EL GUINCHO, AS AT & MOUNT PLEASANT. SOFA Basement, Arts Centre. 14 February 2009.







Compare the compressed crush of the embedded youtube clip to the vociferous whine that El Guincho issued forth on the night itself. It pulls the samples right into their righteous position in a crumbly sunburst foreground. Its entropic crackle and utter LACK is a ripping depiction of what they could've been if it wasn't for the hamfisted and myopic live sound design, the monolithic pogo-oriented uniformity of the audience, the tropical depression of the basement-rave milieu, the domestic ennui of its sonic spill into the Arts centre's north Quadrangle, and the general suppression of musical seretonin by the dominant power that be: The Decibel. There were daisy snippets of the minimalist power of "Alegranza" to be-hear, but the hiss and bumble of the hi and lo ends respectively made for a pretty amnesiac 1-D pandemonium. Maybe this writer should've spent more time on that front-line of dancing mimicry and enthusiastic relaxation that constituted the mainline energy, but he just wanted to listen: and where were The Holes? I dunno, I've been mesmerized by this clip. The Dan Deacon shit I've been watching is equally aquatic in its complete incapacity. Let's hope his LIVE appearance on Saturday 21st retains some of this digital erosion before the fact.

Mount Pleasant's 'conceptual' performance was the brainchild of its drummer, a one-note exercise that sure, you could call athletic. Disciplined, its homophonic 4onthefloor pulse was augmented by a primal vocal garnish, and thus departed from its compositional intent, yet remained temporally transfixed. If the crowd had approached this as carelessly expectant as they did with El Guincho, then it could've become more than a sort of insular transformation, a group-retreat, a group-hug, a group-retirement. It was another kind of End of Music, but remained merely evocative in its terminal status: there'll be more ascencion to come from these musicians.

AS AT were as grungy as Chris Andrews' wonderfuly misplaced double exposure of LA Lakers' fetal short circuiting not seen below. Bittersweet, it was kind of like some rendition of Banshee Beat by the Beatles in all its asinine anachronism. I went over with Aleix from El Guincho later and he compared some of the car crash vocals to Gh├ędalia Tazart├Ęs and we ending up just talking about that.
I shouldn't have written El Guincho off so much, just blocked my ears and closed my eyes and blocked my nose and got on with my own passive proceedings throughout their vibe-rant show. try and hold on to the memory.