The Enid have been playing prog-rock in various guises since 1973 but this gig was the last one of their current tour and CD release Dust. And not only the last of the tour but the last gig by founding member Robert John Godfrey. Over mamy years, The Enid have produced many highly original albums. Dust is the last part of the Journey’s End trilogy.
The Dust concert by the UK’s “best kept secret“, was nothing less than a sensational theatrical experience, the filmic music experience. Joe Payne’s hypnotic entrancing vocal performance is operatic in delivery. Poignantly powerful.
Plus a large video backdrop mysteriously interacting with Payne, this show suprises and shocks with raw theatricality an aesthetic experience with wizardry and dance precision.
Directed by Simon Drake (House of Magic, Secret Cabaret), the concert moved with a certain elegance throughout, with cinematic visual illusion and drama. It was a collaboration of a band at its ripe best with precise pacing. Space age visuals of a fantastic exploding operatic rock godhood is compelling. The prog rock is faithfully majestic but the audience is with it every second of the journey.
An emotional recital and farewell by Robert John Godfrey was met with a standing ovation as were the band before and following a cracking encore showing that The Enid is indeed a very current band, progressively current prog-rock.
This review of David Bowie’s new album Blackstar is more interesting than the many positive (and a few puzzled) reviews of David Bowie’s new album, Blackstar, to be released on 8 January 2016.
And a review in Rolling Stone.
Although their first album was highly original and any follow up to it would need to morph significantly to continue to qualify as “original” and it would need to be considered a “progression” upon earlier work – in Meditation and Violence Das Fluff have achieved both.
Dawn Lintern performs live with ironic melodrama via an eternally corrupting elegance. Her statuesque figure carving the air, suddenly desperation floods with neurotic charm and she is slithering into the audience. She is perfectly offset by the powerful and inventive lead guitar of Steve May. Their show has toured to Japan and we now have Tokyo Daisuki. Something new electric and alive.
The second album surged into reality like a spring tide – most of the songs for the second album have been introduced and gradually took over Das Fluff outings over the past year. Second albums are traditionally tricky beasts but this album is a strong and coherent collection.
The searing intensity of Dawn Lintern’s voice mix at times desperately angered and then forceful with almost military angst. She adds gravity and drama to lyrics that focus on the existential darker side of love and coping with the self. It plays with feelings like shocking private thoughts. She opens the album with Rage and immediately you feel the sound engineering gives this recording a fine clarity.
Drop Break Slip Crash – the idea of “I wake up; I did not know what day it was.” reveals an inner anarchy but resolves into some kind of ordered mayhem. There are consequences in this sequence as made even more frank in You Lied. This one feels a little less resonant but it fits.
It all returns alive and threatening in the thumping delight 100% – have heard it live many times but this mix felt – eponymous, so to speak. Great performance, too.
It is perfect as a foil and introduction to what may be the heart of this record. Insomniac feels as wretchedly heartfelt as the condition. Her voice is dirty Hollowood metro sexually grinding against a cycle of grand virtual mechanisms in complex sound.
Next is Disconnect. Dawn Lintern’s range is explored and we are falling into the reality of this record. It feels like a fair ground wonderland freak show has taken over.
Outstanding Tokyo Daisuki written while Das Fluff were touring that part of the world has a definite sense of being a part of the whirring roundabout. Very dance number.
Life is Sweet – appears to be a conversation with inner needs of addiction resolved via the serenity principle. Superb chorus.
Never Too Much – a searing thumping anthem of declaiming severity demanding affection “Give me your life, adore me adore me.”
Steve May is outstanding and outsells himself on the outro to Moonsong mediated perfectly by Lintern’s London inflected voice. Again, it is demanding, pleading, and fragile. One of the most beautiful closing tracks closes this album.
Their first album was a breath of fresh air in a dance oriented form, electronic music is rarely this engaging. This album is all that, plus 100% progress.
A record at least two years in conception and recording followed with a early release from inside a two year sentence strangely has resolved this unreleased work Black Soap from Monkeyburg – Bryant exposes fifty shades of blue in a series of resonant and relevant songs – bottled wine that becomes ardent some time on. There are patches of genius in the mix interrupted behind bars before it could be mastered. It is not the perfectly produced album but this jewel’s imperfection is wrought large by one of the best producer/mixers in the Auckland music scene – Mr Ed Cake.
See also Monkeyburg.com.
David Blyth is a Kiwi film director who made a slasher horror film before Peter Jackson and has just visited London with his latest film release – a psychological horror WOUND, and we review it.
Wound was made in New Zealand earlier this year and was selected for the London Film Festival. Behind the terrible slaughter we will witness there is a terrible logic. Instead of playing for the victim’s terror, we are treated instead to the insanity of a fetish killer.
A skillful yet excessive rendition of the affected mind, failed mother Susan, superbly played by Kate O’Roarke in a compelling performance, is driven to deeds so terrible you can only share relief to witness the sardonic sessions and nipple torture by Master John (Campbell Cooley), whom she must address as Sir and then with a strictly limited and pleasing vocabulary. That he has to keep warning her that it is pretense serves as a warning. Master John messes with her sense of continuity and her reality setting goes more haywire.
There are moments when you are brought along for the ride not as a willing partner, but fragile inside the broken mind. Terror is etched deeply into Kate O’Roarke’s convincing performance , her fear is both intimate and shared. She lives extreme terror her child hood brutalised by her father’s abuse, but what is happening to her is just as bad as her dream world
Almost too late, the emergency rendition team arrive, ordered by a genuinely concerned Dr Nelson (Ian Mune) to commit his patient. Her demons have already got the better of her as she takes brutal revenge on her father. The inner psychology of following her own line of paranoid reasoning takes the film into a realm where anything happens. In walks her dead daughter and her death mother and every angle of horror can be explored.
The dream visualisation carries us into territory films can not usually explore. Evil turns on a piece of fractured razor glass as severing and bleeding become a chorus. It is her surviving twin daughter returning or a complex construction of grief for her long dead daughter – hard to say which one is worse – the wound ripped open in Susan’s devastated mind commits crimes while she thinks she is running away from them. Or she is, more horribly, running from her little girl now full size, she is horrified by the mayhem and the path it creates for her to escape, in a collaboration of confusion and death. The use of masks and dolls submerge identity and play Susan as a distorted child and this is effective and weird.
This film explores less clitchéd ground than expected from the “slasher horror” genre, it is stylistically revolting while its use of thick blooded imagery is not betrayed by any lack of profoundly sinister ideas.
The film is beautifully captured using Canon digital cameras providing a believable texture. Jed Town’s sound track is a subtle but perfect carrier wave for major talent. This is David Blyth’s second horror film, the first was in fact the first splatter movie predating Peter Jackson by several years.
One to watch.
Rating * * * *
Originality * * *
Brian Eno performed his first public appearance in the Brighton Festival 2010 in a 3 part concert, called Pure Scenius. We attended the middle section, at 6:30pm.
Accompanied by the outstandingly brilliant Australian trio The Kicks and Karl Hyde of Underworld, Eno produced an original and sometimes amusing sound scape that took place sometime in 2040, reviewing some of the post-post-post sounding genre blends he had invented that very minute. Karl Hyde’s is the perfect human sampler – repeating lyrics hypnotically in the opening song.
Eno is a master of collaboration and continues to innovate and invent. An extraordinary experience to witness. A dream that continues to weave patterns in memory.
Tilda Swinton is the lead in an Italian film by Luca Guadagnino that tells a story of love that upsets the balance of a family of great wealth. The family business frames the lives of those it is handed to, and when the grandson is given part control, fate is suitably twisted. The conventional and cold logic of capital and the logic of business are subtly pitched against the unremitting nature of human love. It is a pitch of contrasting values, one coldly redolent in finery and inherited privilege and the other naked, sumptuous and a slave to feeling.
Swinton’s character does not belong in either world – but her crossing of one to the other carries with it consequences that undo both. The tragic consequences of extraordinary love pivot on rebellion, the new generation that will not carry on the facade of wealth and all that it carries with it. In that way, the turbulent pendulum swings away from capitalist excess, the futility of wealth and inheritance is questioned and the wisdom of love exposed in all its destructive power.
A film that is both beautiful and sensual and yet expresses itself best in the illustration of coldness, of destruction and of contrast. The cast and direction are well measured and the film lures you into a controlled world that is never comforting to another ruled by the moment and extraordinary risk. That movement between worlds and Swinton’s ability to layer hidden feelings give it a depth of feeling that is otherwise strangely absent in these worlds that suffer under the light of extreme beauty.
Originality * * *
Quality * * * * *
Laurie Anderson’s theatrical piece Delusion reviewed on Riginality