Exotic Pylon‘s next live event at The Vortex in Dalston, on Friday 3 December, spans two generations and features three terrifically idiosyncratic acts.
Headlining the night is Eyeless In Gaza, one of the most important but all too often overlooked bands to emerge from the early 80s post-punk explosion. The Midlands-hailing duo of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker have made some truly remarkable records over the years, most notably Drumming The Beating Heart and Pale Hands She Loved So Well (both issued in 1982), developing a painterly and free-roaming sound that touches upon industrial, new wave pop, avant-folk, ambient electronics and soundtrack-style tone poems with Bates’ sonorous, yearning vocals invariably occupying centre-stage. They temporarily retired the project in 1987 in order to concentrate on solo projects; Bates in particular has continued to impress with his restless musical imagination and ambition, contributing to the scores for Derek Jarman’s The Last Of England and The Garden, and collaborating on a trilogy of albums with Mick Harris (Scorn/Napalm Death) that combined folk songform with isolationist dronescapes. In the early 1990s Becker and Bates revived Eyeless In Gaza, and have maintained the project as a sporadic recording and live performance entity ever since, working with the likes of Genesis P.Orridge, Anne Clark and Lol Coxhill. Their most recent album is Answer Song & Dance.
It’s fair to say that London-based duo Raime are in some ways part of the same lineage as Eyeless; their eerie, preternaturally grounded work striking the kind of balance between fanatically detailed sound design and emotional oomph that Bates and Becker would surely approve of. Their debut EP, released earlier this year on Blackest Ever Black, earned considerable acclaim for channelling the torrid spirit of goth, 4AD dream-pop and early industrial into hard-edged post-techno, post-dubstep form. Still only one EP old, Raime’s highly accomplished debut live performance at the Unsound festival in Krakow last month was the talk of the town, and this rather more intimate show at The Vortex will mark their UK live debut.
Moon Wiring Club is the recording project at the heart of Ian Hodgson’s dizzyingly prolix conceptual universe. His albums made under the name are “set” in the fictional town of Clinksell, and the music is inspired by VHS bargain-bind finds, agreeably twee British electronics and the occult undercurrents of 70s and early 80s TV broadcasting; it’s not surprising that he’s an ally of Mordant Music and the Ghost Box crew, having recently contributed to the latter’s excellent 7″ series. Interestingly, MWC is also a beat-savvy beast, a fact to which a recent mixtape featuring the likes of Dopplereffekt and Autechre heartily attests. His most recent album, Spare Tabby At The Cat’s Wedding has just come out on CD and vinyl; true to Hodgson’s perverse imagination, each format is completely different in terms of content. What we have here is an artist who sets out to puzzle listeners, sure, but also to generously entertain and enchant them.
Appropiately oddball support comes from Dolly Dolly, who according to Exotic Pylon “embodies a bizarre universe where Robin Askwith shares a flat with Stockhausen and Pauline Oliveros works on On The Buses. Expect hauntological whimsy of the highest order. The Exotic Pylon Sinfonia collective sets the scene with films, projections and music from Scott Byrne, Miho Tajima and more guests to be announced.
Tickets are a snip at £10 and are available via WeGotTickets here or directly from The Vortex.