Having graced the stage of the inaugural Offset Festival back in 2008, the organisers decided it was probably time they invited Chrome Hoof back, this time to the main stage. Yesterday saw the 22 legged disco-prog space travellers set down their cosmic spacecraft in the woodlands of Hainault to show each and every other band how to really put on a show. Ripping through tracks off their latest and greatest album Crush Depth, including a storming “Crystalline” and an inhumanly heavy “Third Sun Descendant”, they inspired many people down the front to throw some frankly bizarre shapes while people at the back were hypnotised by the shapes being thrown by shamanic front woman Lola. Ending with the always stunning “Tonyte”, on Sunday the hipsters of Hainault had no idea what just hit them.
Check out more photos on the Offset Festival web site.
Crush Depth and other Chrome Hoof goodies are available from our web shop.
In which our guest blogger, Little Annie, regales us with tales from her unpublished biography. In this chapter, the little lady from New York travels far far away across the ocean to take up residence with a gang of British anarchist hippie punks called Crass. They call her “Annie Anxiety”.
TEETERING DOWN the single file country ‘road’ that snaked its way to Crass’ Epping Forest home in my faux Frederick’s of Hollywood stilettos and dragging my equally glitzy chi-chi drag behind me, I may not have been the quintessential ugly American, but I was definitely the quintessential inappropriately dressed one. As the country lane turned into a path through a mud-slicked cow yard, I couldn’t help but wonder where this incredibly hip-and-happening second English Explosion Jammy Wonderland that all the knuckleheads back in New York were always yapping about was. Just as I was figuring that I was the butt of a very expensive and complicated episode of Candid Camera, the smoky-eyed, Jean Seberg-cropped Crass vocalist, Eve Libertine, drove up and rescued my quintessential daft ass. As we pulled up to the sixteenth-century former labourer’s cottage in Eve’s old blue Mini, its soft beauty knocked me out. Some members of Crass had found this once uninhabitable wreck many years ago, seen its potential and rented it from the farmer, who thought they were crazy, hence the ridiculously affordable rent. Hard work had turned this crumbling structure into a House and Garden – worthy Zen dream, and one that was more or less obscured by beautiful lush vegetation. Inside was equally impressive, immaculately clean and lovingly handcrafted. It was paradise, except for one little thing – it was in the country.
I had believed from the conversations with Steve (Ignorant) I had back in New York that they all lived in some sort of English version of the projects. In one of his letters, he had spoken of everyone sitting around in the garden. I just assumed he had meant a vacant lot or basketball court. I mean this was rural with a capital W, and I’m just not down with the country groove. It scares the hell outta me. Country life is all about the natural order: the cyclical process of growth and decay, sowing and harvest, waxing and waning. Children raised in rural areas grow with a firm comprehension of birth and death. City children have no such acceptance. We beat death by aspiring toward immortality by becoming drug addicts, boxers and movie stars. Continue reading
Recorded in August 2007 at Southern Studios, engineered by Harvey Birrell. Limited pressing of 1000 hand-numbered, rubber stamped CDs and 1000 vinyl (700 black, 300 white).
Gang Gang Dance define the ultimate ‘world music’ for the now, and possibly for an unknown tomorrow. Utilizing avant garde sensibilities and cut-and-paste assemblies, they approach music as pure sound. Lizzie Bougatsos’ vocals are often non-verbal communications – words as sound rather than any immediate apparent linear meaning or message.
As interest grows in the indigenous music of many cultures of the Far and Middle East, especially in hybridized fusions of the familiar Western forms with local historical folk forms, so Gang Gang Dance are the logical product of an outward looking NYC in the global age: Middle Eastern percussion and keyboard stabs collide with Far Eastern instrumentation, and elements of Western pop and dance. The inclusion of grime and dubstep elements are of particular interest here since Gang Gang Dance are approaching these genres, familiar to anyone in the UK, from the position of outsiders, and thus treating these genres as indigenous folk music, as exotic as gamelan or throat singing to anyone who has not heard them. The polyrhythms and vocal styling of these British urban genres stands here as another part of Gang Gang Dance’s vision of music in the 21st century, combining the musical idioms of the world we inhabit to create music that suggests a world we have yet to discover.
In many ways this recording, tracked prior to the release of the ‘St. Dymphna’ album bridges the gap between the rawer, almost cut-up approach to their earlier albums and their more polished and highly-evolved present sound.
– Andrew Hartwell
In September 2009, the prolific duo made their way to Southern Studios to record their spontaneous session for our Latitudes series. The result was Sky Burial, two lengthy slabs of crushing yet ethereal instrumental material. Limited to 1000 vinyl and 1000 hand-numbered, rubber stamped CDs.
Having been an enormous fan of Nadja for the past couple of years, when I was given the chance to approach an artist for the Latitudes series, they were a complete no-brainer. Their highly unique strain of doom-infused shoegaze sends shivers throughout my body whenever I’ve seen them live, and this was a perfect chance to be able to capture that magic in the legendary Southern Studios.
After first approaching them in February 2009, we finally managed to make it happen the following September, and I’ve never experienced a smoother and simpler sessions than this. Crafting two lengthy slabs of crushing yet ethereal instrumental material, Aidan and Leah have once again upped my expectations of them. Seeing them play live the following night, where they gave one of these tracks an airing, was an inspiring experience in itself and the article you hold here is about as close as you’re going to get to the all-encompassing and trance-like beauty of seeing them play in front of you. If this is anything to go by, then there is plenty more special music to come from this talented duo and it has been a pleasure to have them be a part of the Latitudes series.