Saturday, April 20, 2013

Experimentation rewards...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Nighlightstar
Madredeus - Essencia
Vivaldi - Oboe Concertos
Various Composers - Music for our Time
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Starlightlive
Rzewski - The People United Will Never Be Defeated
Various - Trojan Dub Foundation
Varese - Arcana
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Riverleaves
Arriaga - Cuartos
Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground - MGM Silver Compilation
Lee Perry - The Black Ark Years
Queens - End Times
Benjamin Damage - Heliosphere
Metabowman - Ja : Noe
Schnittke - Chamber Music 1
Franck - String Quartet in D Major
Vivaldi - Piccolo Concertos
Trio Papillon - Gaubert Koetsier Komma Schumann Zehm Delanoff
Ensemble Kontraste - Milhaud, Hindemith, Bartok
Bischoff - Audio Combine
Lund Quartet - Lund Quartet
Johan Verminnen - 60

The beast was up and out early...







I did not realise it at the time but Anne and I would be staying in this street a week from now...


I did not go here, although it looked tasty...


What's this...


...just one of innumerable planes in the London sky...


Through Russell Square...



...past the University...


..and the British Museum...



For my sins, I did not go in but pressed on, passed Centre Point...


...and on down into Soho...


...through Soho Square with its statues of Kings...



...and dogs...


Today was Record Store Day (isn't every day??) and the vinyl geeks were out in their hoards - blocking the way for "normal" music buyers like me from perusing "normal" goods... 


Here's a list of the things they were after...


There was much photographing and filming of the queue outside Phonica...


...which I joined...


I was tempted by a Brian Eno remix 12", a couple of David Bowie singles and a Velvet Underground album containing 1966 demos... 


By the time I gained entry (after "only" an hour's wait - ha pretty quick compared to the three hours people were waiting to get into Sister Ray!), Eno was sold out, as were two of the Bowie singles - I had the third in my hands but it was basically £8 for two tracks from the latest album...

So I plumped for the Velvets (which I already have as a bootleg download I'm pretty sure) which set me back £18...

Truly I had been infected by the stupid vinyl geekness of Record Store Day...

To make matters worse, my idiot logic kicked in which said if I spend even more on electronic promo CDs it would bring down the average price paid for the VU album...

Oh dear...

To nearby Classical outlet Harold Moore, who were having a half price sale on their 2nd hand stuff - they had not paid the requisite £250 subscription for RSD which would have allowed them to stock the "rarities" sought by the geeks elsewhere...


Once again, CDs were partaken of at knock down prices to further reduce the average (while foolishly upping the total of course)...

Some excellent chamber music by Schnittke, Franck, Vivaldi, Gaubert, Koetsier, Komma, Schumann, Zehm, Delanoff, Milhaud, Hindemith and Bartok comprised this purchase - along with a disc (by one John Bischoff) of music created by computers activated by sounds on the street picked up by contact mics - sounds better than that description...

Their section of new CDs of contemporary music was fairly pricey but I enjoyed looking nonetheless...

I was intrigued by the Drones of David First - on having checked them out though, they are not up to the standards of my own "The Drone Effect" from 1977 - his 3CD set goes for over £40 on Amazon - the remix of my own early recording remains in the can for now... 



The street was being prepared for this afternoon's concert...



A quick look in Reckless...



...and the Record Exchange...


Downstairs, in their "bargain" dept, chances were taken with what turned out to be an excellent disc by the Lund Quartet and a not so excellent 3CD retrospective of Belgian singer-songwriter Johan Verminnen (although there is one track worth the low price, a Brel cover)...

The Souljazz stall was inspected but nothing enticed...


One last look around...


..before heading back to the hotel for some listening to today's purchases...




The Cloudland Blue Quartet readied itself for the Denovali Swingfest of Experimental Music....


...before heading to La Scala for the rest of the day...

 

The stage was set...


First up were The Pirate Ship Quintet...


They were good but followed the post rock template of GYBE, EITS and a thousand others with their quiet bit, loud bit stuff...

Enjoyable nonetheless and a good start to the day...

Which was continued with an hour long piece by the one man and his laptop, Petrels who mightily impressed Mr CBQ...


..while others in the audience could not refrain from checking their e-mails and Facebook & Twitter updates every two minutes...


A quick nip back to the hotel re promos being given out to the collected experimental hordes...

This dog in a bag on a motorbike was thought worthy of a pic...


As was this statue...


...kind of pointing to the moon...


...which was where the absolute noise of the loudest group I have ever heard might well have propelled me...


Instead, I enjoyed Omega Massif's racket from outside the hall...


...where it was, frankly, still too loud...

With my fingers in my ears though, I was able to enjoy the minimal nuances of their onslaught...

Next up, probably the biggest "star" of the weekend, Christian Fennesz - seen here setting up in non-prima donna mode - although he might not have had to cut short his set had he not turned up a mere 25 minutes before his proposed time slot...


The 15 minute delay was simply excised from his set - disappointing...

Good to see though that he carries his leads around in an old plastic bag, seen below propped up at the left of the table...


A fine 45 minutes of noise (with a rather abrupt ending) was nonetheless created by Herr F...


He was followed by more loud bit/quiet bit pseudo instrumental prog rock from Maybeshewill - a very accomplished four piece from Leicester playing their second gig of the day...

Top notch and very enjoyable...


Highlight of the day though turned out to be young German Thomas Bucker's Bersarin Quartett (when I met him he noted with some glee that we were both solo artists masquerading as quartets), tonight expanded to a trio...

The drummer (Benjamin K√∂vener) was brilliant, by far the best of the weekend and the bass/guitarist's understated contribution to matters was just right...


Superb...

I forewent Andy Stott's closing techno set, preferring instead to get back to the hotel and to my bed around 1am, ready for tomorrow...

Highlight of the Day : Experimental music...

No comments: