The Distraction Records
Ten-Year Anniversary Alldayer
(opposite The Tanners, Byker Bridge) (map) (directions)
Website orders now closed! Buy tickets from the Star and Shadow on the door!
Can it be ten years since we secured the website name distractionrecords.com, with the intention of using it to promote a CDR of some local bands to bandy their name about? Why ma'am, it sure is. Since then we've morphed into a 'proper' label, with worldwide distribution deals, the best radio stations in the world playing our music, and plaudits from tastemakers far and wide. It's still run from one-person's living room though. That much hasn't changed.
Now, we're not really ones from blowing our trumpet, even though we are clearly mint and modest with it too, but we thought that we would have a nice little shindig at our favourite Newcastle venue - the Star and Shadow Cinema - to mark nigh on ten-years of "diverse musical excursions" and "music for the strange kid at school." And at this shindig, we'll have folks who have released stuff on Distraction past and present. Yeah. Sounds good to me.
So! Here's who's playing:
"Machine funk kraut-a-delia - it's rather lovely!" says seminal DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall, and you'd be hard pressed to disagree listening to Keep Warm With... With The Warm Digits (DIST22, 2011/2012). Warm Digits' duo Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis' bewitching debut LP is undoubtedly steeped in the lineage of the 1970s experimentalism of the likes of Neu!'s hypnotic repetition and the open-minded philosophies of Brian Eno, but it's testament to the pair's own broad visions that in 2012 these touch stones have been sculpted into a sound that retains a refreshing sense of modern vitality.
Their duo's live shows in particular have ganered kudos for their fully engaged sensory overload with a live-mixed collision of colour-coded structural films and live-feed video cameras. Having already supported the likes of Field Music (with whom they collaborated with on a BBC Radio 3 Late Junction session), Goblin, Modeselekor and Barbara Morgenstern, as well as being invited by Mr. Weatherall himself to play his curated A Love From Outer Space night, they look set to take centre stage themselves in 2012, making themselves hot property in the months and years to come.
Fresh from their outing at this year's Roadburn festival, Necro Deathmort first made themselves known with their debut album, This Beat is Necrotronic (DIST19, 2009). "SUNN O))) meets Squarepusher", hipster-bible Vice called it, and the album kinda lumbered in obscurity until aQuarius Records made it Record of the Week, WFMU got on board, and the orders, the kudos, and the festival offers just snowballed from there. They've also played Sonar, Supersonic, Asymmetry, the Camden Crawl, and have graced the stage with the likes of Ulver and Atari Teenage Riot. Following a very well received second album Music of Bleak Origin (DIST24, 2011) they release a third album - The Colonial Script (DIST25) - in a couple of months, and hopefully we should have copies on sale at the show.
The music? Metal (oh lordy, is it ever metal) and dubstep, with the sound shifting easily from doomy skitter, to lurching electronics laced lumber at its heaviest, but those moments are not JUST heavy, they're tangled up with squelchy synths, spaced out effects, and when they're more concerned with beats, that heaviness, and doominess, and bleak origin, seeps into every beat, every twisted loop, every fuzzy buzzy synth. The boys Necromort come highly recommended to any self-respecting fan of adventurous music. This WILL be loud, that's a warning.
You don't need to have a degree in physics - or even sports science - to work out who these guys are. Yep, it's Mushi Mushi, with a slightly amended lineup and a slightly different name to appease those folk who would up in arms if the Mushis made a Orbital-style out-of-retirement return after their final show in December 2009. You'll be pleased to know that they'll be employing the same bleep-und-fuzz-und-skreal! and lo-fi cranks and cronks like they did during all their previous live shows, as well as on their Chicken EP (DIST2, 2005) and Sequins Save Lives album (DIST18, 2010).
Eschewing the routine trappings of "tunes" and "melodies" in favour of drone and a strong cinematic sensibility, Jazzfinger bring to you their own unique brand of visual and aural exorcism. They start noisily. They incessantly build layers of white noise onto of layers of unwieldy dissonance. They recreate an auditory Armageddon with amps. They end noisily. They also unleashed 600 live crickets onto the audience at a gig once. They have dozens and dozens of LPs, tapes, CDRs and lathe cuts out on a multitude of DIY labels, and later this year they will release a lathe cut double-A side - Moccocan Car Park and a cover of Throbbing Gristle's Beachy Head (DIST23) on our humble little label. Ladies and gentlemen: Jazzfinger.
Mantova, Italy-based duo Tempelhof have had two releases on Distraction, debut album We Were Not There From The Beginning. We Won't Be There For The End (DIST16, 2009) and twelve-inch double-header Leaving Home / Cage (2010). Taking inspiration from Bologna film library archives (they regularly perform live soundtracks of the black-and-white and crudely-coloured early-modern cinema experiments), loneliness, solitude and William Burroughs, they purvey lush downtempo beauty, and emit downpours of cymbal-like hiss, mournful keys, shuffling beats, low, impassioned - but - dynamic vocals, and mechanical shifts and slices. Recently though, they have been on an "live electronic synth jam" tip, with the results a bit like Nathan Fake or James Holden remixing E2-E4. Mouthwatering stuff. And you can see them here.
Dressed in Wires
Long-standing Distraction stalwart Dressed in Wires AKA Simondo Topless just gets filthier with every release. Having plopped out The Big Black Cock of Death EP (DIST4) back in 2005, he has since spurted a wide variety of tings on his own Bear With Me imprint, the latest (and greatest, we think) of which is the newly-released Honey, You Tore Me Apart Last Night album. DiW continues too drag you bleeding and kicking through a tumult of Laptronica, Post-Gabba, Blip-Hop, Glitch-Hop, Chip-Hop, 8-bitronica, Wreckstep, Kronk, Bootmash, Dubtech, Dub-Bass Splattercore, Harsh Clunge, Fuckstep, Thugstep, Powerpop, Noisewhore, and Wrongtronica, not in any order. All from his souped-up, heavily modded, hacked & cracked laptop, precariously wired together with a few guitar distortion pedals and delapidated Midi tomfoolery.
Summer Night Air
One time Sansava (untitled, DIST5, 2005) and Moira Stewart (Sweetness, Yes!, DIST14, 2007) member Paul Heathcote has had his ambient project Summer Night Air heard by over a million people when a track from the 3 album (2006) was featured in the second episode of Series 1 of E4 yoof drama Skins. However, this outing will only be the second ever live performance by him, and none are planned in the future. Expect minimal drones with a sense of naivety and innocence that's so beautiful it could ooze out of your hi-fi speakers and drip onto your carpet, like Spirualised at their most ambient or Eno at the airport.
In his first solo outing since See My Sound (Hidden Depths EP, DIST1, 2004) / Tears Of Abraham (Sacrificing the Text, DIST3, 2005; XIII, DIST13, 2006) / Meinkinder, Distraction Records founder Fret! throws up schizoid stomp-box driven sonic loops of primal psychedelic garage rock riffage rubbed up against unsettling dark ambient nightmares. Where subtle guitar swoons are met head on by a feedback drenched wall of noise. Taking cues from the stripped back garage punk of The Cramps and Jesus & Marychain, coupled with the psychedelic drones of Loop and Spacemen 3, unexpect the expected from this one-man sound clash.