Thursday 19 July 2018, 7.30pm
“The curse of contrived seriousness is often the Achilles heel of experimental music. Not in the hands of Noel Meek. Meek’s joyous approach to music [is] evocative of a child joyously colouring with no regard for keeping within the lines.” – The Wire
Excited to welcome back the mind-frying, fuzzed out psychedelics of New Zealand's Noel Meek, this time in a brand new grouping alongside The Slowest Lift – aka Sophie Cooper & Julian Bradley – who create a kind of gentle post-industrial psychedelia, with Cooper’s lovely vocals floating over a collage of live and electronic performance. Support comes from the one and only Richard Youngs.
Noel Meek is an improvising electronic musician from Wellington, New Zealand. His solo work has been described as “sheer joy . . . unexpectedly bottled in analogue gizmo rituals.” (The Wire), “chaotically playful noise music,” (The Quietus) and “pretty whacked,” by Byron Coley. He has played and recorded with the likes of Sun Araw, Lasse Marhaug, Richard Youngs, Mette Rasmussen, Neil Campbell, Alexander Tucker, Tetuzi Akiyama and Bruce Russell.
A trained ethnomusicologist, Meek contributes regularly to The Wire and other underground publications, focussing on experimental music from far flung parts of the world. Through his label, End of the Alphabet Records, he promotes underground music from New Zealand and other unusual parts of the world through tapes, lathes and musicians’ publications.
“Pedals, synths, and drum machines snapping away at each other like kids in a playground . . . If anything can be described as a "symphony of noise", this tape is surely it.” – The Quietus
“Meek’s freakouts loop like a worm into your cortex and control your movements.” – Tiny Mix Tapes
Todmorden/Huddersfield wunderkinder of drone/noise/folk dreamscapes Sophie Cooper (also of Tor Invocation Band + Leopard Leg + heaps more) and Julian Bradley (also of Vibracathedral Orchestra) get together to forge a ghostly tapestry of earthen whirring, phantasmal resonances, sheets of textured skree and touching, hazy vocals, which stir the waters of the soul and evoke strange landscapes in the mind.
In 2016 Supernormal Festival commissioned Sophie Cooper to create a new duo work for performance and her first choice for collaborator was Julian Bradley. The commission was successful and Bradley / Cooper choose to continue the duo beyond this live performance, and are now a permanent collaboration under the name ëThe Slowest Liftí.
The Slowest Lift LP was released on VHF records in December 2017.
Born in Cambridge and raised in the Fens, Richard Youngs began making music at the start of the seventies. His early work centred on the family piano. When this was sold in the late seventies, however, the classical guitar and cassette recorder became his instruments of choice, along with anything at hand that made a sound. From then on he has played any number of roles with bands such as Astral Social Club, Concrete Hedge, No Deserts, Jandek and Future Pilot A.K.A. Recent collaborative work with Andrew Paine, Heatsick, Kawabata Makoto and John Clyde-Evans also show him as a highly social musician.
His catalogue of releases wanders into all kinds of zones over a vast array of albums on various labels including his No Fans imprint: they include accapella, guitars, pipes or electronics and come out of solitude and in partnership with atmospheres that range from fragmental folk to all-out fuzz.
“THE iconic figure of the modern UK underground … Richard Youngs evolves in the shadows where most won’t look, but those who do will forever be dazzled and amazed” – The Quietus