magik markers: mother was magik (arbitrary signs)

wild. fucking wild. total out-there skronk jams recorded live at the stone this year. a triumvirate of elisa ambrogio, pete nolan and john shaw (who hand painted the envelope packaging). far as i’m concerned it’s the best thing they’ve put out since boss. and it exists in a mainly opposite world to that record’s (relatively) stately beauty. this is the unhinged side of their ouvre. the bastard magik unmusic that comes out (a bit too frequently?) on nolan’s imprint. just too much to keep up with. which is a shame coz i hear good things about the bonfire cd too…

this. this is a ferocious thirty five minutes. whole set sounds like it’s teetering on the brink, seconds away from collapsing, sweatsoaked and breathless. i made the flip comment recently that nobody ever got laid to autechre. well mother was magik is the kinda feral unfettered noise that should fucking stimulate and agitate and viciously rouse. when they cut loose, which they frequently do here, and by cut loose i mean truly free and in the goddam moment, it’s about as exciting as music gets for me. as old picasso said, every act of creation is first an act of destruction. and man, this destroys.

spontaneous bleeds of structure but habitually loose. uninhibited bursts of guitar. sometimes like sonny sharrock’s clusterbombs. sometimes like drunk/primitive bush tetras fizz and klang. strings bent round bloody fingers. drum clatter thrown round the room. nolan plays hard and fast here. and just when you think it’s all gonna fall apart fucker hits the right beat and – pow – we’re rattling into a disorientating garage stomp. one haunted by patti smith’s gloria, by vu’s the gift. a moonward howling bruised holler. what i’ve always dug about elisa’s stream of conscience intonations is it never seems like schtick, like some lydia lunch performance y’know. more like channelling or exorcism.

s’dizzying how much they’ve crammed in. dizzying.

arbitrary signs

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