Now this was more like it! A man, a massive Doepfer modular synth and a drummer.
First up was the support though – a man who didn’t introduce himself and then played fairly standard FTB (Faceless Techno Bollocks) for 40 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I like FTB as much as the next man, but when coupled with jittery double exposure ‘contraversial’ video of meat, old people and toddlers having their ears pierced, it doesn’t really cohere as a ‘thing’. So moving on…
Holden was great. Once again I’ll have to retract my Sound on Sound article decrying the use of real drums in electronic music. When the electronics are as pure as this, the fizz and crackle of an acoustic kit is a perfect counterpoint, adding weight and energy. As well as a bit of visual interest!
So, yeah, an hour of hypnotic arpeggiated, full spectrum analogue synths. Some tracks reminiscent of Vangelis lusciousness with an added dash of Aphex Twin Ambient works (Blackpool Late 80s’), others more reminiscent of Tangerine Dream in their hay day (The Caterpillar’s Intervention). Al of which was hypnotic enough to build up momentum and atmosphere, but avoided minimalistic austerity.
I loved it. It was my favourite thing – tight conceptual work that stimulates creativity rather than leading down a cul-de-sac. Inspiring.