Wednesday, 22 September 2010

And in other news

While we were on our summer holidays from this blog, a giant, 200-year-old whale skeleton was found in Greenwich.

The biggest single object ever found in an archaeological dig in London! Bone slideshow here!

21 October: TIME at Cafe Oto, London, with Lichens

Thanks to Miles of Smiles for putting us on the bill with Robert Lowe, aka Lichens, not least because I'd really like to see him play and this is a good way of doing so! Lichens played the Transmediale festival in 2009, which Mark and I were both at, but we missed him. I don't have an excuse for why, except that there were a lot of bands on. I found some footage of the Lichens set at Maria am Ostbahnhof, which has a great unearthly, captivating quality.

That's on 21 October, Cafe Oto, Ashwin St, Dalsburg, London E8. Also want to mention that Miles of Smiles have a really special event coming up on 30 October, with Shirley Collins presenting her talk on English folk music (which is awesome and makes people cry) and Alisdair Roberts and Trembling Bells playing tough and lovely folk-rock songs. Looking forward to that.

14 October: TIME in Cambridge w/ Chris Corsano and Heather Leigh

We're playing at on 14 October at the Corner House, Cambridge, in support of Chris Corsano and Heather Leigh Murray's mighty JAILBREAK duo. Here's 8 mins of them tearing it up in Glasgow a few years ago, worth watching all the way through for the unexpected slow riff Heather gets into towards the end.

The Corner House is on Newmarket Road, Cambridge, and we're on at 8.30ish. Details, maps and so on can be found on promoters Crushing Death & Grief's website

Really hoping we get to Cambridge early enough to stop in at Kettle's Yard for the John Cage exhibition.

It went like this

Thanks to Claire at Upset The Rhythm for capturing this moment of harmony!


Saturday, 31 July 2010

Yes Way

We're playing at Upset The Rhythm's Yes Way festival on Saturday 14 August, with a load of other people including Temperatures, Blood Stereo and the brilliant Haxan Cloak - full lineup here. Come hear our new songs and current ultra-bass-no-violin set-up, etc.

We supported Haxan Cloak at the Stoke Newington church gig earlier this month - was expecting some eldritch drone action along the lines of what's here, on the Aurora Borealis site, but Bobby teamed up with Liam Trencher on drums and did a Boredoms-ish power-drone upward-spiral freakout kinda thing that was equally exciting.

The aforementioned gig got a really nice write-up in the NME (!) which we can't link to because it's in old-skool print and not online, but if I can track down a copy I might scan it. 'Popol Vuh' was mentioned, so here's a spotify link to my (that is, Frances's) favourite Vuh track of the week - had this in my headphones of late as I traverse the weirdscapes of Silvertown.

north woolwich old railway

Monday, 5 July 2010

TIME on the Quietus

We got interviewed by The Quietus.

We go on at great length about stuff.

There are nice live photos byCat Stevens.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Haunted summer

We're doing this. It's in one of our favourite churches, in Stoke Newington.

Btw it's not the church on the flyer, church fans! This here is the church. It's beautiful.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

TIME on (with) film

After our gig with Amps for Christ was sadly cancelled because of the volcanic ash situation (leaving AFC stuck in Portugal), we put our new bass/synth/guitar set to one side and started practising for a special show on 24 April, soundtracking Luc Besson's 1983 film The Last Battle for one of Electric Sheep magazine's Subterranea events at Notting Hill Arts Club. It was the first time we'd played with a film, and it was a pretty interesting experience. Made me think a lot about film music and sound design - even in this context, ie providing a semi-improvised soundtrack while a film is projected without sound in a music venue, so it's actually not far removed from a normal gig, more like playing with 'visuals' - and the possibilities of our working with film again. Just the very simple act of responding to visual material with what feels like the appropriate sound, or trying to feel or judge a film's pace and rhythm, are good exercises for any band.

We watch a lot of films but we'd never seen this one until we were asked to play with it. Everyone I mentioned it to was intrigued, but added the disclaimer, which I realised I kept adding as well, that they didn't like Luc Besson. This being his first film, though, I reasoned that his style would still be at an interesting stage - not yet developed into the cliches that seem to make him such a polarising director - and the clips on youtube had a sleazy, empty desert ambience that made me think of dystopic road movies.

I was right and wrong. The film is pretty silly, but it also has a weird atmospheric charm and some awesome settings - which, considering its low budget, are all 'real' places, not sets. The story is as follows: a survivor of a non-specific apocalyptic disaster, played by Pierre Jolivet, lives in a derelict office block, where his only companions are an inflatable sex doll and a cassette player (on which he occasionally listens to a tape of wobbly synth funk). He ventures out across the desert (in fact, a French beach), wearing a sort of future caveman outfit, where he fights with and kills one of a group of fellow survivors who've formed one of those post-apocalyptic brutal hierarchical systems best illustrated by the way they keep a dwarf in a car boot except when he's lowered into a hole to fetch water. The gang invade the office block seeking revenge, but our hero has built a plane, so he flies it out the window and crash lands it in the shell of an old hospital a few miles away, inhabited by a doctor and a fantastically cartoonish bad guy (Jean Reno, tres sauvage). So the good guy befriends the doctor, fights with the bad guy, and eventually discovers that, not only is the doctor hiding a woman with beautiful legs (we don't see her face) in another part of the hospital, but he intends for Jolivet to - we assume - mate with the lady, thus re-starting the human race. Hurrah! But it all goes horribly wrong, and the hero ends up back at the desert camp, where he frees the dwarf and takes on the role of leader himself - a role whose privileges include keeping a woman in a tent. I'm not sure if this is a happy ending or not. If you read the film as one man's quest for female company in the end-times, then I guess so.

Did I mention there's no dialogue? The characters were struck dumb by the disaster that precedes the film, and communicate gesturally for the most part. This means that the film has to, by necessity, communicate everything in broad strokes, exaggerated features, quite crude imagery (that's not quite an excuse for the clunking misogyny, btw, but it does explain the simplicity of the tale). It was also this that prompted Electric Sheep to ask for a soundtrack. However, having no dialogue is not the same as being a silent film - and, in fact, the sound and music already present in The Last Battle is not at all bad. Watching the film and knowing we were going to take the sound right off, we became much more aware of it. I particularly enjoyed the slightly incongruous (although of course very contemporary) music that crops up throughout the film: it's in the great French tradition of proggy synth/guitar pop, and is very enjoyable. We both liked a bassy pulsing sound that occurs in the desert scenes, and noticed the care given to recording footsteps, movement, rubble, glass, wind, machinery etc. You can hear a lot of it on this trailer, which mixes it all up nicely.

An ideal compromise would have been to keep some of these elements in our performance, but there wasn't really time or resources to do this - instead, we were basically going to provide over an hour of interpretative improvised music that sounded in some ways 'like' the film, or responded to dynamics in it.

I chose a two-synth set up, not just in homage to the early-80s vibes of the film, but also because it's the most comfortable set-up for me to improvise with for a long period (which this was!), with Mark on guitar. We mapped out the different sections of the film, mostly based around 'where' the characters were (the desert; the hospital; the ward; the courtyard), in that it makes most sense to give a place a sound. I also think, retrospectively, that the places in the film were what we responded to most of all, because they were so interesting. The crumbling walls and ghostly, abandoned furnishings of empty buildings spoke to us a bit more than the characters and immediately suggested obvious sonic complements like white noise, reverb, decay, and also allowed for passages that didn't have to 'mean' or signify anything too direct other than atmosphere.

The parts of the film that were more about interaction between characters - there are these long sequences where the doctor and the good guy get to know each other - were a bit harder; we came up with repeated 'themes' for these bits, building up communicative melodies between each other: I'm undecided as to whether this over-egged the pudding a bit, whether it was too obvious, too intrusive...moving swiftly on to the fight scenes between Reno and Jolivet, which are stylised and clever and a lot of fun, we wigged out with abandon, in the belief that most 70s/80s low budget fight scenes sound like frantic guitar and/or synth solos (I should now insert some youtube links to illustrate this theory - maybe another time). Our soundtrack ended with a build-up of the melodic themes we'd introduced earlier, culminating in a drone-based, ecstatic final tune over the end credits that probably marked us out as the huge Popol Vuh fans we are. Bearing in mind the dubious ending, I wondered afterwards if we hadn't awarded this segment of the film a sincerity and gravitas it didn't deserve. And if so, did that mean we'd succeeded or failed as soundtrackers? Something more ambiguous would have suited the mood of the ending much better - yet in a way we'd kind of entered into the naive spirit of the film by playing something so un-ambiguous.

While we muse upon it, here's another of those funky fights:

I think the conclusion here is that we'd definitely like to play around with film some more - any filmmakers who'd be interested in collaborating should get in touch.

News of our next gig (2 July, in Stoke Newington Old Church), to be posted soon.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

TIME + Amps For Christ + us doing a jazz odyssey

We have a few shows imminent this month. First up, the legendary Amps for Christ are making a rare appearance in London and we're supporting, on 17 April at The Grosvenor in South London.

Henry Barnes of Amps for Christ is someone we admire greatly, for his work with Man Is The Bastard and Bastard Noise as much as for the inspired synthesis of noise/drone/trad.arr that characterises Amps for Christ. It's an honour to be on the bill with him. He builds stuff. We like that.

Here's something to listen to that we just got our hands on. Last November, we were invited to join in with a group improvisation with artists from the Gravid Hands label as part of the Calling Out of Context festival at the ICA, and you can hear the results below. TIME and John Macedo (Queen Of Swords) were representing for analogue synthesis with Korg MS10, PAIA Fatman, and some Macedo modulars (and Max/MSP, OK so it wasn't all analogue), Tom Challenger and Tim Giles of Leverton Fox on sax and drums.

Cheers to Tom for mixing it, the ICA people for recording it, and Paul from Gravid Hands for matching us up.

TIME and Gravid Hands/ Calling out of context festival, ICA Nov 09 by noise immemorial

Friday, 12 March 2010

Radio Mugwump

We're on Jonny Mugwump's Exotic Pylon radio show tomorrow, on Resonance 104.4 FM if you're in London and if you're elsewhere. Or, indeed, in London, because you can't always get the FM signal of a weekend night.

Mr Mugwump recently broadcast a series of scary stories, Weird Tales For Winter, with suitably hauntological music. It is still pretty cold, so have a listen.

We'll be playing some songs from 10 until 11.30, and the show will be archived and downloadable shortly after.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Team TIME in Oslo

And so we embarked upon our maiden voyage, in a tall ship powered by dynamos and windmills, provisioned with pemmican and Aquavit and Kvik Lunsj bars...that last bit, at least, is true. Kvik Lunsj is Norwegian for a Kit-Kat, as we discovered on our trip to Oslo last week, where we played our first live show in the Sound of Mu, got thoroughly snowed upon, and frolicked amid Viking ships, arctic crows and stone totem poles made out of bottoms.

Norway is home to some of our favourite music, so it was the perfect place to play for the first time. Sound Of Mu is one of Oslo's best little venues, a tiny shop/bar/art space in the Grunelokka area that programmes DIY/improv/whatever they like. We got there to find it was done out like a makeshift casino as part of the current art installation, the mixing desk balanced on a roulette table.

I got to borrow a beautiful old Vox bass amp (below) and Mark got to soundcheck with a snowman. The other bands of the night were Dacianos, song-stories written by our super host Barry Kavanagh, and Layers Of The Onion, aka Fredrik Ness Sevendal and Martin Powell, who laid down some proper strung-out psych drones with 12-string guitar, antique zither from the shop across the road, cutlery and pedals. One of the reasons Mu is such a special venue is that people go there to really listen - the music's often quiet, and everyone respects that. By the time we started to play, it felt as if a beautifully still, slightly charged atmosphere had been established, which was compounded by the snow outside turning from gentle pattering to full-on static storm. I found myself staring at it while playing the bass, zoning out in the pattern of flakes in streetlamp-light. Mu is a former shop; they've kept the big front window as it was so everyone and see in and out. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I was glad of it when the snow started, like having our own special visuals laid on.

We took the next few days to admire Norwegian boat-building skills at the Viking boat and Fram museums, have long conversations with Oslo friends and introduce Mark to the strange wonder that is Vigelandsparken. We recorded crows and footsteps in snow, and we also recorded our gig, from which you can hear a song below. This blog isn't the best place to host photos but I'll put a link to some more when they're uploaded... the meantime here's an on-board burial chamber from the Viking boat museum.

The Awakener (live) by noise immemorial

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

London gig with US Girls, Oslo drones from FNS

We're playing at Cafe Oto on 1 March with US Girls, who is Megan Remy from Philadelphia and her spooked looped knits of voice'n'fuzz. Here her here and come see us all at Oto, which can be located hereabouts. Thanks to the super Upset The Rhythm for organising.

US Girls has a new album out on Siltbreeze next month and you can stream/download a track here.

In other news, we just found out that our support for Oslo is Fredrik Ness Sevendal aka FNS, who makes arboreal psychedelic music on electric guitar and other things that creak and drone. Totally by chance today I found a CD of his from 2006 called No Foly Bow, which is on Norwegian label Apartment , and is pretty heavy, on a sort of Sylvester Anfang/Makoto Kawabata trip, but with some gentle, folky interludes that sit just right. Bearing in mind the huge and cavernous extent of my CD collection what are the odds of that? We are treating this discovery as a good omen.

Sunday, 3 January 2010


We've got two live appearances coming up this spring:

25 February Sound Of Mu, Oslo
13 March Live session for Jonny Mugwump's Exotic Pylon show on Resonance FM

But we're also looking for shows in London and elsewhere in the UK anytime from early February - get in touch if you'd like to book us or would like to hear some more tracks from the EP. Ideally we would like to play castles, mausolea, lighthouses and Iron Age forts, but normal venues are OK too.

Saturday, 2 January 2010


Our self-titled EP is now available as a limited edition CD-R with handmade lino print cover for £4. Email us at noiseimmemorial[at] if you'd like a copy.

Time was recorded in 2009 at Random Colours studio by Paul Jones. There are three tracks, and you can stream the shortest one, 'Bound Light', below.

TIME/bound light by noise immemorial