Moon Unit, Scrim, Patrick MacAuley Keenan and Matricarians vs Sumi Sumi Soundclash – The Tunnels – 21/01/11
It’s Friday and a night of more experimental sounds at the Tunnels, headlined by Glasgows krautrockers from space – Moon Unit.
First up were Matricarians, an experimental duo featuring Alan Davidson of Kitchen Cynics. Every set is different with Matricarians, sometimes there’s singing, sometimes there’s not. Sometimes it’s nice, sometimes it’s not. This was a not night unfortunately, there were great ideas and sounds being explored but it felt like it was just an exploration rather than a structured set. Sounds and instruments were introduced and looped, building up into layers of noise which were mainly harsh and atonal, although flutters of notes crept in from Alan’s guitar. His companion busied himself with a kaoss pad, but it all seemed to be missing something. Some more rhythm would have been good, something to hang onto. As it stood, Fridays set was loose and interesting but ultimately unengaging.
The same couldn’t be said for Patrick Keenan’s spiffing ambient compositions, well structured beats and loops from a mac and an acoustic guitar proved intriguing, and a musical highlight of the evening. Patrick’s music had a purpose, felt fresh and engaging. I’d love to hear more of it and hopefully we’ll see Patrick on a few more bills soon. Bills without Scrim would be nice too.
Scrim were awful. They seemed nice when I was chatting to them outside the venue, which makes it all the harder to write this but I’m sure they want this reaction. The kind of band that wants you not to get it. Two hipsters with analogue synths making random shit noise for 20 minutes. The guy put the microphone in his mouth and sat back in his chair yelping. It was shit. Really shit. People booed! I’ve never heard people boo at a gig properly before. Jesus. It was really the worst possible advert for experimental music, the kind of thing that puts people off going to these nights and that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Nathan Barley. Oh well, at least Moon Unit are here to save us, and send us out to fucking space!
Maybe it was the beers or the fact that anything was better than Scrim, but Moon Unit were great. They ploughed a furrow of krautrock but one built on the blistering drumming of Peter Kelly with Andreas Johnsson and Ruaraidh Sanachan adding keyboard and guitar skills, to create a wall of sound that is genuinely thrilling. There were eastern inspired riffs building into frenzied rock outs, it flowed better than the other bands this evening but still felt structured and like a well planned journey INTO SPACE! You can see why they’re picking up supports with the likes of Mogwai, as they build into an intense distorted section that has us all grinning and nodding our heads furiously.
Clearly Moon Unit were the big winners here tonight, but we’re all winners really. Except maybe Scrim.
Moon Unit MySpace