Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Etai Keshiki, CAG, Vom + Pyramidion @ The Fenton, Leeds - Review

Star trekking through Leeds' run down fringes, with the looming signs of social decline in the air, I journey to the next BS pit stop @ The Fenton.
Entering the front door I am greeted with hoards of long-haired and bearded metallers soaking up the pre-90's thrash and heavy metal played through the jukebox. The Fenton, I hear, used to be a popular destination for bikers, punks and metalheads decades ago and one can still witness the aftermath of its influence on the misdemeanor and mentality of its present customers. I share affinities to the mentality of these kind of pubs, still reeling off the unquestionable impact these lost eras had on their establishments. I admire its honesty and I feel it's this kind of history that needs to be preserved.
All that aside, I wasn't here to bask in any kind of cultural reminiscence, tonight was about the unearthly vibrations being emitted from above.

First on was newly borne Leeds improv-groovesters CAG (CASTRATO ATTACK GROUP). As I entered the room, I was accosted by a towering tidal wall of high frequency guitar feedback. Before I could pinpoint where I was, the disorientating aggression of the piercing feedback loop was like a clutched hand at your throat, willing you to listen or be asphyxiated where you stand. A plodding down-tempo groove was provided by bass and drums. As i watched, it was as though there was no acceptance of an audience being present, they might as well have being playing to a regimented robot gathering, heads slowly nodding away in unison. Which, incidentally is what the listeners portrayed. Time passed and I found myself staring vacantly into the dark kick drum cavity, the mixture of groove and wailing guitar feedback was hypnotic to my earholes. 30 mins of purely improvised stringent stoner groove, like driving music for the undead.

CAG are Luke Vollar, Gav Montgomery and Phil

Next up were another loud Leeds ensemble that go by the name of ETAI KESHIKI. They represent a particular malevolent dystopian nightmare, where doleys are permitted to get together and release their pent up up frustration on the world. A distant assault on the drums provide a hellish tribal backdrop to the harsh reality protruding from the variegated onslaught of the backline. Etai are a claustrophobic entity on the brink of exploding all over the listeners personal space, but in the nicest possible way. I've witnessed Etai perform in the past, and tonight they treated us to a brand new set, offering a more stunted selection of songs that seem to concentrate their energy to great effect. For circuit bent, sharp sounding black and grey hues of nuance and heavy as fuck riffs with shouty behaviour... Etai fulfil every pocket of your discontent for everything soulless in this world while still harboring a wide grin on your face.
I admire the bands choice to release an EP on a dying format, it aptly sympathises with my growing love of today's anachronistic tendencies.
Their new EP "ETAI OR DIE" is available on cassette tape now.
Email etaikeshiki@hotmail.com to purchase the tape.
Listen online here:

Next on the menu were VOM, a Psych-doom offering hailing form Scotland. A contagious more softer doom emanates from the offset of their performance. Lights were turned out and replaced with a slow blinking white light on the stage that reveals fragmented pockets of their movements. A disjointed rhythm from the light throws the headbanger and forces you to close your eyes and concentrate, which I personally have found myself doing more often than not in recent gigs. It is an invitation to be more critical in your listening approach. Psych guitar chords striking, doom-laden bass swelling and marching percussion pounding a visual representation of a birds eye panoramic view of desolate alien topography. Gliding above this topography riding the fire winged griffin, a dead sea comes into view where you spy archaic, ineffable objects emerging and floating eternally in the scorched sun. VOM is the surf music from dead seas.


Rather than fake a detailed description of last band of the night, Pyramidion, I will instead confess to missing the majority of their performance due to getting carried away conversing in the smoking area. I did catch their final 10 mins or so which I very much enjoyed. I heard an indulgent delicacy in this fragment of their performance.. Like a looser construct to the proggy echoes of the 60's and 70's, with bands like Zappa and Yes coming to mind. More Crimson in sound but more psych when one contemplates the more cosmic improvisational approach to their music. I have played in improv orientated bands in the past and find the most difficult thing in composition is controlling the ups and downs in emotional peaks within the live performance. I found Pyramidion executed this well, conducting themselves in a way they would bring their density up and down in quick succession and in unpredictable ways. I highly recommend this band, and hope the next time I see them, I am not cemented to the smoking area!


Pyra 190509.4 by Pyramidion


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Enjoy "A Bundle of Measures" - Review 27/05/11

The title a Bundle of Measures derives from a German idiom that translates to - every one has to catch their own bundle.

Racking up up at the event within a deep corner of Leeds' industrial nightmare. On a street that is legal to drink on (due to the existence of a few alcoholic residencies on the same street) we direct ourselves to the ominously green fronted building @ ENJOY headquarters. We were greeted with a conversation about edible flowers that then transformed into a discussion of a particular club in Leeds with a seemingly infinite smoke machine. An odd introduction to prepare for the numerous obscure conversations that were in store for the rest of the night. ENJOY itself must do something to people, turns stories like Oliver Twist into debauched allegories where Fagan administers his children to the streets to harvest body parts. With the added feature of cheap wine, conversations tilted into more obtuse angles, adding to a night that would soon be filled with breathing sub frequencies and clinically disorientating swells of Grischa Lichtenberger.

Lichtenberger had been given a 2 week residency at ENJOY where he would produce a varied display of artistic skill. Collections of paintings, sculptures and sound art would fill the halls of this art space over the course of the next 14 days. On the opening night one was faced with a large tilted painting containing esoteric shapes produced with a minimal palette of colour and form which would force the viewer to become more indulged in its abstract splendor. Moving to the corner of the room, a metallic object was suspended with red string above a small sheet of flimsy glass. This I gathered was representative of a tension in his art. On the cusp of shattering something fragile, revealing the potential destruction that all art can face.
After a few more glasses of red wine and cigarette breaks, the sound performance had begun.
A combination of evil digital sound-scapes, blending transitory events that would reveal a metamorphosis in his music. So heavily manipulated and processed, form and structure seamlessly flow. A distant reminiscence of Berlin techno comprised within a glitch-fed distorted environment. Objects that were leaning against the walls of the room became displaced during the sub frequency passages in his set. These events for me, implied the room itself was accepting in Lichtenberger's offering, a strange sign that the universe was agreeing with him. People sat, stood and swayed in awe at this "felt more than heard" performance. One guy was roaming around in a glitchy flurry, wielding a rolled up piece of canvas round his body in a strangely idiotic synchronicity. This music was tampering with peoples bodies in an uncompromising way.
Toward the end of the set; one of the first times I had looked up from ineffably gazing down at my shoes in a trance, I had noticed a strange box in the corner that was lit up inside. I had later found out that this was in fact Lichtenberger's sleep hatch where he was staying during his 14 day residency. This certainly was dedication to the cause.
The whole thing reminded me of a sequel to a film (that I had watched expecting the same level of quality as Vincenzo Natali's first offering but was unfortunately disappointed) Cube 2: Hypercube. It documents the struggle of a few individuals trying to escape the torment of a huge cubic structure which is part of some kind of governmental experiment. A particular room they enter has its own time, in that as soon as you enter, time exists at a slower rate. Almost like a twisted static temporal reality in which sounds dismantle themselves into grainy particle-based quanta.
I'd like to sum up the whole performance with two words: Electronic Rapture.

GRISCHA LICHTENBERGER, born Bielefeld 1983, is involved in a variety of arts such as writing, graphics, installations, video and music.


Another act on the night was Northern noise purveyor SKEKSI, who provides the listener with tonally challenging music that beats up your insides sonically. Skeksi was the perfect antidote to the dwindling mental capacity felt after Lichtenbergers performance. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet where the only thing on the menu are large moreish binary chunks of pure synthesised forces that satisfy from the inside out.

SKEKSI is a UK based dj/producer, runs ∆ICASEA records with Alex Peverett and Satoshi Aizawa. Also records as one half of m&c (skam)


Buy tickets here for Skeksi's next event


NHKyx (skam/ raster noton)
VHS Head (skam)
S>>D (icasea)
MDX (skam)
Skeksi (icasea)
Skam Djs
Icasea Djs
+more TBC
25/6/2011 @ the Musiquarium
8-10 Wyther lane, Kirkstall, Leeds.
10pm - late
£7 in

Listen to this sweet recording of one of Skeksi's live performances:
// by 5K3K51


Thursday, 26 May 2011

ENJOY a Bundle of Measures

ENJOY art space are holding a night of experimental electronic vibrations with multi-talented artist Grischa Lichtenberger (GER). With additional support from gadget virtuoso SKEKSI, Ed Vector and ENJOY's own Rian Trebner.

The guys at ENJOY seriously know what they are doing. Their events in the past have spanned broad horizons in genre and medium. They seem to kindly educate the Leeds' populous about immensely intriguing areas in art without boasting elite attitudes, that a lot of the Avant-Garde and more experimental pockets within the art-world can purvey... which scares people off (I have had firsthand experience myself in the past). This liberal, 'it is what it is', approach strikes numerous chords with myself and their honest and inspiring outlook does nothing but enthuse my own personal interest of art and its surrounding niches. ENJOY has been run now since Rian and Kayleigh founded it at the end of their degrees about a year or so ago. Though youthful, the essence of ENJOY stands tall and proud with enough wisdom to challenge touting superiors atop of the exclusive contemporary art fortress. ENJOY bring art back to the people which I personally honour.

Keep your ear firmly pressed to the ground for future events at ENJOY.

Click here to visit ENJOY's homepage

The BIG SPACESHIP recommends this event... get yourselves down for some cheap beer and wine and some mind expanding, circuit bending electronic hullabaloo. Expect to meet some wonderfully interesting people in a relaxed environment and enrich your mind palette with some more unfamiliar colours. Colours out of space!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Big Spaceship & Low Culture Presents…

Saturday 4th June @ Santiago’s, Leeds

Big Spaceship, Low Culture and Godisdad have joined forces in an effort to blow your face clean off!

A day of savage riff worshiping bands displaying all forms of brutality that will lacerate you mental den and leave you bleeding from every orifice while still begging for more. If loud, heavy and reasonable priced is your kind of deal then this is the event for you.

Throughout the day we will be showcasing 8 bands followed by a DJ set from Milky boy Matt Reid (Hawk Eyes) as well has black metal face painting and homemade confectionery in the form of death metal cupcakes.

Please note: due to the limited capacity of Santiagos we will be using a ‘one in one out’ policy later on in the day.

Tickets a bargainous £5 adv, £6 on the door.

Available from Jumbo records (leeds) and Crash records (leeds) or from We Got Tickets


Blast Off @ 2:30

HEY COLOSSUS (riot season)
The headliners of the day will be traveling to Leeds for the first time in light years to grace the stage with their monolithic evil drone. Hey Colossus are not your average doom band, they seem to have re-crafted the genre into the darkest psychedelic sound art you could possibly imagine, Ostracised from structure and form, but. If you listen carefully beneath the saturated malice of their music you will find a groove that will leave you rocking backwards and forwards in a puddle of your own piss.

listen to Hey Colossus here

BLACK MASS (holy roar!)
In 1983 Thrash Metal jumped in to a Delorian, travelled to the future, combined the best of extreame music from both times and created Black Mass. This four-headed bastard child of Metal is everything that Grind/Hardcore should be! Chaotic shouting vocals, hard hitting blast beats with riffs and beat downs a plenty. These guys have the aggression of Slayer and the party vibes of Municipal Waste, if you think you can handle that, I am sure they would like to see you try.

listen to Black Mass here

If you ever have a party then you should definitely hire these guys to play. Their cocktail of hip-hop breaks, mental vocals, electronic madness and possibly the phattest bass guitar you’ve ever heard, sounds like the residents of a mental asylum who have been let loose in a Whacky Warehouse armed with synthesised explosives and a dosage of mind altering narcotics that could kill a mule. Castrovalva’s unique musical battery will keep you dancing for a week.

listen to Castrovalva here

ANTARES (holy roar!)
In order to comprehend this band, one must posses the mental composition of an astral being; these guys could bench press the solar system with their fingertips while completing algebra equations with their guitars. “I’ve heard this fiddly fret wanking before” I hear you cry. Bullshit! I guaran-damn-tee you haven’t witnessed technical ability being executed like this. Antares will rock your tits off and scatty vocalist Steve Watts will make damn sure you get involved.

listen to Antares here

Wizards Beard have just released their debut album on PsycheDOOMelic appropriately entitled ‘Pure Filth’, which just so happens to be the only way to describe this band; Pure in a sense that their music remains uncontaminated by the usual swill you find in Metal these days and Filth in every sense of the word, like you just got brutally fuct in every hole by the arch angel of doom and shamelessly loved every minute of it. If you are unsure of the meaning of Riff, then make sure you come down and see Wizards Beard showing you how its done.

listen to Wizards Beard here

There is no roll here, just rock n riff. You will be inevitably sucked into their fierce groove and cosmic intensity, and without realising it you will find yourselves amidst a crowed of drones nodding along in unison to the cannons beat. The unanimity of this friendly scouse two-piece is not to be questioned as they bestow you with an energetic performance of tailored riffage and inexorable stoner groove.

listen to Apple Cannon here

The solidarity of this band is contagious. Etai Keshiki will terrorise you in utterly unfathomable ways, leaving the words ‘Etai or Die’ etched into the back of your mind. These guys care not of your judgement or approval, you will simply be presented with a ghastly display of power and seismic waves of pandemonium that reach deep into your conscience an remove anything that doesn’t need to be there.

listen to Etai Keshiki here

If you haven’t already witnessed the splendour of this fine new band of riff merchants then make sure you get down early. Mother/Destroyer have recently pounced upon the city of Leeds without warning to give a swift dosage of freshness. Its difficult to pin these guys down they kinda have everything you needs. Riff, groove, funk, good vibes it’s all there. Mother/Destroyer will be the perfect unit to cut the ribbon and open the gates on Brutal Day Out.

listen to Mother/Destroyer here


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Runaround Kids to play with Toyger + Bravestation (US)

Wakefield's own alt rockers RUNAROUND KIDS (Philophobia Music) play host to a selection of bright mathy goodness @ The Well tomorrow night. The night, put on by Low Culture, will provide the perfect antidote to your weary Monday blues. Put a refreshing taste back in your furry mouths and wash away the weekends stains with a dose of cheery medicine under the guise of these fresh-faced post-grungers. Think Dinosaur Jr minus the apathy.

Listen to RUNAROUND KIDS on Soundcloud

TOYGER present airy arpeggiated passages which progress into carefully augmented phrases of chords. Team this up with the glossy quality to their melodies present in the vocal lines, a satisfying equation emerges that teases one's earholes. There also lies a certain unpredictability in their music which is refreshing. I'm no expert on this kind of music and personally, I've become frequently bored in the past. But Toyger fulfill and surprise, and when a pop band can throw in a sporadic blast beat in here and there, who can complain?
Recommended track "Sucker Fish".

Listen to TOYGER on Myspace

A white wash of delay, vintage spring reverb, tropical twangs, pocket calculator synths and the ghost of Michael Hutchins... put em altogether and you get half an idea of what BRAVESTATION (US) make me think of. Dreamy and hypnotic, their recordings are definitely worth a listen. I become slightly weak in the knees when subjected to lush FX present on songs like "White Wolves". I'm a sucker for it what can I say... Go and check em out.

Listen to BRAVESTATION on Myspace

There is also a tasty Talking Heads cover by BRAVESTATION available here:
This Must Be The Place MP3

Visit Low Culture's website for future events...


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Canaya + False Flags to play with Narrows (Ex-Botch + TAAS)

Good morning, I would like to inform you of this excellent gig @ The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds.

Happening 19th May:

Been described as having a "unique brand of aural malice". Ex-Botch and These Arms Are Snakes, should deem to be a very heavy post-rock experience. Awash with lush cymbal play and repetitive guitar phrases soaked in numerous FX pedals, it will feel like food for your earholes, but don't wretch cause its good for you.
Heavy as fuck, high octane bludgeoning deathly riff metal from Leeds. With enough energy live to challenge a hoard of charging Spanish fighting bulls. Go and see these guys, but make sure you bring a clean pair of underwear. For fans of polyrhythms (MINT).
Ex-Red Stars Parade, these guys are relatively new as a unit. If they are anything like RSP, your ears shall be in for a clangorous experience.

Expect big riffs, hard hitting drums, lots of tattoos and its at the Brudenell, so guaranteed good atmosphere. It is £8 to get in though, one will have to reach a little deeper in the pockets for this one. Knock a couple of quid off this and the gig would've been spot on. Nevertheless... I recommend it.




NARROWS - http://www.deathwishinc.com/bands/105/

Click here for details of the Facebook event


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Etai Keshiki to play with Pyramidion, Vom + Castrato Attack Group

Great gig coming up at Leeds venue Fenton on 29th May. The gig includes Leeds' noisey punks, Etai Keshiki along with Pyramidion (Glasgow), Vom (Glasgow) and Castrato Attack Group (or CAG).

Etai Keshiki invoke terrors on stage unimaginable to some, especially if you've met them before. They are such a pleasant bunch of individuals, one has to take a step back when witnessing their sensory attacking live performances. A mixture of modded stomp boxes, circuit bent pedals and bespoke electronic devices, Etai conjure a kind of nihilistic macabre that haunts the inner psyche for times to come.

Etai support Scottish jam-psych rockers Pyramidion, ex-members of Moon Unit, Cheer and Old Boy Boom. Listening to their music for the first time the other day, I hear remnants of Hawkwind, Can and, from more modern territory, Carlton Melton. They harbour hypnotic progressions that drag your subconscious mind along a trail of twisted subterranean landscapes, avoiding predictability and the staleness of some 'jam' bands that have attempted similar ideas in the past. An interesting approach to an ethos of composition I very much appreciate and adore.

Another Scottish group travel down with Pyramidion, glamorously entitled: Vom. These guys have a doomy quality to their music that doesn't quite 'feel' like doom, it's almost like if one was to take a balloon representing Doom, and give it to a clown, let him twist it into a shape and call it a 'Vom'. The repetitive quality does make me moist however, and combining this with the fiercely low bulge of the bass guitar and visceral surf guitar warblings I envisage it makes for an interesting live realisation.

CAG (Castrato Attack Group) have been described as a "Dumber than a sack of hammers", a "caveman ugh duo" and "dunderhead grunt band from Leeds". Other than that, I've not been able to find a morsel of music (last.fm doesnt seem to like my prodding). I dare say that I am intrigued though...

So, get down to this feast of Jam/ Psych/ Doom/ Noise and whatever gig. Cause let's face it, what better things have you got to do? Nothing! That's what...


ETAI KESHIKI - download 'ETAI OR DIE' here



Click here for the Facebook Event


Monday, 16 May 2011

Wiht to play with Dopefight @ Royal Park Cellars

A super heavy gig is in our midst at Leeds' very own Royal Park Cellars.
The beast in question is the Dopefight, Wiht, Dead Existence and Groan gig on 3rd June. Leeds-based psych doom outfit Wiht (Doomanoid records) play host to a variety of oppressively soaked doom bands including Dopefight (UK), a monstrous, bong worshiping, brutal offering that Dan (big spaceship) had come across one evening a month or so ago on Stonerobixxx (stonerobixxx.blogspot.com/). A few chunky spliffs later... and we were ostensibly hooked.. the riffafterriffafterriff mantra hanging in the smoke filled air like a curse on our ears. These guys kick serious ass, and for the modern day Weedian, a leafy heaven emerges as one delves deeper into the Dopefight. These guys are unsigned (strangely) and have had only one split release with Dead Existence (also on the bill) before the full length album "Buds" only recently became available. I've posted a video below of the aptly named "Baby Goat Sick" for your earballs.

Big Spaceship will be there to review this bad boy, so keep your hats on for now. If you're in Leeds on the night in question, this evening is not to be missed. Put your pipes down for a few hours and top up that stoner haze with some jars of ale and colossus riffage.


Click here for details of Facebook Event

Thursday, 12 May 2011


Big Spaceship's first stop off @ Cardigan Arms, Leeds.

Fallen Colossus
Etai Keshiki
Zeitgeist and the Redi Knight

Poster drawn by D Standish, digitised by T Goodall.