Thursday, October 18, 2012

Human Horses / Castrato Attack Group / Etai Keshiki

Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides + Human Combustion Engine - Human Horses
Memoirs of an Aesthete. CD.
250 copies. 

Castrato Attack Group/Etai Kisheki - castratoattackgroupetaikeshiki
Hypnowave 02/Memoirs of an Aesthete MOA K7 001
Split cassette.

Every once in a while there's something emerges from the review pile that refuses to budge. It happens when an artifact of extraordinary listening pleasure refuses to take its place on the past reviewed shelf and insists that I return to it again and again and again. Its one of the pleasures of deep listening and one of the major benefits of not writing to deadlines. Ever since I gave up the zine publishing game my listening pleasure has been advanced a thousand fold simply by listening to music deeply and by that I mean ‘properly’. That means actually sitting and listening to something and paying it the attention that it deserves. Nothing wrong at all with having a bit of background music and something to make your day move along a little smoother but to become intimate with a piece of music and its twists and curves and nuances and delights rewards your time in ways that a cursory listen never will.

Take pity then on those who have paid only passing attention to Human Horses  for they are the ones to have missed out on a major connecting of spirits. Part Wild Horses Mane Both Sides consists of the percussionist Pascal Nichols and flautist Kelly Jones whilst Human Combustion engine lives as the synth project of Phil Todd and Mel Delaney - in this live forty minute improvised piece they capture that ethereal magical thing that is improv heaven. Improv heaven being the elusive and fluid beast that burns brightest when the assembled players achieve an empathetic balance resulting in a work thats a true one off.

Throughout the entire 41 minutes and 49 seconds of this release I have been nothing less than spellbound. Maybe its the way that the skittering drums compliment the light fingered haunting flute, or the way that the spacey synths float in like summer butterflies landing only briefly, leaving the faintest of marks. At times the drums become slightly more energetic and the synths build to a swirl, at times there’s the sounds of church bells, then an ebbing away to leave the flute alone or maybe a single [analogue of course] synth burbling all on its own as if its ticking over and only after thirty minutes becoming warmed to the task.

You could compare it to jazz of a kind as yet named, or Popol Vuh reincarnated but what this really is is the sound of Northern England in 2012 setting standards that others must match.

I’ve only become recently aware of Part Wild Horses Mane Both Sides [even though they've been recording for about the past four years] and feel eager to hear more of their work, there's something about the joining together of drums and flute that I find melancholy and soothing. But what about Human Combustion Engine? A Phil and Mel side project that I was rtotally unaware of. The streets of LS6 must echo to their multifarious outlets.

I’m deeply jealous of those who attended this gig, in Manchester [Salford?], sometime in 2012. By the sound of the applause that appears enthusiastically at its conclusion the venue was hardly a seething mass of bodies but those who were there witnessed something very special.

The Toddmiester also appears as bass player in the Castrato Attack Group where his bass guitar props up some seriously heavy riffage as spewed by the likes of Hawkwind, Acid Mothers Temple, rock Ramleh and Swedish proggers Arbete Och Fritid. This is the Leeds fringe good time Friday night band where splurging out to one long head shaking thumbs in belt loops shoulder gyrating rock-a-thon is the perfect antidote to a week spent trying to not catch diseases from those whose money passes through your hands.

Etai Kisheki also hail from Leeds. I saw them play live a while back in an all out no wave attack of angular limbs and angular thrashing. The female vocalist sings like she’s trapped in a burning building, the guitars are suitably filthy and the  drummer sounds like he’s got three arms. Damned good fun if you ask me.

[All the above are available as downloads].

Memoirs of an Aesthete



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