Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ikue Mori | Chris Cutler | John Butcher - Cafe Oto, London, 14 August 2010

The last time I saw Ikue Mori playing Kim Gordon was wrapped in foil and writhing around at the front of the stage. I’d consider myself fortunate if I saw something half as memorable.

This is the last night of 3-day residency by Mori. Her collaborators have changed from night to night. This evening she is joined by percussionist Chris Cutler and saxophonist John Butcher.

The first set consists of three duos involving all the players.

Mori is uses a laptop. Triggering samples of science fiction inspired bleeps and whooshes. Butcher plays submerged sax squeals. Muting the power of the instrument and firing intermittent clusters of notes.

Cutler has customised his drum kit. Leads and wires run off to a table next to him. It’s covered in percussive ephemera and electrical gear, allowing Cutler to produce a simply extraordinary range of tones and textures.

For all these musicians skill, they sadly don’t play with enough volume for the venue to feel they can keep the bar open during sets. My failure to obtain a drink it the only low point.

The most effective performances are Mori’s duos. The interaction and responsiveness between the musicians seems particularly high.

In the second set they play as trio. Something about this grouping doesn’t quite work for me. It’s a set of moments. There will be a wonderful passage, but then whatever alchemy that had occurred will disappear.

At the end of the gig I too should disappear. Unfortunately, I have stock-piled beer a little too effectively, and as the venue empties I have to stay behind and finish my work.

Preferred drink: Kernel's London Porter.


Anonymous said...

Damn. Can't belive i missed this gig! I only learned about it around 7.50pm last night and thought there's no point in coming so late. Please don't tell me the gig started one hour late or something.

Jilted Barfly said...