Everywhere you look there are passionate pockets of promoters bringing brilliant and unexpected music to their locales. And so, I made the trip to Leicester for one of promoter The Other Window’s gigs on a dreary Thursday night.
The array of challenging electronic sounds taking over the Soundhouse venue to a small, but the engaged crowd certainly lit a fire under the January blues.
Opener Early Remains evokes dreamy sci-fi soundscapes built on subtle waves of electronic static and restrained beats. As the set ebbs and flows it engulfs the room providing a sense of movement through strange landscapes.
The relative calm of the opening set is shattered by the sound of murder, as Colossloth explodes with visceral noise and pained shouts. Connecting industrial grit with the mystical nature of ancient tribalism this is electronic music that sits as much in the realms of black metal as it does any form of electronica.
Headline duo Gum Takes Tooth are a strange proposition – an electronic group that essentially make rock music, at moments psychedelic and others with the pure power of the best post-hardcore.
Electronics conductor and “vocalist” Jussi Brightmore and drummer Tom Fug throughout play at odds with each other yet, somehow, create an engulfing, mesmerising wall of sound in which each part is intricately slotted in with the next.
An effortlessly brilliant drummer Fug’s beats touch in rock, funk and jazz as his playing underpins and deconstructs the electronica controlled by Brightmore which touches on techno, industrial and even shoegaze as it unfolds.
The repetition in the tunes builds and continues to the point of mesmerism and out the other end into a warm place of aural contentment. Gum Takes Tooth makes shamanic music for the collapsing modern world. It’s rave music for the end of the party.
There’s some technical wizardry unfolding from the tiny Soundhouse stage – resonant oscillations, fractured reverb, synths that sound like bass, drums that sound like synths – nothing is sacred it would seem. The duo makes the familiar bewilderingly unfamiliar.
It is the tracks off the latest album Arrow, that take the band to new realms, as a real step forward and consolidation of their experimental prowess it is already a contender for albums of the year lists for 2019.
When they hit full flow they have the power of the heaviest rock bands, as the several headbangers letting loose at the front of the stage will attest to and as Fug joins in on more electronics for techno-banger closer ‘Fight Physiology’ (the best Factory Floor track not by Factory Floor) no single attendee is left not in awe.
Sometimes a band just fits what modern music can be, colliding the ideas of the past with new concepts of sound, Gum Takes Tooth is one of those bands and in the live arena they deliver it with effortless brilliance. The small crowd that headed to the Soundhouse can safely say they were in the tiny crowd that witnessed the best gig in the Midlands that night.
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