Gnod R&D Takeover - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Gnod R&D Takeover - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:
Gnod R&D Takeover - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley
Gnod R&D Takeover - The Golden Cabinet, Shipley

Light those birthday candles because The Golden Cabinet is celebrating 5 years in the business. Nestled away in Shipley the Cabinet has quietly (well, noisily if you attend the actual events) become West Yorkshire’s finest night for experimental music, attracting a plethora of sonic innovators and dancefloor shakers to the unassuming Kirkgate Centre.

This being a special occasion The Golden Cabinet has invited Manchester’s Gnod, more specifically their Research & Development department, to curate this evening’s entertainment.

I arrive about 8:00pm and realise I’ve managed to miss the birthday tombola but that feeling of disappointment doesn’t hang around long. The next thing I know I’m eating lentil dahl and listening to the transcendental drones of ZimZum.

Amy Horgan stands behind a table electronic kit as a projection of an alien brain scan (well, that’s certainly what it looks like) plays on the wall behind her. Dials, nobs and effects pedals are manipulated to create something dark, meditative and reassuringly strange. Where else could I be but The Golden Cabinet?

There’s a table with an odd assortment of items in the middle of the room. Amongst them sits a toilet plunger, cucumbers, and an axe. There’s a guy in a monster mask crouched nearby. A second, Halloween themed, tombola perhaps? It turns out that the seemingly random objects belong to tonight’s next act, Tipex.

They aren’t a musical act, rather a performance art collective with a line in surrealist comedy. They hand party blowers and party poppers out to the audience and begin reading a long, confusing story about someone called Amanda. Hang on, isn’t this a script from 90’s twenty-something sitcom Friends? What kind of a party have I come to?

The man in the mask holds up cards with a variety of questions, we have to blow our party poppers if we agree. Do you suffer from anxiety? Do you need the toilet? It all comes across like a less issues based Legs Akimbo. In all honesty, I’m not really sure what to make of it all but enjoy the karaoke singalong to Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’ nonetheless. One of the members gleefully smashing the objects on the table with the axe.

We’re returned to our more regular programming with a set from Manchester drone collective, Errant Monks. They kneel around a table of effects pedals and dials; facing away from us, their faces obscured by hoods and one of them dressed like a beekeeper. Dub-like vibes, what sounds like a melodica and predominantly unintelligible, echo-laden vocals create a dark and disorientating atmosphere.

Decidedly creepy rhythms pull you further in as a little live percussion is added to the ritualistic soundscape. When the vocals do become clearer a chant emerges, “sleeping but not sleeping/ breathing but not breathing”. Disconcerting. But in a good way.

Next up it’s time for some improvised noise with Bristol’s EP/64. The group incorporates a number of musicians but tonight consists of vocalist Dali de Saint Paul and Dylan Mallet aka Silver Waves. It’s a simple but devastatingly effective formula. Mallett is in charge of the electronics, throwing out punishing, disjointed beats. Brutal yet danceable, these industrial-strength beats hit like a juggernaut.

Dali howls into the microphone, thrashing around in the bombardment of noise as she hits effects pedals to endlessly loop her brilliantly raw vocals. It’s definitely a noise set yet rather than feeling oppressive or doom-laden the overall effect is one of release, euphoric primal-scream therapy for the masses. Cathartic, intense and relentlessly wild; EP/64 are just what the doctor ordered.

I think the nights over but the Cabinet has one last birthday surprise up its sleeve. One final act, that seems to include some faces from earlier in the night. I’m not sure but perhaps this is the shadowy Gnod Research & Development department? One last dive into the void of noise. Guitar, electronics and saxophone slowly build and create an ominous wall of extra-terrestrial drone. Nice.

It’s been a strange, noisy and surprise-filled birthday bash. Happy Birthday Golden Cabinet, here’s to the next 5 years!


Ace photo of EP/64 by Maria Spadafora

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