Sounds From The Other City - Who To See?
Time-honoured narrative goes that Sounds From The Other City is a place for musical discovery. But it's time-honoured because it's true; the genius of the festival, packing promoters – be they the sort more used to the Apollo and The Ritz, or upstairs at Fuel – into the bars, churches and spaces of Chapel Street leaves a brilliant lack of uniformity, and a completely diverse bill that simply wouldn't have happened under any form of central booking plan. It also means it can be a bit of a minefield working out who to go and see, but here are five sets we're thinking about going to.
Shit and Shine - playing at The Old Pint Pot
Gnod are quite rightly getting plenty of plaudits for their triple-LP opus Infinity Machines, just out, but it's between them and Texan mavericks Shit and Shine for the best album out on Rocket Recordings this year. Releasing over 20 albums as well as numerous split singles, EPs and cassettes over the past decade or so, it's hard to ever know what you're going to get with the group, made up of musicians from both America and London. But if their latest LP 54 Synth-Brass, 38 Metal Guitar, 65 Cathedral is anything to go by, you can expect a mangled mix of hip-hop-inspired beats, industrial abrasion, kraut repetition and other stuff that's weird beyond caterogisation.
Ex-Easter Island Head - Vimto Gardens
The Liverpool minimalists have risen steadily but surely over the past three years to command real respect in leftfield circles, their initial DIY ethic of fashioning mallets out of bamboo and using them to rhythmically hit the strings of laid-out, prepared guitars taking them everywhere from performing with like-minded souls like William Basinski and Rhys Chatham to opening for Mogwai and 65daysofstatic. Their line-up has remained flexible too, expanding to the Large Ensemble for a number of shows and releases. At Sounds From The Other City they'll be taking part in what's likely to be a remarkable collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic Ensemble.
Barberos - The Old Pint Pot
Dressed in morph suits that gives their movements an oddly disconnected, alien-like feel, Barberos are a two drum-kit sonic force, relying on the hypnoticism of techno repetition but feeding it through a prism that takes in industrial music, noise rock and electronic psychedelia. Live they're an intoxicating experience, locking audiences into their relentless rhythmic web and refusing to let go until every last drop of it's been wrung out.
Jane Weaver - St. Philip's Church
Jane Weaver has been working in the intersection between Europe kosmiche and British psychedelic pop for most of the new Millennium, putting out a series of frequently beguiling curios on Bird Records. However The Silver Globe, her first through Finders Keepers records, has boosted her profile significantly, gaining her regular airplay on BBC 6music, winning her Piccadilly Records Album of the Year for 2014 and leading to sell-out shows across the country.
LA Priest - Islington Mill
Out of curiousity more than anything, LA Priest is worth checking out for anyone who, like us, felt that amongst all the nu-rave, hyped-up electro of the mid-noughties, Late of The Pier were perhaps the only ones who came out of it having put together something unique, innovative and genuinely forward-thinking. Early signs have been promising of Sam Dust's first material since his old group's hiatus in 2009, offering some warmly squelchy bass and shimmering pop hooks for him to wrap his deft vocal around.
New Releases - Fly High Society
A coincidence that this compilation EP by Liverpool label Fly High Society came out on 420 day? Possibly not, with all four tracks featured effecting a certain sense of tripped-out wooziness in their scuttling beats and fluttering samples. Nevertheless, this is a really strong set, from So Flute and Madnice resident Bolts' leanings to tabla-inspired rhythms and Middle East sitar samples over a relatively murky sense of atmosphere, to Monto's starkly deconstructed R'n'B and London-based producer and DJ Tre'bore's airborn Hyperdub-inspired electronica. Stand out track, though, comes from 18-year-old prodigy Iglooghost, whose Korokoro jumps around with a scatty restlessness, reminiscent perhaps of Gold Panda but delivered with the hyper-activeness of a kid too much sherbert.
Digital Crate Digging
Mother - My Lies
Frequent collaborators with Video Jam – although they play for Sways at Sounds From The Other City in fact – Mother have been playing shows for around a year but have so far resisted in putting anything out online. Until now that is, with the foreboding vine-like minimal ballad My Lies offering a shadowy glimpse into the spatial panorama they've been exercising on stage.
Gashes - Cuts
An incredibly new project, so much so that there's not much information to give you about it, other than that it's a hauntingly emotive exercise in loop-based vocal experimentation that starts off slipping into woozy ambient spaces but gradually smoulders and burns, pulling away from any comparisons to the likes of Julianna Barwick or Grouper, towards more vitriolic plains.
Elsewhere on The Skinny.co.uk
- Will Fitzpatrick reacted to the sad news surrounding the forthcoming closure of The Kazimier in Liverpool.
- We premiered Liverpool singer-songwriter James Canty's latest single Love. Give it a whirl over here.
- Gary Kaill caught up with Hartheim at their debut headlining show at Soup Kitchen. See what he thought here.
- We're running at a competition at Sounds From The Other City to win an amazing goody bag! Click here for more details.