CHANNEL ISLANDS

Asylum at Live Lounge, August 28th 2009

In asylum, bands, jersey, live lounge, music on July 29, 2009 at 16:43
Brobots poster version 1 designed by Brobot 2

Brobots poster version 1 designed by Brobot 2

Visit the MySpace profile of Marvel and you’ll find the emphatic statement SOLD OUT just underneath the cover art of Marvel At This Fiasco EP. There is a good reason for this. The songs of their EP, produced in 2008 with Jersey-based sound designer Sam Falle at the controls, make for a riveting set of post-punk pomp pop complete with indelible vocal hooks, scratchy funk guitars, breakbeats and booming synthesizers. In their MySpace blog there is a strong sense of their determination to make the best pop music ever heard and to have extraordinary amounts of fun while doing it.

Marvel

Marvel

Marvel are Nicholas Baxter, Samuel Falle, Todd MacDonald and Dominic Quaeck. Recently they’ve been touring the UK, recording with Jason Wilcock of Stakeout Studios in Hampton, doing more recordings with John Hall in Leeds and London, and in their choice words experiencing a ‘creative ejaculation’ in which they have generated a lot of material that will be pieced together to form a set of apocalyptic anthems for the next decade. ‘Everything is ridiculous,’ they say, and they have a point.

3d-brobots

3D Brobots

The origins of Brobots are shrouded in mystery, mainly due to the limitations of human thought and language. A translated, fragmentary myth, in which an alien deity called the Spacemaster Bass directs them to Earth with a flashing blue beam before disappearing, followed by his many naked women, smoking cigarettes, seems only to further obscure the lineage of this most enigmatic of all acts to have worked with Asylum.

Brobots is a duo, Brobot 1 and Brobot 2. They are known to be part of a collective that includes DJ Suc Mei Kock and king Kills. They play instruments that cease to function on this planet so they have modified Earth instruments such as keyboards and guitar to create equivalent sounds. While what is produced may be disorienting to human ears it allows an understanding of the music of their alien culture. This is similar to what happened when African Americans took the instruments of the Western orchestra, with its hierarchical structural traditions and the supremacy of the score, and made something non-hierarchical and distinctly free with them, only with space-travelling robots high on helium.

Banquet - Photo by Jonny The Large

Banquet - Photo by Jonny The Large

Banquet, who are Brett Muldoon (vocals and guitar), Chris Mousdale (guitar, synths, loops and vocals), Paul Holt (drums, percussion and vocals), and Scott Kean (bass), have been writing and arranging at a furious pace these last few months. With the file sharing technology of SoundCloud they have been previewing fascinatingly raw works-in-progress from recent sessions. I don’t know how they feel about such experimental material being made public, but it is certainly an interesting insight into the practices of one of the most adept synthesists of computer audio and live performance ever to be heard in the Channel Islands, so here, have a voyeuristic listen: soundcloud.com/banquet

Chris of Banquet has a musical alter ego, Electrolite, with which he deftly explores abstract electronica, random shattered beats and instrumental, minimalist gospel and blues. Electrolite’s sublime music is worth hearing to understand the electronic impulses at Banquet’s heart stripped to the pristine bone.

Banquet are one of several Asylum-affiliated bands who have keenly embraced the networking possibilities of Twitter. The band’s activities on that site are a mix of music tech notes, rehearsal diary and links for interesting new releases by some great artists. Follow them: twitter.com/banquetmusic

Crowne

Crowne

Crowne are Rory Thun (vocals and guitar), Mirek Lenart (bass), Marcin Lach (drums), James Underwood (guitar and organ), and Christian Dellacher (strings and keyboards). To experience Crowne live on stage is to witness a masterclass in musical grace. Their performance at Live Lounge a few months ago, supporting The Light Streams, was one of the decisive peaks of the Asylum series to date. They’ve just released a CD, Nothing Can Stop Us Now, which contains five songs of immaculate, emotionally epic quality. It will be the first record from an ever-growing stack of discs on my desk that I’ll be reviewing in detail for this blog in the coming weeks.

James of Crowne has also produced some fine recordings as Mystery James. His solo works make up a body of cracked, murky, furtive research into instrumental hip hop and song with the voice inscrutably woven in and out of strange textural surroundings; at times delicately pretty and at others obsessively incomplete and unstable. It’s an absorbing set and a great way to examine one fifth of Crowne’s eclectic, yet profoundly complete, musical identity.

  1. […] This post was Twitted by asylumlive […]

  2. Really nice write up – looking forward to this!!

  3. […] This post was Twitted by banquetmusic […]

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