left-field music and sound • 19 + 20 May 2017 • Chapter, Cardiff
Gruff Rhys & Roger Paez: Breaking and Entry
The creation of a sonic environment relating to the microcosmos of Mas d'Enric Penitentiary - a soundtrack to a Catalan prison.
In 2014 Catalan architect Roger Paez i Blanch invited Welsh musician Gruff Rhys to respond sonically to his innovative prison design. The result is a score based on a map of the prison that registers the emergent life that also occupies the building.
This will be the first performance of the piece - played by an invited ensemble primed for harmonic improvisation, and armed with heartbeat monitors.
“Writing the soundtrack for a Catalan penitentiary was a new one for me, and a great chance to try some things out that wouldn’t fit in on a record of bubble gum sunshine pop, for example. Having written this experimental score three years ago, we’re extremely grateful to ‘From Now On’ for letting us air it for the first time. Expect a punishing yet rewarding time with our guest musicians and the visual accompaniment of Roger Paez’s beautiful photography of the wild flowers and loose nature that have sneaked into his prison” Gruff Rhys
Gruff Rhys & Roger Paez: Breaking and Entry - Saturday
Islet are a four piece collaborative band based between Cardiff and the hills of Radnorshire, Mid Wales. The band has no lead singer or set roles, switching instruments from song to song. Live, they are a visual and musical spectacle: boundary busting, full pelt high energy swerving in different directions. Euphoric music that stretches your mind and your legs at the same time.
They formed in Cardiff in 2009 where they quickly made a name for themselves through high energy live performances played with joyful abandon, most gigs seeing the walls and audience played as instruments. They have since released 2 LPs and a handful of EPs on their own Shape Records and have played in places from Laugharne to Japan. Their latest release, 2016's Liquid Half Moon EP was recorded at JT’s studio up in the hills of Radnorshire. It is self produced and self released on Shape Records.
L-R Emma Daman Thomas, Mark Daman Thomas, John 'JT' Thomas, Alex Williams.
Islet "Final Drive"
By Ewan Jones Morris
Flamingods are a five-piece, multi-instrumental band formed by Kamal Rasool in Bahrain in 2009. Based in both the UK and Bahrain, the band has carried out operations online as much as in person. The group puts a focus on exploration and experimentation, often taking influence from different cultures around the world by use of an extensive collection of instruments from as far as Nepal and Tanzania.
Floating near the western shores of the Persian Gulf is the Kingdom of Bahrain, the desert country where Charles Prest, Sam Rowe, Craig Doporto and Kamal Rasool grew up together, joining forces on various musical projects and detangling myriad influences from other lands and times. At the same time Karthik Poduval, unknown to them as of yet, was being familiarised to a life similarly sated with a rich pick & mix culture in the city of Dubai.
Kamal started a bedroom project in 2009 in which he attempted to make experimental music that captured the imagery and spirituality of far flung cultures. He recorded the first Flamingods tracks in his room, occasionally jamming and recording with other soon-to-be members. Having no specific scheme in place for the long term life of Flamingods, the next few years would see the eventual members relocating to the UK whereupon Karthik was discovered and quickly assimilated into the fray. A band identity had not yet formed but one fateful 8-hour chalet jam at the Animal Collective curated ATP Festival in 2010 later and Flamingods had officially graduated from its initial solo bedroom project in Bahrain to a fully-fledged band.
Now based in the UK, the band describe themselves as ethnic pop with elements of noise, psychedelia, tribal and freak folk, a 'carnival of sound' that has no boundaries.
Flamingods have released three studio records including 'Hyperborea' 2014, on our own Shape Records. We can't wait to share their international sounds with you.
L-R: Karthik Poduval, Sam Rowe, Kamal Rasool and Charles Prest
Flamingods - Rhama
"The concept for the Rhama music video revolves around a mysterious society of Pakistani wrestlers that are present in Dubai. Dedicating their lives to a traditional form of wrestling called Kushti, their matches take place every Friday during sunset in a sandy lot of land in old Dubai. Over the past few months we have attended these matches, and got to know the wrestlers with the help of our Urdu translator. In making this video, the Barbu TV guys were invited to live in their rural Al Ain apartment for a few days. The video shows the culture surrounding the wrestling, and the symbolism and ritual behind it; as well as flashes of everyday Pakistani life in the UAE – perhaps a surprising visual given the country’s notoriety for being a glossy metropolis." Flamingods, 2016
Yama Warashi is formed by Bristol-based Japanese artist Yoshino Shigihara with eclectic band members. Her music has a dreamy evocative sound with a shadow of moon cake, inspired by Japanese folk dance music, Bon Odori (盆踊り), free jazz and African music with a slice of electric psychedelia. Yoshino plays keyboard, percussions and sings songs in her mother tongue about mycelium, nuclear power staion and broken O. Yama Warashi (山童) means a small child-like spirit which lives in the mountains.
We're very excited to see Yoshino in her new guise, having hosted her previous project Zun Zun Egui at From Now On in 2015.
Mykl Jaxn and Elvin Brandhi are relentlessly producing instinctive, chewed-up tunes on the fly. Culled from sessions crammed into weekly drives to yoga, idle moments in the trolley park of Bridgend Tesco, and a late-night wander in Brussels, 'Id Vendor' captures the father/daughter duo in superlative form off the back of knockout 2016 shows at Kraak, Borealis, and Counterflows.
A wicked onslaught of blunted beats, rudimentary synth contortions, and haphazard vocals as relentless as it is unpredictable as it is bloody wild.
Roshi Nasehi is a Welsh-Iranian singer-composer, making experimental electronic pop sung in Farsi and English.
As a child she sang 80s pop, songs from musicals and Welsh folk at school and in local choirs. At home her parents played old tapes of Iranian folk and pop music and her father resumed traditional violin playing, which influenced early compositions. She also learned piano and in 1997 won a place at RWCMD to study composition and sang in the jazz ensemble directed by Keith Tippett. She moved to London in 2000 and before long formed her much acclaimed "experimental, electronic Welsh-Iranian folk pop" project Roshi Featuring Pars Radio with prolific percussionist/producer Graham Dowdall (Gagarin, Nico, Cale, Pere Ubu). It's an unorthodox sound world combining Roshi's intimate singing style with Gagarin's experimental electronic powers to create a unique genre-crossing, 'exotic, folktronica landscape.'
Roshi's songs reflect her origins, influences and experiences in a personal highly individual way accompanied by unusual piano or keyboard arrangements, vocal loops and effects - they are reflective, melodic and quirky - her voice airy and tender but possessed of an inner power. When she interprets Iranian song it is in a personal style bringing a contemporary twist combined with an authentic understanding of context and language.
Thought Forms guitarist Davinder 'Deej' Dhariwal creates lush, outerworld, hymnal compositions fusing vocal drones, tripped out guitar refrains and dark, synth textures. His recent release 'My Father, My Sun' veers from sheer ambient bliss to violent noise blasts, while passing through cavernous dub excursions and free jazz percussion workouts courtesy of superb Thought Forms drummer Guy Metcalffe.
We're very much looking forward to this new project from Deej, having loved Thought Forms' performance at From Now On 2014.
Twinfield is a 25 year old producer from Cardiff. With a fascination for synthesisers, drum machines and all things analogue he experiments with lofi electronic music, covering it in lyrics that paint a picture of a dystopian future.
Aftersun is beat your head music. Aftersun is lost in greenbank. Aftersun is metamodernism. Aftersun is all our yesterdays. Aftersun is space goes on forever. Aftersun is guitars, drums, noises and humans. Aftersun is synthetic turf. Aftersun is brought to you by Herve Girardin, Matthew Lovett, Jack Rees. Aftersun is all the things you bought. Aftersun is none of the things you wanted. Aftersun is your amazon wishlist. Aftersun is christmas past, present and future. Aftersun is easter eggs. Aftersun is public holidays. Aftersun is getting up in the morning. Aftersun is immaterial labour. Aftersun is zero hours. Aftersun is bretton woods. Aftersun is future-proofing. Aftersun is a friend you haven’t met yet.