Enrique/ Teeth of the Sea/ Liberez/ UKAEA The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:

When you’re inside The Golden Cabinet you really could be anywhere in the world. Some after-hours club in Berlin, Prague or Paris perhaps? The fact that this fantastic musical hub for all things experimental is in fact situated within an old schoolhouse in the centre of Shipley makes it all the more wonderful.  The Golden Cabinet only puts on a handful of gigs, making each night something of a special event.

Tonight’s four acts complement each other perfectly and the night has a rhythm, pace and atmosphere all of its own. By the end of the night much of the Cabinet will be dancing enthusiastically to industrial-strength techno but we’re going to have to build up to that.

The evening starts with a set from Southend-On-Sea’s Liberez. The industrial flavoured collective produce hypnotic, haunting and wonderfully unsettling soundscapes composed of violin, classical guitar, electronics, dramatic drums and cryptic mutterings. Experimental but still song-based, it feels like you’ve inadvertently stumbled across some kind of occult ritual.

The songs are frequently sparse, mesmeric and percussive pieces that occasional drop out into the band’s collective handclaps and little else. There’s an otherness to their music and performance that’s utterly transfixing. Bandleader John Hannon occasionally dropping to his knees as his violin see-saws over the band’s apocalyptic rhythms. They even manage to work a little recorder into their set too.

Things take a turn into distinctly epic territory with the arrival of London’s Teeth of the Sea. The band combines electronica, overdriven guitar and trumpet to create something akin to one of Ennio Morricone’s iconic Western soundtracks. If that particular Western happened to be a somewhat psychedelic affair set in the farthest regions of space. Suitably psychedelic visuals light up the screen behind the band, making the performance a satisfyingly immersive experience. 

It’s a sound that’s hard to pinpoint or pigeonhole, as the band manages to incorporate everything from pulsating, techno-indebted rhythms to feedback drenched guitar solos. Guitarist Jimmy Martin gleefully throws his guitar around as the songs build-and-build to moments of pure release and catharsis. By the time the wonderfully tense march of ‘Black Strategy’ steams into view my jaw has well and truly hit the floor.

After a brief break standing outside chewing the fat I head back in for the night’s penultimate act. Dan has played the Golden Cabinet before with the superbly named Sly and the Family Drone; a brilliantly weird, no-guitars-allowed, noise act from Basingstoke. Performing solo as UKAEA, Dan remains committed to making as much noise as possible with a table full of modular hardware and a love of techno.

This turns out to be the turning point in the night, with more-and-more punters surrendering to the pull of the dancefloor. UKAEA throws himself whole-heartily into his work, sweat dripping with every beat. His frantic, polyrhythmic and relentlessly energetic performance gets the whole of the Cabinet firmly on his side. One particularly pleased reveller even gives him a hug. As someone whose experience of techno is somewhat limited, it’s an absolute eye-opener.

Trying to find out about tonight’s headliner, Enrique, can prove to be something of a frustrating experience. Yet amongst the seemingly endless pictures of Enrique Iglesias nestles the work of one Miguel Alvarino, a techno musician from Brooklyn who released an EP, Please Shut the Door, back in 2016. Alvarino’s music is a full tilt assault of techno-come-industrial rhythms, danceable yet unremittingly intense. Distorted, pounding beats that seem purposely built to pummel the listener into submission.

This is party music for those who like their dancefloor fillers that little bit darker than usual. It’s a set that works particularly well coming off the back of UKAEA, the two acts serving up the nights final knock-out punch.  Despite the undeniable intensity Alvarino looks resolutely calm and unflustered throughout, preferring his beats and the Golden Cabinet crowd to do all the sweating.

There’s really nothing else quite like The Golden Cabinet.

Photo at the top of the review of UKAEA by the talented http://mariaspadafora.com

Thumbnail photo of Enrique by me

Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars