black raindrop collage: joe murray on eugenio sanna, lovely honkey, dan melchior, sindre bjerga

November 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Eugenio Sanna – La porta stretta (tape, Tutore Burlato, #04)

Lovely Honkey – Sharp Intake of Breadth (tape, Tutore Burlato, #07)

Dan Melchior – Human of Stow (tape, Tutore Burlato, #05)

Sindre Bjerga – Attractive Amplification (tape, Tutore Burlato, #06)

eugsito

When Alexander Graham Bell released The Noble Four, his treatise on early electronic sounds, he could not have imagined how electricity and sound would become ubiquitously meshed to a point where one is almost unimaginable without the other.

How he’d pinkly-blush at Luke Poot’s menacing audience participation and twirl his beard to Sindre Bjerga’s Technicolor throat spasms.  I can picture a neatly-booted foot tapping to Eugenio Sanna’s trustworthy improvisations and the watercolours cracked out to better capture Dan Melchior’s solo rumblings.

In the spirit of electronic experimentations Ezio Piermattei has released his own Noble Four on the charming Tutore Burlato tape label straight-outta-Bologna.  Packaged in smart plastic cases with intelligent and sensitive artwork the dreich professor could easily slip all four into his waistcoat without bothering his pocket watch.

For you, my dearest of all known and possible readers, you get a head full of gonzo-text and a couple of blue links to send you on your voyage of discovery.   God speed gentle ones!

Eugenio Sanna – La Porta Stretta

Konked-out solo-guitar rottings from Italy.

Side One presents a suite of tight head-stock ‘pings’ aping the sarcastic hizz of cold milk dripped on glowing barbeque coals.  These metallic pickles (reassuringly sour) rattle my pegs real good especially when the few good moo-cow moans let loose.  It’s a sparse affair but full of Charles Atlas’ DYNAMIC TENSION therefore giving me and the whole family assembled space to throw in a stray cough.

When things get a bit more hectic in ‘Agosto in campagna (parte prima)’ Eugenio’s 5 supple fingers ripple unconsciously over 6 strings and a fine distortive mist descends reminding my old brain of mice pattering quickly across amplified tinfoil.  You dig?  A zinc rustling that’s both pacey and pink-footed.

I’m sucking on some Kendal Mint Cake when Side Two slots into place and the thin metallic scratching merges perfectly with my mouthful of sharp menthol.  My nose-hairs stand to attention as similarly stiff strings are plucked with a leathery thumb. It’s simply beautiful.

Then all at once the improvisation feels less improvised and more like a slowly revealing pattern I was just too dull to recognise.  If you could complete a crossword with simple silvery tones it might, after forty minutes or so of head-scratching, lock into this bedazzled lotus flower.

The final short track ‘Agosto in campagna (parte seconda)’ leaves us in no doubt of Eugenio’s experience and skill – he’s been playing improvised stuff since the 70’s  with beards as grey as Phil Minton, Eddie Prevost, Derek Bailey and Roger Turner – by making his guitar sound exactly like clam shells rustling in a salt-encrusted keep net.

lovelysito2

Lovely Honkey – Sharp Intake of Breadth

For such an active collaborator and vital live jaxxon them Lovely Honkey solo tapes are thin on the ground, eh?  But Huzzah!  Ezio Piermattei’s clear eye spotted Luke Poot’s theatre-whoop all the way from Bologna to let us in on this felt-tipped ritual.

Sound-wize the fidelity is fairly non-existent making this feel like you’ve carefully inserted a hosepipe into Poot’s ear and you can hear the festival of whirs and clunks direct from the old-grey-thistle.

Squeaky toys, rubber dogs, old tape glutch and office stationery get used to whip up a gentle Intonarumori.  In fact you could bring a smarty-pants Futurist round for tea, jab this tape on and they could check off the officially required…

  • Roars, Thunderings, Explosions, Bangs and Booms
  • Whistling, Hissing, Farting, Puffing
  • Whispers, Murmurs, Mumbling, Muttered Hip-Hop Oaths, Gurgling
  • Screeching, Skanking, Creaking, Rustling, Humming, Crackling
  • Noises obtained by beating on metals, woods, skins, stones, pottery and half-melted Sindy Dolls etc.
  • Voices of animals and people, Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails, Hoots, Howls, Death rattles, Sobs. Oh yes, especially the sobs.

That is of course until it all degenerates into Superman (and I don’t mean the Laurie Anderson version) which I don’t think no Russolo would ever, ever approve of.  Sweet.

Poot’s Circus of Shame rolls lustily into side two in a sad convoy, wheels dropping off the primary coloured cart.  We bear witness to a hidden ritual.  A music box plays, a small appreciative crowd moan like ghosts and Poot’s seemingly loose hand on the helm belies the firm fingertip control.  He’s got us trussed up and basted in hot butter, baby.

As the ritual continues he huffs up: tape grot, Stereophonics, (more) dog toys and frenzied choking.  All component parts slide together like currents meeting round a sooty headland.  Sure they gash and churn but the fluid mechanics could be scribbled on a blackboard and studied by grey beards and goofs all night.  He’s got the math right you dig?

So don’t listen to the chaos, listen to the patterns beyond the chaos.  Leave your expectations at home and tune in deeply and surrender.  Wake the town and tell the people…there’s an inventiveness and joyful release shattering that snotty ego on this tape; a freedom that few ‘plinkerty-plonk’ merchants dare to reveal.

dansitobuono

Dan Melchior – Human of Stow

The bottom-dwelling mud flapper attaches itself to my face and starts to pump creamy fluid into eyes, ears, nose and mouth.  I’m surprised I’m not choking as pints of liquid fill up my head-holes but I’m too distracted by the fanciful visuals and audio-hallucinations.

Soft boulders shuffle slowly across a ploughed field leaving zen-streaks in their wake.  The Town Mayor proclaims the moral victory in an Obese Antiques Roadshow.  I blow the dust from a pair of old sneakers and hop backwards at the sight of an HO-scale field hospital nestled inside.  The plane I’m on descends, descends, descends but the ground fails to appear.  Super-lamb-banana melts into a shallow yellow lake – the La’s lick it into the shape of Chad. 

Loaves of bread are kept in gilded cages.  My once beautiful nails are chipped and grimy.  Elastic muscles snap back into place more slowly now.  I wake up suddenly remembering why the magic markers were left in the outhouse.  A slow frog begins his chorus.

All these thoughts and more float across my soft-human-cinema as Dan’s new tape wriggles out of the stereo.  The working method is important.  Dan randomly fills a tape full of these evocative sounds which, in fairness, are probably sourced from field recordings, accidental damage, damp organ and domestic tape huss.  They are layered and woven together without no mastering hand making it clear “that the whole idea of form is pretty elastic.”

Hey…that’s in direct contrast to the Honkey tape above.  Don’t we just cover the whole field of dreams readers?

To my tin-ears this all sounds pretty dandy as drones start up then stop suddenly, dismal beats lose the will to live and conversations become one-eared affairs.  It’s well documented that our brains love order and strive to overlay a regular grid on anything haphazard or irregular.  The connections on Human of Stow are no-less random than a fat, black raindrop collage on a dry pavement but seem ordered like the suits in a pack of cards.  The bully-boy clubs versus bleeding hearts, the razor sharp diamonds outfoxing the slow spades.  And like cards this tape gives me side-eyes, never quite letting me relax.

After a flutter of sonic dry heaves things unsettle further like an early Fucking Amateurs CD-r where it’s unclear what is performance, what it added random mayhem (or in-joke) and if that regular ‘whomp’ is the sound of the broken recording equipment?

The folk next door, possibly alerted by my frantic ‘clickerty-clack’ typing, have just put their bin out and I’m convinced this is Dan’s master-stoke.  Unconscious collaboration hits our collective driveway… Melchior versus Newcastle City Council!

sindresito2

Sindre Bjerga – Attractive Amplification

Regular readers know Sindre Bjerga’s modus operandi by now; ‘prolific-as-fuck’ yeah?  And this wonderful release delivers superbly on his other well-known calling card: super-dense tape work.

Structurally we’ve got two live performances from both of the Dams – Amster and Rotter, recorded in 2015 and preserved in fine rubbery clarity.

Things start with ‘Flicker and Burst’ and it fairly slaps me across the noggin quick sharp.  Jeezus…this is very, very heavy tape manipulation that thumbs a lift from Henri Chopin playing Henry Rollins.

The splutters are thick with phlegm; glottis-deep and curdled.  After a time of fairly violent honks a deep perfumed-drone sets up while Sindre clatters shit-smeared chicken cages with a naked foot.  You can relax into grey calm for a moment or two but don’t get too comfy because that distinctive condenser-mic jaxx starts to build and build into a full-spittin’ and bitin’ tantrum.  Oof!

After a little lie down I gingerly press play on ‘Reverse Energy’.  Where Sindre went wet and wild on side one this is dry, measured and sparse.  In places I’m picturing the maudlin decay of Gilbert & George’s Dusty Corners, all abandoned hope and unfinished business.  Sure, the tapes get mangled and strangled with that erotic ‘whurrr’ but it’s more of an internal sound, like the last sickly pulse of a tension headache.

When the volume and complexity is pitched down (a symptom of the reverse energy perhaps) it encourages a welcome introversion.  The super-sad ending (some 70’s AM classic sung in pure innocent sunlight) rattles among the hiss-canyon like a lost Lambkin jam.  Amber-glass perfection.

—ooOoo—

Tutore Burlato

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