Archive for March, 2015

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Adelaide Festival 2015 – Unsound – Lawrence English, Gazelle Twin, Container, Fushitsuha

 

Unsound Adelaide, the Festival within the Adelaide Festival, has taken up new digs in 2015. Moving away from the rustic Queens Theatre to the late century grandeur of the Freemasons Grand Lodge on North Terrace within the main hall, reflecting an age of Victoriana: grand stage, large bay windows and plasterwork. We have substituted the industrial for the majestic.

 

First on stage was Queensland musician Lawrence English, a prolific sonic artist of over decade, bathed in Masonic-blue light while manipulating noise scapes containing very distinct melodic arches that reminded me of more 1970’s era analogue experimental tonality. Breath & voice manipulation featured as a keystone locking it together – Mr English seemingly having an organic connection or interface to his hardware. The music developed into a transplutonic organ fugue, reverential but otherworldly with a certain windswept ambience.

 

This was starkly contrasted by Gazelle Twin, nom-de-plume of British producer Elizabeth Bernholz who prowled the stage microphone in hand, in her trademark blue hoodie while an assistant provided the suitable music triggers and beat manipulation. This performance was unlike anything I expected – blurred industrial beats, precision rhythmic attacks countered with soaring ethereal vocals, and whispered hip-hopish recitations. It was one of the very few times I believe I have seen a vocoder used effectively as a instrument rather than a crutch, and it was like she was in a violent battle to keep it in control rather than succumb to any assimilation. Taught, palpable tension filled the room as she had the audience moving like a machine. Probably the stand out performance of Unsound and a privilege to witness.

 

 

Ren Schofield aka Container unfurled a series of more familiar dark beats and loops with distinct avant-garde elements just to keep any feeling of comfort at bay. While providing what seemed initially seductive electro dance rhythms, he would continue to cleverly switch beats with syncopation and complexity in a manner much like Cut Hands did last year. That delightful moment when people dancing deeply in a particular groove suddenly need to readjust their frame of reference and body motion. Some more successfully than others!

 

Lastly was Japanoise / Space Rock Godfather Keijo Haino with his most recent line up of Fushitsusha. Or at least there nearly wasn’t. Five minutes after walking on stage he walked off again. I don’t know what the problem was, but clearly it made the audience less tolerant & forgiving. When he returned and unleased his particular brand of noise exploration and inprovisation – over what must be said was a very tight bass and drum section holding everything together like gripping but yielding gaffer tape – I think certain minds had closed to what he had to offer. Which is unfortunate.

 

As someone said to me on the night – sometimes art is difficult.

Posted by Jonathan on Mar 15th 2015 | Filed in Art,Culture,Music,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

Adelaide Fringe 2015 – Glitta Supernova Experience: Let’s Get METAphysical Review

 

It is not insignificant that more than one Eastern states burlesque artist with whom I am acquainted have repeatedly cited Glitta Supernova as a catalyst for them taking up the Art. And after seeing her troupe in “Pretty Peepers” last Fringe, I understand why.

 

It’s a new year, a new Fringe and Glitta is back, solo, in salubrious new surrounds at the Royal Croquet Club with her “Let’s Get METAphysical” show.

 

Remember what I said, a couple of reviews ago that those looking to push the burlesque art into the most interesting directions are telling stories? This isn’t just a story….it’s a delicious (im)morality tale of a small hippy town girl lured into the hedonist post-punk nirvana of late 80’s Sydney.

 

glitta

 

Her autobiographical baggage is gradually unburdened in close concert to her level of dress, as she deconstructs herself from Stepford Wife into a bare all Bacchanalian insurgent with a message straight from Cosmic Coincidence Control Centre.

 

Interspersed with porcine & smurf orientated porn titillation – this is full contact art experimentation with vulgarity, absurdism, gynaecological in-jokes, nudity and amyl. If acronyms are lost on you, feel free to tune out and return to pre-programmed stupor.

 

Like a manifestation of Kali-Ma herself, she conducts her performance like a puja with the desire of destroying ignorance, mediocrity, conservatism…dear Middle of the Road Adelaide…this Goddess has you in her sights and will crush you between her thighs. This may be a promise, or a threat – take it as you will.

 

‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds, and Glitta will be there to blow yours  – particularly throughout the remaining week of the Adelaide Fringe at the Black Box, Royal Croquet Club..

 

 

Posted by Jonathan on Mar 8th 2015 | Filed in Art,Burlesque,Cabaret,Huh?,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

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