Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Zs | Temperatures - Whitechapel Gallery, London, 1 August 2010

The Whitechapel Gallery is a tiny space. Tucked away up an easy to miss alley. Gigs here have a secretive feel.

Temperatures are a duo. Bass guitar and drums. The drummer also has a massive block of electronics which looks like it last used by NASA in the 1960s. The two-piece have a hyper dense sound. Dense bass fiddling battles with percussive drum rumble. I struggle to work out what the electronics are adding. Definitely something. The bass work is murky, thick, intense. Meanwhile the drums clatter away like a box of pots and pans thrown downstairs. In a good way.

The lights are turned off for Zs set. Random patterns and colours are projected onto the band. The effect is like an epileptic lava lamp. Zs set begins with a guitar duet. Complex, math-y, playing. They stop. Then saxophone adds dry note runs and squiggles. The drummer, playing without cymbals, taps gently. The guitars come back in playing an angular riff. They all lock-in. Repeating the malfunctioning riff while the plays muted squeals. They break out of the groove for some flashy playing, but they always return.

They play a shorter second song. Beginning with a syncopated handclap. Over which the guitarists add a quiet metallic twanging. Then they erupt sax jizzle, hard drumming and guitar riffs.

It’s jazz, rock, and prog. It’s also none of these things. I am at least sure that it’s good.

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