Posts Tagged ‘Single reviw’

1st May 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

For some years now, I’ve followed Gintas K’s career with interest, for the simple fact that his work is, well, interesting, not to mention varied. This latest release is quite different from anything previous: a 7” single containing the audio, this is ostensibly a multimedia work, which finds the record packaged with a magazine, and was produced in collaboration with Visvaldas Morkevičius as an independent publishing project.

Morkevičius is a Lithuanian photographer, and the print aspect of the release comprises a series of photographs, which are the result of the artist’s visual anthropology research. K’s contribution is that of a soundtrack, as the accompanying blurb explains: ‘7” vinyl performance was made by Gintas K during the process of Visvaldas Morkevicius photographing and was added to Portraitzine as to fulfill the atmosphere in which photographs was made.’

It may be that the audio works better with the visuals, in that it fills out the understanding of both the listener and the watcher, but as a standalone work, Gintas’ two untitled works function successfully in their own right.

The sounds on side A – ‘Cut Piece’ are spare, strange, squelchy, bloopy, gloopy, fractal, disjointed, whistling, bleepy, hyperdigital. There are immense spaces between the sounds, meaning that when thumps, thuds and bangs arrive, they do with maximum impact: more than one I found myself physically jolting n my seat, having been lulled by a digital babble and spells of near-silence.

Side B, featuring the shorter ‘Uncut piece’ is mega-minimal: drips and blips punctuate three-and-a-half minutes of not a lot. And yet that not-a-lot is important: it focuses the attention, and reattenuates the listener’s attention on sound and the spaces in between. It slips and fades to nothing.

I find myself staring into space, barely aware that the ‘music’ has ended. If the ‘music’ ever really began. It’s hard to feel any real emotional or psychological connection with these snippets. But that is not their function. And ultimately, it works, and that’s the objective here.

AA

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Damnably – 26th August 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Barnsley: a long way off the musical map, eclipsed by Leeds and Sheffield. Yes, hometown of cult goth rock act Danse Society and a burgeoning post-punk inspired alternative indie scene and generally represented by the micro-label Of National Importance, but nevertheless, pretty much off the radar. Enter Bruja, a band credited with creating a ‘DIY junk-punk scene that has seen them hosting their own gigs, pressing up CDs, booking tours and making their own analogue VHS Videos to lighten the depressing reality of zero hours contracts in the service industry, unemployment and increasing xenophobic hostility’.

This once again returns us to what’s become something of a recurrent theme of late in my reviews on these pages: the depressing way in which austerity Britain and particularly post-Brexit Britain is a dark and dismal place, as depressed and divided as in the late 70s and early 80s. I was barely a child at the time, but essentially grew up against the backdrop of the miners’ strike and the Falkland’s war, followed by the Gulf War. War on TV in the 80s and 90s was a revolution in itself: now it’s wallpaper, but coupled with the effects of a long-term conservative government and the sense that history is repeating with a grim predictability whips up a cyclone of bleak feeling.

Impressively, Bruja have landed themselves on Damnably – home of Shonen Knife, Wussy and Oktoboke Beaver –  for the release of their new single. Promising ‘post-industrial, South Yorkshire modulatory desolation from a young band with a mean age of 24’, ‘Tori’ is a magnificently catchy post-Placebo new-wave influenced tune with a tremolo-heavy flanged-out lead guitar and driving rhythm section. Counterpart ‘Sculie’ is infectiously pop at its core, but propelled by some energetic drumming and a guitar sound that shimmers with the sound of an early 80s chorus pedal.

Times may be bleak, but it’s a good time for music. And this is good music.

 

Bruja