May 10, 2013

Live Review: Author & Punisher/Gnod/Ore

Author & Punisher/Gnod/Ore - Manchester Roadhouse 9/5/13

I was looking forward to experiencing Ore - I suspected that a pair of tubas could push out some serious bass - but I found it a struggle to really get inside what they were doing. They had a percussionist with them tonight, but it was only in the last few minutes of quite a long set that they got a groove and flow going. They
weren't really well-served by the PA either, as something seemed to be resonating with some of the low-end frequencies. I was also slightly distracted by some attention-seeking knob who insisted on loudly talking shit throughout the entire experience. Disappointing.

Ore bring the tuba doom
Gnod take to a darkened stage behind a bench packed with hardware and cook up a viscous stew of Gnod-knows-what. Washes of synth swooped over a 4/4 pulse until a white-noise snare hit and a bassline - so massive you can see it moving the air like a CGI shockwave - bring out the dub, as the heavily-zoned frontperson wails his subconscious fears into a feedback-maxed delay pedal. Fractal projections, like an
early-90s cyber-rave video, provide the only illumination, as we witness something like Throbbing Gristle and The Orb accidentally being booked to appear on the same stage at the same time. Slowly TG gain the upper hand, until filtered noise and industrial funk rhythms take us over. It's not often the support act performs an encore, but we refused to let them leave the stage. You don't have to be on drugs to enjoy it, but previous psychedelic experience is definitely an advantage in gaining entry to the Gnodiverse.


Journeying to the limits of the Gnodiverse

Author & Punisher was much more straight-forward: brutal beats, brutal bass, brutal human-beatboxing. He opened with a new track (I guess - I heard the words "Women and Children", which is the title of the new LP) and once more the bass was physically pummelling the audience - who loved the abuse, by the sound of them. Sadly the set did seem a bit scrappy, with a few false starts and a long period of silence while Tristan (looking disturbingly like Tom Hanks in "Saving Private Ryan") fiddled with his laptop. When he was in the zone, things took off, but as with Ore, the flow wasn't always there. Brilliant scary noises though.

Tom Hanks launches a brutal assault on the German lines