Photo credit: Pip Clark

The Convoy Transmission Party – 22nd July 2017

Cozying amoungst a nest of blankets and pillows, a snug audience gathered in Magnet’s spatial studio to celebrate the release of The Convoy’s third studio album ‘Heh’.

Emily Bennett and Reuben Lewis were the first to grace our ear holes, composing an improvised array of processed tones one rarely hears emanating from a trumpet with extempore dadaist storytelling. Layers of chopped loops formed uncanny & mesmeric rhythmic textures, at once affirmed and interrupted by improvised words, songs and stories.

EMILY BENNET & REUBEN LEWIS. Photo Credit: Pip Clark

EMILY BENNET & REUBEN LEWIS. Photo Credit: Pip Clark

Nestled in front of a flickering TV screen, Ari Sharp engulfed airwaves with psychedelic ultra high frequency audio/video feedback. Static emissions, crackle and hiss were amplified in a prolonged darkness, infusing a perfectly tense ambience with utterances of recited poetry.

Photo credit: Pip Clark

ARI SHARP. Photo credit: Pip Clark

Looming over a table of wires, pedals, and other intriguing unidentifiables, Rod Cooper conjured a punishing, aural hell that made me feel as though my ears had actually turned into blenders. Sitting at his control desk with a foot pedal below, I envisaged someone at sinister sonic sewing machine, weaving together the harshest, aural textures (un)imaginable.

Rod Cooper

ROD COOPER. Photo credit: Pip Clark

As The Convoy took the stage, tape machines hissed and warbled as sonic atmosphere began taking form. Tides of distant, thunderous drum swelled and receded while ominous guitar ambience gave voice to a world awakening. Soundscapes were endowed with a kind of sentience that spoke themes of cyclic evolution and regeneration – varied waves of intensity growing exponentially, each time returning as if a new incarnation, born from the eroded memory of sections before. Throughout the journey, projected visuals summed live by Scott McLatchie morphed in synchronicity to sound, adding a powerful visual dimension to the immersive experience. The momentous finale unleashed itself as glory in high decibels, shaking the room and bodies in it, revealing the potency of this culmination which lay latent in every moment that preceded.

The Convoy

THE CONVOY. Photo credit: Pip Clark

Off the back of this final wave,  immersion transformed into reflection as echoes of guitar drone rang out over the course of a minute, letting the world that had just been birthed dissolve back into the abyss of the silence from which it came.

 

written by Will Tremain

Interested in reviewing an event at Magnet? Get in touch here.

 

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RYOSUKE KIYASU at Magnet 1.4.17

It was the day of fools that Magnet hosted Japanese artist Ryosuke Kiyasu for a show as part of his DIY tour across Australia’s East Coast.

 

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Kicking off the night, Channels went to work loosening the screws in our minds with avant garde performance art, keeping us all right on the brink of understanding what was actually happening. Ambient sci-fi-esque tones laid a backdrop to the shows antics, consisting of operatic singing, spontaneous crying, and instructions for the most delicious pie ever. “What even was that?!” was a comment thrown out by an audience member – who also happened to be Channels.

 

 

 

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Absolute sonic disruption unleashed the very instant Kiyasu Noisecorkestra began. The faceoff between two drum kits on either side of the stage produced the outer layers of a sound sandwich that crushed and condensed electro-oral noise and homemade noise guitar, performed by Spasmaslop and Rod Cooper respectively. Noisecorkestra is strangely conversational; the intensity of which perhaps more analogous to frenzied argument, but there is an undeniable harmony between them in the swirling cyclone of chaotic noise.

 

 

AriSharp 1.4.17

Shortly following, Ari Sharp conducted the white noise static of two television screens sitting eerily in the center of the industrial spatial studio. After aurally acclimatising to the different levels of thunderous *pschhh*, subtle movements would seamlessly send you into new waves of hypnotising hiss, at times simulating a feeling of plummeting at unfathomable speeds.

 

 

 

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Cello and drums duo Octave Pussy took the stage to create airs of suspense; tides of tension sustained by intimate play in dynamics. In a reversal of technique, cymbals are bowed and strings struck with a mallet, the creative combination of unique textures giving the impression of a beautifully ominous world, where danger constantly lurks out of sight.

 

 

 

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Closing the night, Japanese drumming extraordinaire Kiyasu offers a raw solo performance. Sharing a powerful kinetic conversation with a snare drum, phrases of stuttered percussive attack are strung together in a manically serene stream of consciousness. Eventually everything on stage is absorbed into the performance – the table, chair, floor, a loose shoe – and watching the chaotic movements inspires awe for how deliberated every fleeting flurry is. Twenty minutes of explosive energy came to an end with a victorious scream that summarised the intensity of the night’s show.

 

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Sound Of Not Doing 4 – 4th March 2017

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Photo credit : Pip Clark

Amongst the pillows and mattresses on the ground in Magnet’s Spatial Studio, I laid back and made myself comfortable for the night of experimental, ambient and drone music to come.

GoldenOak

Photo credit : Pip Clark

Larm Zu Machen set the tone for the night with a gradual build in droney, ambient modular synth, which as it grew made me feel like I was moving between the different clouds of a thunderstorm; each dark sky puff containing its own unique timbre and intensity. It wasn’t long before I was reminded of the sampled voice excerpt from the start of their set – “everything is going to be allllriiiiight” – this initial consolation later providing a strange sense of peace amidst the tension of dissonant hum that carried me through the clouds above an alien world.

 

Photo credit : Pip Clark

Photo credit : Pip Clark

 

NGC 1275 kept imaginations running, delivering layers of eery, atmospheric drone created with vocals running through what looked like a spaceship control panel of pedals and effects. It was mystifying to watch human voice breathed and “sung” into a headset mic, only to return through the PA as something so distorted from its origins. It was like standing in front of a screaming cave, and when remnants of recognisable human voice occasionally surfaced, the moans told a story of the electronic hell they had been through to create the dark soundscapes.

 

 

Golden Oak offered a break from the tense dissonance of the previous two acts, refreshing earholes and minds eyes with slow, glowing ambience. Smooth, wavering synth hovered about the room while the bouncing of a delayed drum guided me through a relaxed trance. As this delay changed its pitch and movement it gave the impression of spatial context inside an endless soundscape, while I followed the warping of the beat.

 

TheConvoy

Photo credit : Pip Clark

Finally, couches were full, cushions were all taken, and The Convoy were up, mesmerising us with experimental, ambient noise. The build of rolling tom drums and cymbals with atmospheric guitar drone was in every moment captivating, the immersion of each instant greater than any anticipation of how the piece was evolving. It was like hearing a single, fleeting second stretched out and unravelling in slow motion, but experienced in real time – all of which made even more hypnotising by the rocking motion of silhouettes against a backlit, factory wall. Quieter, more intimate moments brought forward a third element of their act: a mechanical contraption that pitter-pattered clicks and ticks like a stuttering windchime – while flashing strobes accompanied distorted guitars and crashing cymbals at a chaotic climax.

 

As the night finished and the last applause sounded out, I overheard people sharing their journeys and experiences – an eclectic crowd discussing the results of another successful experiment hosted in Magnet’s Spatial studio.

Words by Will Tremain