Shapednoise - The Golden Cabinet - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Shapednoise - The Golden Cabinet

by Andy Brown Rating:10 Release Date:

For someone who goes to a lot of gigs it’s surprisingly rare that I actually venture out of Leeds. With the likes of The Brudenell Social Club and the Belgrave Music Hall there’s rarely a week that goes by without something worth attending. Yet, it pays to venture further as up the road in Shipley you can discover the wonders of The Golden Cabinet.

The venue specialises in the strange, loud and wonderful world of underground music, offering an intimate and interesting experience.  The Golden Cabinet is yet another venue that puts the huge, hollow, stadium-esque venues to shame with an intimate and welcoming atmosphere from the start. Why, oh why, have I never been here before?

Tonight’s line-up centres around three noise artists and promises volumes of speaker-shaking proportions. We arrive a little early and catch a bit of Joanne’s sound-check, the first few waves of noise coming as a pleasing jolt to the system. It’s going to be a good night.

Joanne is based in Leeds and offers up a set of edgy electronica fed through layers of noise and strangely danceable beats. She stands in front of a laptop and a synth as reams of code are projected onto the screen behind her. Joanne manipulates the beats, bleeps and drones through a kind of digital improvisation, the rhythms changing as she develops code before our very eyes. I’m transfixed as each repetitive rhythm heaves through the speakers.

It’s this kind of forward thinking that makes attending live events so rewarding and it’s immediately obvious that this is the kind of event that would be next to impossible to recreate at home. Joanne’s set veers between noise and ambience, albeit of the very loud variety. As the set comes to an abrupt halt and everyone applauds I realise that things will only get successively louder from here on in.

Next up, we get a set from London’s Simon Pomery aka Blood Music. Pomery starts the set with some anti-capitalist spoken-word over some misleadingly calm drones.  It’s an introduction that works but perhaps not entirely as intended as I hear someone laugh and say, “Yeah, stick it to the man”. This doesn’t matter one iota however as Pomery’s set roars into life.

An overwhelmingly brutal tsunami of noise blankets the room and I’m utterly submerged. Once the industrial throb is established Pomery takes his place behind a solitary large drum and proceeds to deliver some suitably brutal, thrillingly tribal rhythms. The mixture of organic percussion and electronic discordance makes for an intensely engaging set, the drums beating in my chest like a thunderous, secondary heart-beat.

Throughout the night I notice a blind man enjoying the set, his face a picture of blissful ecstasy. Each act has been more than just a collection of beats and drones, the sheer volume levels providing a very physical and potentially transcendental experience. The trip-like experience reaches its peak with the arrival of Italian born/Berlin based techno-noise artist Shapednoise.

Easily the most intense set, Shapednoise offers up a visceral and sonically confrontational set. The drones are impressively explosive, like a jet engine howling through the room and consuming everything in its path. This isn’t the kind of music I find myself listening to too much at home yet live it offers up a revitalising and powerful experience. The edges of my hat bristle as the drones continually rumble through the room.

Shapednoise has collaborated with Justin Broadrick on occasion and it’s perhaps the likes of JK Flesh that offer up some kind of sonic comparison. Intense, grinding industrial noise crashing head-first into some particularly twisted, dark techno. Some attempt to dance along yet the music rarely settles into anything particularly danceable, the drone’s relentless throb overpowering everything else.

Shapednoise may offer a somewhat dark and intense noise yet like some form of colonic irrigation for the soul, you feel all the better for it afterwards. The crowd cheer for more when the set ends but really how could you do an encore after something like that? He came, he saw, he almost blew the speakers.

It’s been my first visit to The Golden Cabinet tonight but it won’t be my last…

Comments (2)

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What a great name for a venue. Sounds like something from an 80s fantasy movie.

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Yeah, its a great little venue. Definitely going again

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