Over the weekend I saw Philip Jeck perform an impressive short set at the Jade Monkey with support from Adelaide's noise rock community. I have to state from the outset that the mix was way too LOUD - it made all three support acts practically unlistenable and made sections of Philip's set physically painful to experience. I know I'm probably whining, but I'm one of those individuals who wants a pair of decent ears in twenty years time, and if excessive mixes are going to be the norm from now on I'm going to splash out a couple of hundred dollars on some moulded earplugs.
Excess volume aside, Philip's set was astounding in its simplicity of process and technique. Drawing his material from two small portable turntables, Philip would pick out a piano melody, drum groove or guitar riff with a drop/lift of the needle or locking the groove, then process it using a sample and hold and a couple of effects pedals. Throughout the 30-minute set, complex textures were built up to the point of saturation, then new material was introduced as the former receded into a crackling ether. By the last five minutes it was becoming an increasingly hypnotic spectacle, then it all came to a dramatic conclusion with a sudden mute.
I also bought a copy of 'The Sinking of The Titanic' from Philip, it's the latest (and arguably definitive) interpretation of Gavin Bryer's 1969 work. It's difficult to get hold of, but I strongly suggest checking it out.