The October edition of Brighton’s “Uncanny Audiovisual Monthly” The Outer Church opened with Huan Vu’s adaptation of the HP Lovecrafts classic “The Colour Out of Space” – Die Farbe, a film which offered more than the required dose of the uncanny with it’s moody black and white photography and eerie sound design presenting the elusive characters and mysterious plot. Despite the engaging atmosphere and journey the film took, ultimately the film became disappointing though, with some of the filmmaker’s decisions (some no doubt determined as much by budget limitations as choice) dampening the effect of the climactic expositions.
By the end of the hour and a half running time a greater audience size had assembled and the audio took the lead from the visual elements with, specifically, The Haxan Cloak. Bobby Krlic’s debut album has been well-received and his Outer Church performance was an impressive set, more than meeting expectation. Opening with fragile top-end guitar, Krlic harmonised and layered looped notes and lines, then switching from picking to bowing his guitar, expanded the sound downwards. The instrument then gave way to the effects as the bass noise was developed further, growing with the whole and forming a dense textured atmosphere. The dark, exploratory mood was lifted throughout the set, which rose, fell to ambience and rose again, through the addition of dulled pulsing beats, driving things forward and offsetting the harsher character of the sounds.
Grumbling Fur are a super-group collective culled from various psych, folk, kraut and art inflected experimental rock groups, though here represented by the duo of Daniel O’Sullivan (Guapo, Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses, Aethenor, Mothlite and more) and Alexander Tucker (most famous for his solo work but also a member of groups including Ginnungagap and a previous collaborator of O’Sullivan’s in Mothlite, The Stargazer’s Assistant and on the last Guapo record). The pair opened on strings, Tucker’s trademark cello loops partnered with violin from O’Sullivan, though this tender chamber mood was just one of many throughout the set, a disparity which was a bit of a downside in the long run. The album Furrier through varying and developing different sonic strands keeps a unity lacked slightly here. Tracks offered the looping strings, some reverberating vocal interplay and then a fair amount of sparkling 80s synth moods- crystal melodies and crisp beats, the vocals here completing a leftfield pop mood, as opposed to the records psych-folk jams. It’s clear that the artists know each others playing styles well and together created some moods that were captivating for many moments, but unfortunately this incarnation of Grumbling Fur didn’t quite maintain a satisfactory constant for the entirety of the set.
Both The Haxan Cloak and Grumbling Fur debut albums are available through Aurora Borealis www.aurora-b.com