty perfectly describes Shan's M.O. The opening 1-2 sounds like Danny Weed got abducted by mardy aliens and only escaped an unceremonious probing by agreeing to conduct said Martians’ military marching band, while elsewhere there are echoes of Gabor Lazar’s hyperreal electro and Off World’s ectoplasmic tone-float, drums hanging off the grid like goo, but also, somehow, Twice Is Not Enough-era Whitehouse and The Shadow Ring, while ‘Aneurysm’ could be scrapings from Marc Trauner’s studio floor : darkside tekno reduced to its beatless venomous essence and then spun out into droning, dub-crazed infinit-E. Fearless! Exciting! But also understated, unassuming! And in a room dark and forgiving enough - even if that's just your troubled mind - you will DANCE to it."