Thursday, January 20, 2011
Godspeed ATP pt 2
That's all folks! I was only commissioned to do a handful. Best ATP I've ever been to. As bold and brilliant as the Thurston Moore one was in 2006, it was a little heavy on the dude-rock-noise axis. Godspeed brought beauty, harshness and weirdness, and they gave us something to dance to as well. Job's a good un.
Chris Corsano is one of this festival's heroes, manning the sticks for mighty power trio Rangda and sitting in on Oneida's epic 10-hour jam, but it's his improvised set with UK underground godhead Mick Flower that takes him closest to Satori. I'm always wary of epithets like 'greatest drummer in the world' but really, Corsano is on another plane, his hands a blur as they dart around the kit, summoning forth a sublime polyrhythmic storm. His style is an avant-punk take on free jazz drumming, all rapid-fire rolls and low-end rumbles, with every nuance of the kit explored. He rarely locks into a regular groove, but somehow he is able to create momentum while pushing the music in multiple directions. Flower is less hyperactive, allowing the shimmering tones of his japan banjo – a modified electric dulcimer - to float serenely over the percussive mellee. Before long, however, he's bent over his instrument, rocking back and forth as he conjures a swirling mass of ragas and drone. The combined effect is truly psychedelic: ecstatic music to liberate body and mind.
The Dead C
It's tempting to apply images of bodily decay and post-industrial waste to New Zealand's premier noise-rock trio– the twitching corpse of garage rock being dragged through a yard of burning tyres, guitars corroded with battery acid etc – but there's a graceless beauty to their sonic muck that resists notions of nihilism or violence. Without an ounce of self-conscious cleverness, the Dead C deconstruct rock. What begins as slow, hypnotic and murky becomes utterly compelling as Robbie Yeats's drums drive Michael Morley and Bruce Russell's gloriously fucked guitars to series of climaxes and collapses. Primitive half-riffs are formed out of the fuzz and junk, fragments of song stumble wearily amidst squalls of feedback and it sounds gorgeous.