Sunday 1 February 2015, 1pm
Please note this is an afternoon performance: 2pm–5pm (doors 1pm).
We're hugely excited to present a three-day residency from the mighty Konono No. 1! Playing on scrap metal percussion and spiky metal thumb pianos, pounding out exuberant and rhythmic beats that are distorted through amplifiers made from old car parts, they create a sound as immediate as it is unclassifiable. Futuristic and primeval, body-shaking and immersive, these should be a very special few days indeed.
“They don't call this trance music for nothing. Played loud, like it's meant to be, it will take you to another sphere. Heavily amplified bass, tenor and treble likembes throb and weave in and out of each other; traditional and found drums and percussion deliver irresistible visceral grooves; and the amplification's sonic distortions frequently give the music the character of cutting edge Western electronica. This is dance/trance music you can with equal pleasure move to, or sit down to. Truly fantastic stuff” – All About Jazz
“Try as you might, you cannot do it justice. This music comes from somewhere unknown and offers hope that there are worlds of music out there, unexplored and waiting to be discovered.” - BBC
Expect extraordinary, radical grooves from this cult Congolese dance outfit. Playing on scrap metal percussion and spiky metal thumb pianos, they pound out exuberant and rhythmic beats that are distorted through amplifiers made from old car parts. Their repertoire draws largely on Congolese trance music, but they've had to incorporate the originally unwanted distortions of their sound system. This has driven them towards a unique sound that resonates with the aesthetics of the most experimental forms of rock and electronic music. The result is both futuristic and primeval. Electronica and avant-rock aficionados have all been equally amazed by this otherworldly dance music, which has driven the international press to come up with some surprising comparisons (from Can and Krautrock to Jimi Hendrix, Lee Perry and proto-techno!).
“Every so often there comes a record of such unlikeliness, of such overpowering rhythmic intensity and such majestic indifference to global musical trends that you're knocked sideways. This is one of them.” – The Daily Telegraph
“As you try to sift through the dense crosstalk of beats, your ears are beguiled ever deeper into Konono’s rhythmic threshing machine.” – THE WIRE
The Ex vocalist Arnold de Boer's solo performances are always a complete blast. He deploys guitar and sampler for an almighty bout of crazily high energy songs - urgent lyrics over guitar, roughshod beats and grimy bass lines. "One guy stands playing his guitar like he’s trying to saw it in half with his bare hands, the other bashes at the vocoding keyboard devices like he wants them to explode, and they end up making one almighty racket that could be called ‘dance’ music. If you happen to dance like a malfunctioning washing machine, that is. Ace." Drowned in Sound
"It's incredibly bonkers, that's for sure, but it's so bloody energetic, so bull headed and so schizophrenic in its approach to crafting a tune that you simply can't fail to be impressed by it...The results are astonishing." Incendiary Magazine
• TERRIE HESSELS - guitar
• ARNOLD DE BOER - vocals, guitar
• ANDY MOOR - guitar
• KATHERINA BORNEFELD - drums, vocals
The adventurous, innovative Dutch band The Ex exists 40 years this year and is still going strong. New projects, new songs and new adventures.
The Ex have defied categorisation ever since they started playing in 1979. Born out of the punk explosion, when anything and everything was possible, the band have still managed to retain both curiosity and passion for their music. Using guitars, bass, drums and voice as their starting point, The Ex have continued to musically explore undiscovered areas right up to the present day.
Already the early 1980s saw collaborations with jazz musicians and an Iraqi-Kurdish band. In the 90s the group found a myriad of partners from varied musical and non-musical backgrounds like Kamagurka, Tom Cora, Sonic Youth, Han Bennink, Jan Mulder and Shellac. In 2002 The Ex set up a lively musical exchange with Ethiopia, organised many projects over there and invited several Ethiopian musicians to Europe. Most striking was the collboration with the legendary saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, which eventually led to two CD recordings and more than a hundred concerts.
The band also started organising the ‘Ex Festivals’, where they invited their favourite musicians. A mix of jazz improvisers, musicians from all over the world and local treasures they came across on tour. The last few years saw collaborations with Brass Unbound (Wolter Wierbos, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark and Roy Paci), Circus Debre Berhan and Fendika, both from Ethiopia, and many, many more.
After all these years, more than 28 albums and around 2000 concerts the band continues to work as they did in when they began, completely independent of record companies, managers or roadies. Because of this ‘do it yourself’ work ethic The Ex is still a great example for other forward-thinking bands and musicians.
“Staying a bird, staying independent, free if you will, for three decades, that takes skill and something else, something more like heart.” – Music journalist John Corbett on The Ex.