29–30 July 2019
Very special two-day residency from Body/Head, the coruscating duo of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace, who create a dizzying soundworld of controlled chaos that swings deftly between dissonant eruptions and joyous catharsis. Last year's The Switch LP hones the forceful synergetic noise of their 2013 debut, Coming Apart, into something even more enveloping and haunting, whilst losing none of the abrasive power that makes them so unmissable live.
“No matter how far they stretch, their tones and rhythms always cohere, making their music as mesmerizing as a hypnotist’s swinging clock.” – Pitchfork
“Together, they have stumbled upon some magickal, alchemal brew; a hardened, modern psychedelia. This is psychedelia stretched the fuck out, guitar-tone-trickery alone as the source of transcendence. The Switch makes composition out of rock's reverberation, all echo, shade, and light. It's a kind of fuzz-box sorcery.” – The Quietus
Creative alchemy doesn’t just happen in the studio or in the practice space; so much of it is the product of solo time with one’s instrument, learning how body and wood and electronics fuse, and of subconscious processes as one lives one’s daily life—picking up the ambient noise of the world outside, listening to others’ work, talking through ideas with friends. For Kim Gordon and Bill Nace, time together these days is limited to live performances and recording, so they’ve gotto bring all their magic to every encounter. Lucky for us, these are two experimental sorcerers of significant renown.
Their debut album together as Body/Head, Coming Apart, from 2013, was more of a rock record—heavy, emotional, cathartic, spellwork in shades of black and grey. The Switchis their second studio full-length, and it finds the duo working with a more subtle palette, refining their ideas and identity. Some of it was sketched out live (if you’ve not had the fortune of seeing them in that natural environment yet, see 2016’s improvisational document No Waves), but much of it happened purely in the moment. Working in the same studio and with the same producer as Coming Apart, here Body/Head stretch out, making spacious pieces that build shivering drones, dissonant interplay, Gordon’s manipulated vocals, and scraping, haunting textures into something that feels both delicate and dangerous. Less discrete songs than one composition broken up into thematic movements, a slow-moving narrative that requires as much attention and care from the listener as it did from everyone involved in its creation, it is a record that sticks around after it’s done playing.