Music RECORDS LIVE REVIEW
LIVE ALBUM ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS Cut the World (Rough Trade) ●●●●● It’s Antony Hegarty, chamber pop’s one and only Mercury Prize- winning, six-foot-four transgender Anglo-American with the voice of a choirboy, live in Copenhagen backed by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. As live albums go, Cut the World is more of the satisfying-stopgap-between-studio- releases variety than a document of an artist in their performing prime. Songs from across his four LPs feature with added dramatic sym- phonic flourish. ‘Future Feminism’ – an eight-minute speech explaining the framework behind Hegarty’s foundation of the same name, which espouses more matriarchal forms of governance – is a cring- ingly self-important drop-in, but serves up some whimsical food for thought. (Malcolm Jack)
EXPERIMENTAL THE ONE ENSEMBLE Oriole (Pickled Egg) ●●●●● ELECTRONIC COM TRUISE In Decay (Ghostly International) ●●●●●
Reference points for The One Ensemble might include the 1970s prog-folk of Comus or A Hawk and A Hacksaw’s more wayward forays into Eastern Europe, but Daniel Padden and his gifted cohorts occupy a wild isthmus of their own. Alasdair Roberts/Tattie Toes per- cussionist Shane Connolly brings a rhythmic urgency to proceedings, switching from stately Renaissance dance to nervous canter on ‘The Farthest West’ as Padden conjures apocalyptic visions of mountains falling from ‘the skies of Morocco’. Cyril Tawney’s classic ode to bad navy food, ‘Chicken On A Raft’, is transformed into a lament, all quea- sy accordion and squalling strings, while the title track moves through jaunty medievalisms and doom riffs to conclude in a starkly beautiful Gregorian chorale. (Stewart Smith)
Compiled from demos, online tracks and unreleased material, Seth Haley’s most recent LP In Decay treads the same bass and synth heavy sinews of his prior releases — at times channelling the likes of Boards of Canada, as heard on ‘Open’, to twisted elec- tronic funk and snails-pace disco on ‘Colorvision’.
For all its pomp and production, In Decay suffers somewhat from an identity crisis – as the New Jersey producer attempts to connect the dots between far too many synth and retrogressive themes, at times tiptoeing into krauted-out, Klaus Schulze territory all the way to 8-bit Nintendo signatures. The nature in which this collection of songs was compiled might explain its disjoint- ed variation at times, but it’s still incredibly listenable. (Nick Herd)
ARCHIVE FILM, SOUNDTRACKED SCREEN BANDITA PRESENTS RITUALISED FREQUENCIES Church of the Sacred Heart, Edinburgh, Sat 21 Jul ●●●●● The occasion is 16mm film divas Screen Bandita’s latest cross- art ‘adventure in real film’: an exposition of ancient and modern rituals, where live soundtracks accompany ethnographic archive footage. Artist Ariadne Xenou’s depiction of native New Zealanders in ‘Maori Days’ is underscored by the duo of Daniel Padden (The One Ensemble/Volcano the Bear) and Howie Reeve (of Tattie Toes). As onscreen rubbing noses moves into twitching, gyrating rites, the duo’s shuffly, twang-laden rhythms emulate and echo the hand- clapping abandonment captured on camera. The trip, as you might imagine, is utterly intoxicating. (Neil Cooper)
AMBIENT ELECTRONICA KONX-OM-PAX Regional Surrealism (Planet Mu) ●●●●●
JAZZ CHRISTIAN SCOTT Christian aTunde Adjuah (Decca Records) ●●●●● PSYCH-POP OPOSSOM Electric Hawaii (Fire) ●●●●●
Envy Glasgow’s Tom Scholefield and his career, or plethora of them. Perhaps better known as a video director for Hudson Mohawke and Mogwai, tour DJ for the latter and sleeve artist for people like Rustie and Oneohtrix Point Never, he’s now dropping his debut album on seminal techno label Planet Mu. It’s not, shall we say, an atten- tion-grabber crammed with instant pop hits, but a glacial, understated set of rather lovely electronic mood pieces called things like ‘Glacier Mountain Descent’ and ‘Pillars of Creation’ whose influences lie firmly with Brian Eno and Warp Records. Listen out for guest star Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai on ‘Zang-Tung’, or at least in its deli- cate synth recreation of the ‘Gwai’s hypnotic cataclysm. (David Pollock)
Both the album’s title and the cover shot (showing the New Orleans trumpeter in ritual ceremonial dress) signal Scott’s attempt to embrace fully his African ancestry. Despite occasional longeurs across the two discs, he does so very successfully. His expressive, silver-toned trumpet is the principal focal point in the music, playing off guitarist Matthew Stevens and the rhythm section in an intricate and absorbing interplay. The diverse music is inspired by recent global events and concerns over inequality, racism and abuse, but also by hope and a creative blending of traditional and contemporary musical influences. (Kenny Mathieson)
Before Kiwi Kimbra joined Gotye to duet on ‘Somebody that I used to know’, there was Crowded House, Bic Runga (you remember, she sang that one ‘Sway’. No? Big in the late 90s? No?), and ‘New Zealand’s fourth most popu- lar folk-parody duo’ Flight of the Conchords; it seems New Zealand is drip feeding, rather than bom- barding us with its musical exports. This latest, a kaleidoscopic
pop debut album home-written, recorded and mixed by Kody Nielson, draws on his Polynesian background, as well as elements of surf rock and gently trippy psyche- delica. A feel-good odyssey back to the 60s, it’s a psych-pop space cake layered with chiming organs, bouncing bass guitar – and a guest vocal from Bic Runga. (Lucy Mass)
POST-ROCK THE UNWINDING HOURS King Tut’s, Glasgow, 23 Jul ●●●●●
Made up of former Aereogramme members, TUH are no strangers to the construction of huge sound- scapes awash with ambient guitar echoes. Opening track ‘Knut’ builds steadily in intensity with cinematic drama, to the delight of the sold-out crowd. Like Mogwai before them, the band share a love of the structural dynamic and sedate guitar of the likes of Low and Godspeed You Black Emperor, but it’s the introduction of a soft vocal timbre akin to Loveless era My Bloody Valentine that gives them a more distinct vibe among their peers.
Tonight is an opportunity for the band to showcase tracks from their forthcoming album, Afterlives, including latest single ‘Break’. (Jack Taylor) ■ Part of King Tut’s Summer Nights.
118 THE LIST 2–9 Aug 2012