Strictly Come Dancing
So got asked by Pete, my mate and owner of splendid record emporium Second Layer Records here in North London, to be DJ at an event he was putting on. In conjunction with Harbringer Records, he was marking 30 years of activity of Broken Flag Records. The label started up by one half of rock / noise legends Ramleh.
The only thing he asked me not to play was any noise, which is just as well as I only own one noise record.
Held at The Dome in Tufnell Park with its community centre vibe: the cheesy hand-drawn signage and children running in and out of staff areas should give you some sort of a clue. But its sealed by the fact that I've actually attended 2 weddings and a daytime bhangra event here for asian kids.
Other than giggling childishly at the names of some of the acts that were to play over the 3-day festival (Grunt, Con-dom, Putrefier, Sewer Election) the other thing that amused me was the clientele. A guy who looked like he'd carved some sort of crude symbol into his own forehead, repaired it with sellotape and wore shades for the entire festival was mistaken for an artist before someone pointed out he actually was a member of the audience. The rest of the paying public seemed militant for the most part. Which meant it was mainly white males all wearing either camo gear or punk decor. In any colour you want, so long as it was black.
Can't remember much from the event musically, as I spent most of the time staring into Traktor fretting about what 'ironic' track to play next whilst blocking out the extreme din with ear plugs. When I did stick my head above the MacBook parapet. I can only remember the following….
Enduring the soundcheck was pretty painful but Sewer Election / Treriksröset festival-welcomer was a short, sharp shock to the system. My eyeballs did bleed on instant. Con-dom shock tactics are legendary (apparently) but I zoned out once the close-up video footage of him wanking went on for far too long. Ramleh's Power Electronics set was workmanlike and effective, constant waves of noise that stained everything but I was too much of a wuss and ran out for some food from the local kebab joint.
Nothing really caught my attention save for the EBM workout of Esplendor Geometrico, who are now my new favourite band this week. Why didn't anyone tell me about this lot before? Consumer Electronics was possibly the biggest draw for most people. Ex-Whitehouse member Philip's Best's confrontational power electronics was amusing and disturbing in equal measure. Amusing because he kept on calling everyone within earshot a "bunch of cunts" and disturbing because he was insistent on showing off his moobs and pot belly to all and sundry.
Tommi Keranen's opening assault was cut short by technical difficulties but still managed to make an impression. Putrefier's computer music set pretty awesome, but I was distracted by the fact that he uncannily looked like Gyles Brandreth. Giancarlo Toniutti was the most impressive sonically, his controlled mix of field recordings, drone and approaching menace was pretty hypnotic. But the visual highlight for me was watching The New Blockaders dancing along to Inner City's 'Good Life' seconds before they terrorised everyone.