Colossloth / CHXFX / Container - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:
Colossloth / CHXFX / Container - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley
Colossloth / CHXFX / Container - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

You can hear the rumbles emanating from the Kirkgate Centre as you approach; the rather unassuming venue for West Yorkshire’s finest night of experimental tomfoolery, The Golden Cabinet. Offering a platform for a number of experimental styles, the Cabinet has embraced everything from drone and electronica to full-on, hold-onto-your-hats, techno. I always look forward to visiting yet tonight I’m starting off with a low-level, yet persistent, headache. Let’s see if tonight’s noisy line-up can defy all logic and act as some kind of sonic ibuprofen.

The night gets off to a typically uncompromising start with Leicestershire’s one-man harbinger of doom, Colossloth. With little more than a laptop and ipad (other brands are available) at his disposal Colossloth manages to create some impressively oppressive drones, the mood wonderfully ominous and foreboding.

Furiously hitting his ipad throughout, Colossloth proves there’s much more to tablets than Angry Birds and banking apps. Ambient passages help break through the bleakness before a sudden resurgence of noise jolts us out of our temporarily blissful state. It’s the ideal palette cleaner and the perfect way to get the night started. Plus, the set actually seems to cure my headache. Hallelujah!

Next up we take a trip into decidedly trippy territory with the arrival of CHXFX aka Dave Henson. Another one-man assault of the senses yet this time it’s about heavy beats and squelchy techno. There’s a cool and brilliantly bizarre cartoon playing on the projector throughout the set; images of skeletons in sombreros, a dinosaur having its teeth brushed and some kind of Death Race 2000 scenario appear on the screen as the music becomes increasingly hypnotic.

Henson creates immersive, strange and brain-melting electronica that also happens to be pretty danceable. It’s at this point in the night that the GC crowd start hitting the dancefloor. The party has begun in earnest and even I’m tapping my foot and nodding my head a little more rigorously than expected.

There’s a great mix of people at The Golden Cabinet from ravers old and young to black t-shirt wearing bearded types like myself. Not everyone hits the dancefloor in quite the same way but the abundance of smiles and enthusiastic hollers prove that everyone’s having a good time. In the best possible way you feel like you’ve joined some kind of cult.

As always the Cabinet has saved its most explosive act for last, Rhode Island’s Container. With a table of DJ-ing kit and a cassette clutched between his teeth Ren Schofield launches into the night’s most relentlessly pounding set. It’s a particularly noisy take on techno with raw, driving drum and bass sounds that could have been pulled straight from a noise-rock band. It’s the perfect balance of noise and rhythm; it’s hard hitting yet undeniably danceable. It’s the kind of set that hits you square in the solar-plexus and makes you feel alive. My headache is now nothing but a distant memory.

By this point most of the Cabinet has found itself dancing (yes, even me) - caught up in the euphoric bombardment of noise and loving every filthy second. At one point a hostess trolley is rolled out into the crowd with a couple of girls handing out slices of chocolate cake. Cake, dancing and unrelenting techno… what more could you reasonably ask for?

Photo by Lucy Johnson

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