Wonkystuff #21 – The Fulford Arms, York, 23rd February 2022

Posted: 27 February 2022 in Live
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Christopher Nosnibor

I may have mentioned this before, the reason I like going down to The Fulford Arms, and in particular, why I enjoy checking out the Wonkystuff nights. Yes, the music – John Tuffen’s curated events guarantee a nice and eclectic but complimentary selection of leftfield sonic explorations – bit it’s more than that. The venue, and these nights especially, cultivate a sense of community. I feel at home here. I don’t always feel sociable, but knowing there will be people I know, and people who won’t judge if the interaction is only a ‘hello’ because we’re all here to see the acts is a big deal.

And as ever, the acts are diverse, but of a solid quality.

I’m always happy to watch Namke Communications: John Tuffen never disappoints with his experimental improvisations, which usually see a single longform work fill the allocated time. On this outing, elongated drones and plops and plinks of electronic extranea blend and juxtapose against one another, melting into a slow swirl. A wind whispers through, and an organ swells slowly and falls away again a crackle of static. Some of the glitchy intrusions are ugly, others more subtle. Beatless, abstract but certainly not ambient during the first half of the set, it’s dark and ominous, but not unpleasant. Beats build in the second half of the set, arrhythmic, stuttering, pops and thuds bouncing in all directions at once. I lose myself in it, and it’s joyous.

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Namke Comunications

Wonkystuff regulars TSR2 – all 3 of them – make for interesting viewing. Yes, they’re typical middle aged white guys with gadgets, including lap steel, but they actually create some fascinating soundscapes, rising to reverberating cathedrals of sound. Immense surges of synth sweep cinematic across the stage. Elsewhere, they swing between Krautrock and funk-hued space-age prog. It’s considerably better than it sounds on paper, trust me. They’re clearly enjoying themselves up there, too, and that enjoyment is infectious.

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TSR2

Next is, Leeds maker of noise, 13x. Is it supposed to sound like that or is your cable fucked, mate? Yes, it’s supposed to sound like that. Mangled to fuck overloading stuttering, glitching electronics, the sound of circuits malfunctioning, melting give way to a fucked up samples-riven S&M collision between Suicide and Donna Summer. Darkwave disco with punishing beats, static fizz and Portishead crackle block up against slow, grinding industrial grooves and fleeting flickers of woozy trance weave in and out of a varied, but ultimately abrasive instrumental set. And yes, it’s mint.

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              13x                                                                                       Sam Mitchell

Wrapping up the night is another Leeds artist, Sam Mitchell. Sporting straggly grey hair and beard, he emanates the vibe of ‘scene veteran’, and he clearly knows his way around his (comparatively minimal) kit. Technical issues briefly delay the start of his microtonal glitchtronic set, but once going, it’s all wow and flutter, flickering bleeps and bibbling bubbles. It’s spacious, expansive, layered, textured and easy to get lost in. By easy, I mean perfect, and it’s a perfect finale that makes for another Wonkystuff win.

Comments
  1. Chris Whitehead says:

    Work prevented me from making this do, but the line-up and the write up make it seem like I should have swapped shifts and driven over.

    Maybe next time?

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