Nick Cowan, Robert Freeman, Greg Salter and Sam Cleeve take a moment to look at some of the events they’re looking forward to as part of this year’s Antony-curated Meltdown Festival. This year’s Meltdown Festival takes place August 1st-12th t London’s Southbank Centre. Full line-up and tickets details are available here: http://meltdown.southbankcentre.co.uk/
Planningtorock + Light Asylum: Wednesday 1 August, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7:30pm (By Nick Cowan)
One our top picks this year’s Meltdown Festival line up is Janine Rostron, better known as Planningtorock. Rostron, a collaborator and contemporary of Karin Dreijer Andersson (The Knife/Fever Ray), shares Andersson’s gift for weaving deep, distorted drawls with haunting strings and synth to mesmerizing effect. This made last year’s LP W a frequent feature on ‘best of’ lists. A cursory google image search will show you that Planningtorock is no stranger to the theatrical, so we can expect her to rise to the occasion of playing Queen Elizabeth Hall. Plus with the support of power bleeper’s Light Asylum, it promises to be quite a show.
Matmos + o F F Love: Monday 6 August, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7:30pm (By Robert Freeman)
Björk support/collaborator/producer combo and glitch-merchant(s) extraordinaire Matmos return to the UK as part of Antony’s ATP-style mixtape of gigs at Meltdown festival this August. M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel deftly manipulate and loop found ‘field’ recordings into slow-jazz, ambient and experimental techno structures. Hence songs like ‘For Felix (And All The Rats)’ (sawing the bars of a rat cage), ‘Roses and Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein’ (bouquets of flowers thrashed on a table) and ‘Pelt and holler’ (oh god something is being done to a rabbit).*
Although their CDs might be full of the noise of surgical procedures and crayfish, in these times of draconian air security and reduced baggage allowances we might expect a slighter arsenal of instruments** and perhaps make do with a couple of modulators and a few bouquets of roses. Expect sinister blips, unexpected rhthyms and at least one natty suit/tie combo, sure to be a guaranteed audio-visual ear feast, and let’s all keep those fingers crossed for that rat cage to make an appearance.
* Mais, ne les appelons pas prétentieux.
**Apparently it costs £200 to bring a rat cage on a plane—this country!
Hercules and Love Affair featuring Antony and John Grant: Monday 6 August, Priceless London Wonderground, 8pm (By Greg Salter)
Happily, Hercules and Love Affair will be joining Antony’s line-up at Meltdown this year, airing songs from their brilliant self-titled debut album, follow up Blue Songs and hopefully some new material from their new album, due next year. John Grant—formerly of Czars—is confirmed to appear, so you can bet on the band performing forthcoming new single ‘I Try To Talk To You.’ Perhaps the most welcome news was confirmed last week though—we’ve been told that Antony himself will be putting in an appearance on stage, joining Andy Butler and co. to perform their classic single ‘Blind’ together for the very first time. This is going to be special.
William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops with the London Contemporary Orchestra: Sunday 12 August, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 8pm (By Sam Cleeve)
The final event in the series is set to be a special one indeed. William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops is a work defined by context—finishing the project on the morning of the 9/11 attacks, Basinski’s protracted recordings of slowly disintegration magnetic tape recordings came to be inseparable from the both literal and figurative collapse of New York City. Having been orchestrated and performed by the Wordless Music Orchestra at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy last year, this event sees the London Contemporary Orchestra stepping up to perform this evocative, slowly dissolving piece.