Friday 5th April sees a sound’n’space gig at Telegraph Hill Festival featuring contributions from Darkroom, Handäoline, Jo Thomas and Minus Pilots – Sonic Imperfections at Telegraph Hill Festival
Darkroom sound woody, deep-carved, ancient, even as their music takes place behind winking lights and modular plug-ins.
They will be stirring up a broody hauntological fog, sometimes exuding a cobweb of ominous data, sometimes licking at the music with the fiery tongue of a melodic guitar soloist on a tight leash, contrasted with bass clarinet booms and the horns. Any Darkroom performance is an ear-opener, and this should be no exception. Have a listen
Handäoline is a new-ish familial teaming of Death In Vegas founder-turned-experimental sonics journeyman Steve Hellier, ‘Late Junction’-eer Freya Hellier and Steve’s late great-uncle Wally, a soldier killed in action during the World War II offensive in Italy.
The inspiration is Wally’s old melodeon (rescued from his possessions after his death and kept in the family) and his handwritten notes for a piece of 1940s pop called ‘The Chocolate Soldier’s Daughter’. On accordion, Freya acknowledges some of this history while Steve passes her playing through sound processors, adding his own contributions via laptop and mixing and lacing the whole with further sound samples from the Hellier family archives, it’s a different kind of album project, surrealizing and loosening familial memory and once-or-twice-removed community history.
Freeforming with “raw and sensitive sonic matter” (and working mostly from her own processed voice, tabletop electronics, found sounds and a Chapman Stick), electronic instrumentalist Jo Thomas explores the world around herself in a matter-of-fact manner. The results emerge as impressions of atmospherics, situational weight and association, which are in turn weighed and returned to us transformed and blanketed in evocative, unearthly, sometimes confrontational noise. Have a listen
Minus Pilots are bassist Adam Barringer and percussionist Matt Pittori: post-rockers who’ve drifted far from rock. Their sounds are gentle, post-industrial, even a little reverent. They’re the kind of holy minimalism you might get from an allegedly reformed psych-rocker sitting quietly and shaggily among the congregation towards the back of the church, eyeing the rose window and daydreaming of the ruins of an old chocolate factory.
Expect hum and crackle, expect frayed fences and distant boom; expect the sound of a parched-out spiritual rinse; expect, too, the shatter of free jazz as Matt cuts a little loose. Have a listen