Tape, Áine O’Dwyer, Slow Listener – Cafe Oto, Dalston, London, 7th November

This great triple-bill at the Café Oto was a night to remember.  Main act Tape were somewhere on the post-rock spectrum with lovely winding guitar lines and deep kosmiche hum.  Synths and keyboard drones buzzed and crackled around the smooth plains of stringed melodic momentum.  As good as this band were, the night belonged to the two preceding solo artists; both entirely different in their music but united in the execution of singular musical visions.  Slow Listener is a solo act from the brilliant Exotic Pylon label; working within the noise/concrete field, his sound is full of gonged water bowls, drone wobble, sudden clicks, rusted bloop and hiss, and steadily accumulating rumble.  It all appears aged and rusty, a crumbling sepia image depicting something indistinct but inexplicably upsetting, subtly and simply wrong.  Voices emerge from the fog like muffled snapshots of electronic voice phenomena, emissions from the haunted periphery of radio static.   A performance arcane and brittle; the pained aquatic bangs bouncing around the walls began to resemble forgotten tools in a dead person’s shed, moving and clanging together of their own volition.  Between these two artists, multi-instrumentalist Áine O’Dwyer played a set of unforgettable beauty.  Performing songs from her recent album ‘Anything Bright or Startling’, absolute silence reigned in the audience; these utterly beautiful and deeply beguiling harp compositions were played with heart-stilling grace and a complexity that buried the attention of the listener; it was a rare performance of musical magic, totally captivating and hypnotic.

More on Tape here.

Slow Listener’s blog here.

Listen to Áine O’Dwyer’s music here.

More about the Cafe Oto here.

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