Am currently at a pub on Newman Street in W1, having a very quick drink before going into a meeting.
So last night I was at the hauntology gig. Kode9 and the Spaceape were just as good as I expected them to be — their “Memories Of The Future” has been an aural touchstone for me since its release. The surprise was Philip Jeck — the recorded material I’ve heard was just interesting, but live it’s absolutely thrilling. Working with old turntables and seven-inches, he turned the venue into a truly haunted space. The ambience was utterly supernatural. Jeck is an intense figure as he works, an acoustic scientist bent to his experiments.
In contrast, Kode9 and the Spaceape actually made me laugh when they pulled a The The cover out of the electric fog. They should also be credited for not losing their stride when something set the fire alarm off, sending everyone outside for ten minutes while the fire brigade took a look around and the local bishop phoned the venue to find out if the electrical devil music really had summoned up the infernos of hell.
I only caught half of the preceding presentations. Paul Devereux’s piece was fascinating, introducing me to the concept of “archaeoacoustics.” He’ll flood an area of archaeological significance with pink noise, identifying the resonances to determine, for instance, how ritualistic sites were used. There’s a site in India whose seven stone columns ring with the seven basic tones of Indian classical music — a cave that might hold the birthstones of the raga. This presentation was interrupted by some idiot who appeared to be complaining that the presentation was in English.
I spoke to Kode9 for a little while after his gig — we have a mutual friend in Steven Shaviro, and it turned out he checked this blog yesterday because he couldn’t remember where he was supposed to be playing. Afternoon, squire.
And now I go to this meeting.