Saturday, 22 August 2009

Audioscope: Drum Eyes

Wednesday, 19/08/09, The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

Drum Eyes
The Keyboard Choir

Tonight’s vocalist free bill takes place above Oxford pub the Wheatsheaf, with a crowd of about 50 mid twenties to mid thirties punters many wearing Mogwai T-shirts and drinking ale.
The gig opens with the Keyboard Choir, yes they do play keyboards and drum machines exclusively, however, they are not about perfectly harmonious melodies like most choirs. Pumping beats accompany the insane whirling synth sounds the various members create and distort with an array of effects pedals. Their sound relies on layers of sustained synths and basslines with one member experimenting at a time. This is all directed by an insane conductor to produce a pretty enjoyable live synth experience.
Next up, we have Hreda, a 3 piece and bassless post rock outfit who entice us with their intricately intertwined guitar melodies. Unfortunately, one of the guitars stopped working at a crucially epic point half way through the set forcing them to stop and play the outro separately, but on the whole a very hypnotizing set.
By this point, the venue is getting unbearably sweaty, it is august after all. The crowd empties into the tiny narrow alleyway that separates the pub from the high street, only to regroup when sounds of the headliners tuning up pour down the stairs.
Drum Eyes, (as many of the crowd are no doubt unaware) is the side Project of Japanese game boy gabber producer DJ Scotch Egg. They are a 6 piece consisting of 2 drummers, a guitarist, a sampler/keyboardist a synth/trumpet player and Shigeru Ishihara (Scotch Egg) on bass and laptop. Their sound consists of many layers of heavily distorted instruments over some heavy doom metal style drums. Though the idea sounds simple but the textures the band produce combined with the sheer noise they make is quite hypnotizing. There is not really any obvious need for the extra drummer most of the time apart from the added volume. About halfway through the set, Shigeru and newly recruited guitarist Kai, jump into the crowd adding an element of audience participation appreciated by all.
All in all, tonight’s bill is different and varied exploring 3 sides to forward thinking instrumental music in an intimate venue which, apart from the heat, was a very enjoyable evening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah keyboard choir!siiiiic!

it was so hot in the venue that we had to go outside for fresh air between each band!

mr scotch egg jumped in my face!