Saturday, 16 March 2019

Fibonacci Drone Organ//Legion of Swine March 2019 Tour Ramblings.......

Tour Diary March 2019

TL;DR - touring is/can be - tiring, fun, boring, exciting, quick, slow, surprising, costly (financial, mental health, physical health), stressful, fun, boozy, creative, hungover, fun. 

A tour is a chance to test out new ideas, catch up with folks and venues I’ve been to before, meet up and exchange ideas with people I’ve not met before and SELL ALL THE MERCH. This mini-tour sees Fibonacci Drone Organ let loose on the continent for the first time and Legion of Swine revisiting a couple of cities of his/their past. 

After an epic journey by Flixbus from Stockholm, arrival in Dortmund to be met by long term friend and collaborator Rees Archibald is a welcome thing indeed. As are the following Falafeltasche and beer. My first stop is revisiting the Künstlerhaus where I have previously played and worked, with tonight’s event being organised by Achim Zepezauer and the fine folks at MEX. 

As the name might suggest, the Künstlerhaus is an artists’ house 10 minutes walk from the ZOB and hauptbahnhof and is a hub of artistic activity in the city. MEX events usually take place on the first Friday of the month and this is my second time here having performed as Legion of Swine in 2014. Achim prepares the cellar for us and the soundcheck sounds great. 

There are traffic problems for both artists coming from Frankfurt, so it’s decided that Fibonacci Drone Organ starts the night off and fingers are crossed for deep, reverberant sounds. No problem at all, the sounds and the space work well together and before I know it, 25 mins have gone and the set is over. Really good reception from the audience and the best (admittedly out of 3 so far!) FDO show so far. Now I can relax a bit. Daniel Voigt is a nice addition to this line up as we meet up for the first time in maybe 3 or 4 years since he played at Wonkystuff and Hogwash in York and Leeds. His set still involves tapes, lots and lots of tapes, a gadget that I know nothing about and 4 on the desk and 2 “surround sound” tape players, which are left perched behind us on occasions. Ambient, looped, drones, bursts of noise and at the end a very, very dark last minute or so which could have gone on for much longer for me. Lovely stuff. Lasse Marc Riek is our final artist and as he processes his field recordings and how they interact with the space, our visual focus is drawn to the 8 t-lights on the floor next to a wall, forcing us to concentrate on sounds and pretty much only sounds. This is a good plan. The samples of sounds are so well recorded and also very quiet, but this adds to the feeling in the cellar of total listening. A great set to end a very fine night. Too many beers are taken, unwisely….thanks to all at the Künstlerhaus and MEX, especially Achim, Rees and Marie. 

Merchandise is sold - to my surprise, a total of 10, 3 tapes and 7 CDs. My load will be slightly lighter as I move across country to Berlin for the next stage…..

Somehow or other, the Loophole event in Berlin suggests that I am headlining! This will be interesting and I will check out what is possible. Loophole is a pretty good space and the soundcheck suggests the PA is decent, so I give it a bit of a workout before the doors open properly, but in traditional Berlin time this is late of course.  

Jorengthericecake from South Korea is first with an ambient textural set of Live and sequenced samples with some interpretation from a live dancer, who has been stood still facing the stage for about 20 mins before the set begins. There’s some good interaction between the two and the sounds are interesting and detailed. Good start. It’s fairly obvious that the majority of folk are here for Bob Rutman and surprisingly, he’s not the headliner, he’s on next. The space is full and he works on the cables supporting his sheet steel, producing thick drones with a bow. He also has a guitarist and it’s not really obvious why. For me it doesn’t add anything, other than on the odd occasional when the guitarist slams hims boot into the stage, with the resultant vibrations travelling into the steel and resonating it. Nice sounds and incredible to see an 87 year old still touring a lot and obviously enjoying it a lot. Turin’s (but living in Berlin, and there seems to be many Italians in Loophole tonight) Petrolio uses synths in Live and not in Live to create some deep and ambient, droney and noisy industrial soundtracks to films that are projected in two directions. It’d be easy to become entranced with this music, if the volume wasn’t so big and for that we are grateful! We do a t-shirt swap after the show. I decide not to announce when I’m starting and just crack on with it. The crowd has thinned out a fair bit, but there are hardy folk prepared to make themselves more deaf by my hand/trotter. Guiseppe has positioned me behind the DJ booth, which was a very good idea as I am right next to the PA speaker, so I can use this to create feedback with my microphone and this changes totally what i was planning to do and the set goes harsh pretty quickly and stays that way, with the odd looped porcine interruption. I end with an unintended 2 minutes of quiet, echo heavy ambience. Normal service will be resumed soon…..I offer a Q&A session after, but nobody has any. A bit later a lad from Mansfield tells me he liked what I was doing. Thanks to all at Loophole for the set and welcome and thanks to Johannes for the video and images. 

Tapes are sold, a t-shirt is also and payment is given. I still find myself in shock at all the three things happening. I’m not in the UK anymore. A few days rest and recuperation as the tour starts to take its toll on body and mind at the halfway point - doubts about everything you’re doing creep in when you’re knackered and missing home and full of cheap and great beer. But, next I head towards the Czech republic (sadly not into it this time) and the city of Dresden to reconnect with Alte Feuerwache, Ulrich and co as the second half of the tour begins……..

The downpour is biblical on arrival, well not quite on arrival, but as I near the venue it is soggy and I shelter in the guest tower part of the space and chat with fellow performer Jan Kees Helms who is performing tonight as StringStrang. We soundcheck, are given fine food and then soon enough it’s time for Legion of Swine. A squealing mess of a noise follows and at the end of the set, the lack of looper pedal in the mix suddenly opens up a kind of not quite Harsh Noise Wall, a Noise Wall and this gives me different ideas for future recording. A happy accident. StringStrang creates textured guitar and non-guitar ambience and sounds really good in this space. Field recordings add to the development and before we know it, 50 minutes have gone and the set is over. The accompanying videos are really well made and photographed and the RAW section is all brand new that night. A contrasting and at the same complimentary set, sandwiched in the well-programmed Club Debil evening. I’m really starting to enjoy the reaction that FDO has on people, myself included, as a very, very quiet space accepts the notes as they are gradually added and occasionally taken away and then microscopically affected using reverb. This takes the cleanness of the notes, bends it towards noise and then back again to a long fadeout. This act is a lot of fun to do, as some decisions are mine and some the Coin of Destiny (TM). Goes down well again and after some really good DJing, we have to leave the space and go home to dream of being woken by a cat landing on you……which is exactly what happens a few hours later!

The journey to Denmark takes us to Rostock where we have a passport check before the boat and another when we get to Gedser. Soon enough, I am back at Claus’ place and we prepare for some Procter//Poulsen recording on Sunday, but first sleep.

A couple of useful recording sessions either side of a fine meal provide PP with new releases - a noisy pre-curry piece called “Music Against Neighbours”, with Claus-o-phone to the max matching my own no input effects looped feedback lunacy and the post-rice comedown of the ambient double SK1 keyboard vibes of “Music For Neighbours”. Fine work and a future release on Ojud Records. The line up for the 5e show next day is heavily jazz and improv based, so FDO is definitely the odd one out in this lineup. There’s some really good stuff played, by some very skilled musicians indeed, which also increases my odd one out quotient a fair bit. Everything runs late of course, and my midnight set ends up being nearly 0100, but the hardy half a dozen or so left really enjoy it and get to move around the space now 30+ odd jazzers have left the venue. Not the best set of the tour and I am knackered and wanting to be back in Sweden, and it felt a bit rushed as I wanted to get on with it……anyway, no matter, progress is being made with this act and it’s a good act. 

Here is the end of the tour. I got to perform as both Legion of Swine and Fibonacci Drone Organ and enjoyed it all. Thanks to everyone who was involved in helping me out and suggesting future collaborations and other things - Achim, Rees, Marie, Guiseppe, Johannes, Peter, Jan, Ulrich and all at Alte Feuerwache and Paul, Kresten, Claus and Ignacio. Without all these people and their work, I have no tour and no gigs and less opportunity to perform. Thanks to you all. 


No comments:

Post a comment