I love it when some weird, inventive sounds and concepts float my way.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything from the marvelous Doubledgescissor label, so this instantly caught my attention.
London based experimental video/sound artist, Psychiceyeclix and Caecus Animi, also working out of London as a live artist and music producer (who also runs Fish Tank Studio & Wicked Dubplates in Hackney)have collaborated extensively on a project to release a very limited series run of thirty-six unique LPs.
Each double sided album will come with different tracks, reflecting their respective musical backgrounds in Instrustrial, Noise, Techno, Glitch, Experimental & Ethereal sounds.
More though, each sleeve will be individually designed and produced, with unique artwork, PLUS come with an attached noise box.
The videos below illustrate samples of both the noise box and the tracks to be found on this, ‘Instrument Sleeve #1’ Other than the sheer exclusivity, the somewhat abrasive sounds capable of being produced from the ‘sleeve’ may not be everyone’s cup of tea, or within their budget.
And so, the music will also be made available in ‘regular’ 12″ vinyl format as well as simple download. The five tracks on this initial release encompass many styles, ranging from industrial and experimental to some funky hip hop beats and nu jazz sounds, resulting in almost twenty-nine minutes of interesting flows and melodies that seem to alter with each listen.
November the 5th 2019. Guy Fawkes night, here in UK. Mark the date in your diary – in red ink, and circle it.
For this is the day I predict The Gaa Gaa’s (yes, the apostrophe is intended) will finally get the credit and attention they are well overdue.
This is the day, finally, when, after years and years of raised hopes and dashed dreams, The Gaa Gaa’s release their debut album!
If ever there was a Grammy styled award for the band most beset with controversy, mishaps, setbacks and upsets, it’s the band out of Jersey and now London / Brighton based. The Gaa Gaa’s would be an absolute shoo-in, believe me.
That’s not to say they have been dilatory in their efforts to release their music to a wider listening public. It’s just that life, and things, keep getting in the way. Perhaps they lost a little focus as a result, but a look at their Bandcamp page shows that they have had their productive periods.
Their music is loud, dark and manic; it hinges, if indeed it’s not entirely ‘unhinged,’ upon the repetitive motorik pulse of 70s Krautrock. But more fuzzed up.
I first wrote about the band back in early 2011. It was a feature on new and upcoming bands. Some of the personnel have changed in recent times, bu having spoken with guitarist / vocalist Gavin, I know the band are looking upon the album release as a new beginning.
Which is brilliant news for the band and their fans – and means I can regurgitate my interview piece from Artrocker Magazine, almost eight and half years ago!
‘New and upcoming bands?’
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you … The Gaa Gaa’s.
THE GAA GAA’S……. (NEW BLOOD)
“You’ll never have a
revolution if you stay underground!”
It may sound like a rallying call to arms, but this proclamation was not issued by some shady, subversive organisation. Rather, it’s the considered opinion of Jamey, bass player with Brighton three-piece, THE GAA GAA’S. (Stand easy, MI5!)
Describing their music as ‘infectious dance’ and citing such influences as The Danse Society, Brian Jones Town Massacre, The Rapture and King Crimson, vocalist Gavin acknowledges the increasing popularity of scuzzy, dark, dance music. But as drummer Stewart expands:
“It’s nice to be part of an ‘underground’ movement, but we’re not scared of our music becoming fashionable as such. We just love what we’re doing and if it gets some recognition, then that’s a bonus.”
THE GAA GAA’S were formed way back in 2003, however as Gavin explains, it’s only now that they feel ready to formally release their music:
“ There have been many different line-ups over the years, but we’re now at the strongest. We’re all really good friends, from Jersey originally, and have moved to Brighton to ‘fulfil our musical goals.’ The musicianship feels great between us and our debut single, ‘Voltaire,’ is due for release on 1st November on Playground Records. It’ll be available on 7” vinyl format as well as a download basis and the B-side of the vinyl will be a Punx Soundcheck Remix of ‘Voltaire.’”
What was the thinking behind releasing two versions of the same song as the band’s debut, as opposed to showcasing another from their ‘live’ set-list?
“That was the label’s idea. Punx Soundcheck work with Playground Records and are part of the Kitsune label who are based in France. The intention is to get our music out to a whole new, additional market.”
“Although we play London more than Brighton at present (we’re a lot more suited to the darker dance wave that circulates the Capital) as far as media coverage goes, we’re a lot more established in Europe due to our playing the Drop Dead Festival recently,” says Stewart.
(The Festival organisers for this year’s event approached THE GAA GAA’S as they felt their music and image would fit he bill. When asked how the experience was, Jamey simply replies, “Itchy!”)
(Let’s not go there, shall we?)
With the artwork for the cover of their Demo EP ‘Repulsion Seminar’ influenced by revered French photographer Guy Bourdin, and their new single taking its title from the name of the eighteenth century French Enlightenment writer, it would appear that these guys are pretty well read. That being the case and at the risk of being impolite, I have to ask – why the unnecessary apostrophe in the band name?
“We really like apostrophes,” is the rather simplistic answer from Gavin. “We really like catastrophes as well,” he adds somewhat cryptically.
Hmmm – catastrophes I can do without. But a little revolution never really hurt anyone, did it?!
If I tell you that Touching God, a duo from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, describe their music as ‘ blistering electronic noise-rock,’ you might be put off. If I tell you that the first track on their new five-track EP, ‘Profane,’ is called ‘Strepitus Diaboli,’ which is Latin for ‘devil noise,’ (good to see my O’Level Latin, B grade, back in 1974 has finally come in handy) you might again be put off.
But don’t be.
It’s a heavyweight brutal seventeen minutes or so, of that there’s no denying. But listen closely. There is structure. And there is melody. Maybe just not of the Judy garland style, that’s all.
My own experience of ‘noise’ music is more focused on the Japanese scene. The likes of Kawabata Makoto / Mainliner and Keiji Haino grace my record collection. But Touching God’s EP is different in that it doesn’t appear improvised. It has more of a wide, expansive soundtrack feel to it, and seems to be following a storyline. I have to confess, though, I’m not quite sure what that is exactly.
The opening track, starts out with the ringing of church bells, and very quickly you get a sense of doom rather than the uplifting call to worship you’d normally expect from such sounds. See – the bells gradually meld into one huge cacophony and muffled, spoken word is overlaid.
Set the mood to ‘creepy.’
Second track ‘Puissant,‘ French for ‘powerful,’ (Higher French, ‘C’ grade, 1975) steams in with a heavier than heavy riff and racing drums. The vocals are a hybrid metal and hardcore punk style, that demand the listener’s attention.
‘Kola,’ is my favourite track. Starting with a throbbing pulse, it soon develops into a latter day heavy drum ‘n’ bass style, but with growled and shouty vocals.
‘Courtship‘ is playing above, so no comment requited.
Final track ‘Vacant’ is a bleak collage of noise, again mixed with similar spoken vocals to that of the opener. Think evil Tangerine Dream! As the band themselves state, this and the first track are: ‘sound pieces that set the stage for an atmosphere of discomfort.’
This style of music may be a little niche, but it’s truly atmospheric and deserving of more musically open-minded listeners giving it time.
Profane will be available in full digitally through all streaming services from June 7th, 2019, and as a limited CDr, available on the band’s forthcoming Western Canada tour.
Touching God bio: Currently based in Lethbridge, AB, Touching God’s members have also been in former grunge-punk band,Advertisement, and ongoing drone-ambient project, An Ant And An Atom. They have shared stages with Cherubs, Dri Hiev, Rhythm of Cruelty, and Conduct. This summer, they will bring their eviscerating not-to-be-missed live show on a tour to the West Coast of Canada with a returning appearances at Calgary’s Sled Island Festival as well.