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Blog Club Review

Meandyou – Metasplice – Soup Kitchen, Manchester

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Continuing along their path to regularly showcasing the more experimental – for the heads not the hips – strain of techno, the Manchester based Meandyou collective invited Metasplice down for their October show. The eerie confines of their music superbly fitting for All Hallows Eve. 

Being billed as a gig rather than a straight club night was a sensible move on their behalf. With music on from the earlier time of 7:30pm, it was never going to filled with rowdy drunks hounding for a rave. Nor was it accommodating costumes of any nature. The vastly male dominated crowd arrived in ones, twos and threes, all eager or at least open to hear the musical spectacle on show in the rawness of Soup Kitchens basement

Sam Lewis, a key member of the Meandyou collective and soup kitchen alumni started things off with some choice cuts to ease in the early attendees. Next on was the unassuming core associate of Boomkat and creative brains behind their associated ‘Special Editions’ label as well as his own ‘The Death of Rave’ imprint, Conor Thomas conduced a knowledgeable collection of noise, drone and the outer limits of spacey techno. Thrashing together walls of white noise and abrasive static, the tracks followed no musical patterns that your aural palette would be accustomed too. And therein lie the beauty of his selections.

A sure stand out from Thomas’ set being the single truly vocal record he played. Its lyrical content exceeding all notions of tripped out weirdness cognitively fathomable, and delivered through a microphone from the moon. Very possibly giving a translation from the clangers intro. Obviously I kid and wouldn’t want to dilute the quality of music on show with a reference to the reintroduced children’s show; the sounds were strikingly similar though.

Following a warm hand of appreciation for Thomas’ insightful musical expression, the hooded Philadelphian duo sheepishly took to the stage. Made up of the mysteriously named Kenneth_Lay and V.Hold, Metasplice deal in the kind of paranoid, cosmic techno that their label, Morphine – run by previous Meandyou guest Morphosis – has accustomed itself with.

Opposing one another across a table swamped in cables and flashing red LED’s, their hands quickly began the rhythmical processes of tapping and twisting through their live set, which ran an ambiguous course of peaks and troughs that appeased the crowd into a touch more movement. Relying heavily on improvisation, the synchronicity they showed required no verbal nudges and barely a glance was shared between them throughout their performance. Somewhat bizarrely Kenneth kept an unlit cigarette firmly between his lips for the entirety of it. Whether a comfort mechanism or he momentarily forgot the smoking laws in the UK is no qualm of ours, merely a poignant observation of the man whose remained an integral foundation of America’s underground noise scene for some years now.

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Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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