Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
3rd May 2013

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

Not to put it too bluntly, this was a night out for the avant-garde set.

That was probably why this post minimalist rock performance garnered only a minimal past-the-post crowd. The going was always going to be heavy - a bit like eating a whole Toblerone in one go. So how would the evening run it's course?

Describing themselves as a small 'chamber orchestra' the line-up consisted of Stephan Thelen (guitar), Bernard Wagner (guitar), Christian Kuntner (bass guitar) and Manuel Pasquinelli (drums). Hailing from Switzerland their intention was to produce sounds as cool and pure as a mountain stream by having their guitars tuned to what are known as tritones*. Naturally this reduces the options available for developing the content of each track, the drummer alone being allowed to innovate.

A collective, rather than individual sound, is the mantra informing each of the band's compositions but their search for the elixir of the musical spectrum became increasingly soporific. In the interval a glass of red wine, and the oxygen of debate about what was going on, were the alchemical precursors to the second half.

This accretion of obtaining perfection, though not quite like watching paint dry, is demanding stuff and has culminated in the group's paradoxically titled first CD 'A Flaw In Nature'. Classed as a soundscape of 'algebraic formulation' it can also be seen as the culmination of a derived calculus, with minute changes of emphasis leading to oneness or oblivion.

From when the misty smoke shrouded stage began to clear, there was little to indicate what track was being played but 'Static Motion' and 'Transportation' were introduced as part of the growing hermetically sealed soundspace. By the end, what had emerged from the chrysalis was a butterfly, delicately conjured, but with nowhere to go.

The guys were amiable enough afterwards, shaking hands with the audience as we left, which was some sort of cathartic release from the Freudian introversion and retention exhibited on stage. Perhaps a little electric shock therapy would not have gone amiss: and the devil? - he must have been on an interval of his own.

* Tritone - a musical interval consisting of three whole tones, also known as the 'devil's interval'.

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Comment left by Phil Dollins on 22nd April, 2014 at 19:37
You are a moron more qualified to review Mars bar wrapper artwork than music.