The rather fab and very dynamic music promo collective Chaos Theory continued their 5th anniversary celebrations (we had also attended Jo Quail's Nocturnes show as part of their celebratory series of events) with an exceptional bill in the intimate setting of Dalston's Cafe Oto.
The venue is located on Ashwin Street in a great building which used to be used as workshop and HQ for Reeves and Sons Ltd, makers of artists' colours. One section of the building still bears the manufacturer's name (the picture below is from Flickr as we got there when it was dark!). A wonderful remaining piece of London's past!
Lucky, lucky us... On that night, we got to see some really special international artists in a very intimate venue (which served Earl Grey! Yes! I was allowed to watch a gig whilst sipping my favourite tea! Well, you're rock'n'roll or you're not, you know...)
As some great videos of the night have been made available, I will add them to the blog instead of trying to conjure up the music with words...
We had seen Alexander Hacke back in November 2014 when he was on stage at Koko with Einsturzende Neubauten for the stunning Lament (see my report HERE).
In his interview for Louder Than War, John Robb described the couple Alexander Hacke/Danielle De Picciotto as "International multi-media storytellers, avant-noise artists and super-smart conceptualists with a dash of the dark stuff in their souls". A great way to summerise the rich, life-long artistic path of those two fascinating wandering characters...
Their performance was mesmerising and intriguing. I loved observing the way the pair cooked up their music in their "sound kitchen" and witnessing the lovely chemistry and intimacy between them was heartwarming.
Below: Alexander and Danielle perform "Awake" from their forthcoming album "Perserverentia" at Cafe Oto, 13/02/2015.
The amazing "Doom-cellist" Helen Money's performance left us speechless. You thought you knew what a musician could do with a cello? Well, then...
The mainstream media pick and choose their icons and impose them on the sheep-like masses as role models to look up to. These days, it looks like it's Kim Gordon's turn. In a bland article in a Sunday newspaper magazine that will remain nameless (the article focused on her divorce from ex-bandmate Thurston Moore; moreover, I am pretty sure this magazine hadn't remotely been interested in Sonic Youth whilst the band was still going - but then Ms Gordon has loads of celebrity friends so she must be ok!), it was written about her that she was the "... universally acknowledged boldest woman in rock." Haha. It's official, then. (Not that bold it seems: http://electricliterature.com/review-girl-in-a-band-by-kim-gordon/)
In my humble opinion - and if always highlighting the gender of a person(ality) as if it were relevant is what you go for - then "the boldest woman in rock" is (and has been since the early 80s when she became an essential member in the pioneering, viscerally powerful New York based band Swans) the inimitable and always fascinating Jarboe, who has dedicated her incredible life to her art and continues to reinvent herself and push the boundaries of her artistic and personal ability without ever compromising her independence and value system (for several years, I have tried to follow her very interesting online journal, The Artery, regularly).
Jarboe now has a brand new album (Wasi Sabi) and has also recorded an EP of collaborative work with cellist Helen Money. It was the result of this latest collaboration which the pair were performing at Cafe Oto - joined on the piano for the track "Truth" by Anni Hogan. The songs were raw, minimalist, austere and, of course, achingly beautiful, although the intense set was far, far too short! We do want more...
Below, Jarboe and Helen Money perform their track "Truth" with guest Anni Hogan on piano at Cafe Oto.
Jarboe on how she started playing music in a fascinating interview recorded on the current tour:
I think therefore I write.
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