11/09/2015

Thomas Truax @ Drop The Dumbulls



Just about a year ago we were all set to play a gig with lupine troubadour Thomas Truax at Liverpool's louche boho loitering-hole MelloMello. We were understandably very excited about this. A day or two before the gig we discovered that the place had shut down. We were as equally un-excited about that.

We'd been rehearsing in the venue's basement on and off for a few weeks, partly because the place wasn't populated by the usual twitchy amateur DJs, poodle-haired rock kids and beige pantalooned hipster toffs. They had also stopped caring about whether they charged us or not - which should have been a sign that things weren't quite so mellomello behind the scenes.

We turned down the offer of playing a Jazz Night at Kazimier (which is now in the process of being shut-down too) instead, and thankfully a slot was found at the newly established home of the anti-hipster underground arts venue Drop The Dumbulls.


Truax is an anomoly. He's honouring a kind of tradition that barely exists in contemporary culture, with the exception of moments of Tom Waits, The Dresden Dolls, Nick Cave, P.J. Harvey.





He makes me think of antiquated carnival acts: those fairground games where someone in a striped suit and bowler hat guesses what you had for dinner once when you were nine; eerie Eastern-European stop-animation, fairy tales that end in death and destruction.

It's all oddly familiar, even comforting - but the instrumentation (a unique collection of automaton drums and found objects retro-fitted with echo-boxes and digital tape-loopers) gives him an edge of originality. And no, Truax is not Steam-Punk.

He isn't Steam-Punk in exactly the same way Michael Moorcock isn't Steam-Punk: some people just do their thing: some people try too hard to imitate that thing.


Where Amanda Palmer is readily and easily imitated (because nothing that she does is particularly original): the rag doll attire, the Brechtian theatrics, an upright piano sound and an effected 'politely appalled at the world' attitude; anyone trying to copy Truax is doomed to a life of singing into washer-dryer parts, endlessly pursuing the perfect pinstripe suit. Nobody needs to see that.

Truax is crumpled and quirky without coming across as annoying or too geeky. There is a definite nod to Tom Waits in the music - particularly on record.

And you can't fault his dedication to doing things his own way: with an array of unique, fragile home-made instruments that must be a pain in the ass to transport and set-up, he certainly isn't making life easy for himself.

We play Drop The Dumbulls Saturday 12th December, with Liverpool Electro Post-Punk Double Echo.


https://www.facebook.com/DropTheDumbulls


Image c/o http://thehearingaid.blogspot.co.uk/2010_11_01_archive.html

The Mekano Set

9/08/2015

Everyman Theatre - Light Night 2015 - The Mekano Set - Alchemy



I remember this day quite well. It started after I'd logged my digital doppelganger offline. The sun was suggestive, the wind was lazy, even ignorant. 

In the blissfully immigrant ALDI I stood wearing a hat and listening to someone husky. This was an effort to smooth the edges of my guilt for not helping with the gear for the gig. Schweppes and lemons! And I've even bought Gin! Sim-sala-bim! 

Will the Everyman Theatre always smell like a new building? I was on-time-early and I was not wearing stripes (Zoviet / Gulag / The Prisoner / sailor homage) because I had to. 

I was wearing shirt and tie, which could have said many a-thing about me, but was, in fact, a lie. Among the commotion on the ground floor Milk greeted me with a firmly-Pink-Black-Triangle-Socialist-Party deliberacy. 

We went upstairs, my rubber soles squeaking black polished footsteps. He showed me the room, which was about the size of a Wilhelm Reich's Orgone accumulator. Great. As it was going to be used for exactly the same purpose. It had secret doors and invisible windows and carpet under the laminate. And 'behind-the-screens' back-projector. 




As we stood on the smoke-free balcony contemplating man made contradictions we saw Sandra Tsch cheerfully approaching the bread to make the Mek sandwich. She was also wearing stripes and her smile was real curved. Then we started setting up, but that part escapes my recollection. I began to feel dry. 

The pre-show existence is complete purgatory. Each of us picked a corner and began to assemble their transmission-communication devices. Once the three rivers were merged into one, the chairs were generated onto the bridge and the sky appeared in the mirror above. We were free to meet the angles in the staff communal area. So we took the staff staircase, which for it's undeniably Brutalist concrete properties will become a future location for the famous getaway scene in the not-yet-renowned ambient thriller 'Sterile Sinfulness', and in the communal area we met ourselves and had some lemons.




Arthur Habsburg, Liverpool / M√ľnster September 2015


A live recording of the performance of 'Water Flowing Up a Hill' with visuals from the projections can be viewed at https://youtu.be/Q3FlV_0bu9w

7/14/2015

The Mekano Summer Set

Berlin Graffitti

Following our inspirational expeditions to the mega city of Berlin (imagine a place where you can hear adventurous music in public seven days a week, grab a vegan feast on every street, and a decent beer for less than £1), we've completed a mix and remix for London dirty-electro sleaze merchants Blindness.

Abstand : Berlin : Prost!

Plans for gigs are temporarily on hold as Arthur continues to explore That Europe inside aeroplane machines (intent on bringing back new and exotic sound samples), and Chucky having temporarily departed into the 1920s via the medium of Acting (and possibly a time machine). But come late July, we should be back on track to take the Meks back into the streets and alleys for your aural disturbance.




Our last live outing (Liverpool Kazimier) was such a blast and it was great to really get into exploring certain grooves like 
Fires Made Safe and Heatwave all over again.

In the meantime, we are looking to polish up and publish two or three new songs, one of which (8 Mile High Cloud) was previously only available on the CD version of the
 Pareidolia e.p.





Work continues on Mekhan Rising - the sequel to our audio documentary Behind The Sins - a Mekstory Channel audio doc that explores the legend of The Mekhan: a mythological Springheel Jack-liked trickster figure and features new music from us.

I'm also tidying up a live recording of our performance of Water Flowing Up a Hill at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre in May. And we also have videos for Pages and The Lighter (from the Pareidolia e.p.) - see below
...


"The essence of reality is not fact but question. There are no facts, only truths." The Key, Whitley Strieber.





The Mekano Set : Pages




The Mekano Set : The Lighter (edit)




The Mekano Set



5/16/2015

Water Flowing Up A Hill – The Meks do Light Night 2015

The Mekano Set grinning silly
Hello


Yesterday evening was Light Night, and as previously announced, The Mekano Set played a live soundtrack to a video montage of our own making at the Everyman Theatre.

Rehearsals had been a bit of a mixed bag... we managed to record some footage early on, and Milk wrote lyrics that centred around the Liverpool  / maritime / docklands theme that had some political undertones (and bits that were downright obvious). Then came the question of the actual music.

Despite problems with our various technologies, ranging from “oh, the laptop turned itself off in mid-recording again ha ha ha” to “I'm playing a G on the keyboard but that clearly isn't the note that's coming out of the speakers” and everything in between, we finally settled on three sections to accompany the video (which Milk had now painstakingly sellotaped together in spite of the unruly machines): a minimalistic intro; slow-paced title track “Water Flowing Up a Hill” (which cheekily repeats the Everyman's “Play on” slogan many, many times); and “Cruiser Rules” – this one had a little bit more of a groove and thus allowed Arthur to make the best of his new oil-drum drums and gave him a chance to really shine (which he did!).

silhouette milk and large projection of clouds
Milk and Water, Flowing up a Hill


Aside from technical glitches, there were also discussions about how much (if any) silence should be involved in the soundtrack, how many drums would be needed, the balance between planning and leaving space to improvise, and what our impish patron demon, the Mhechan, would make of all this, what with his name not being mentioned once in the whole performance.


The typewriter is an essential part of the percussive selection.
Dramatic clouds: still from Water Flowing up a Hill

We're wearing the same shirt... well, this is going to be awkward.


So imagine how pleased we were when it did all come together in the end, sounded good to our ears (and to at least some of the audience who kindly told us so afterwards), looked great projected onto that big screen which took up one whole end of the room, and felt as if it actually flowed, with quite a few of the lyrics matching up with the footage in places we hadn't even planned!





Although we didn't get to sample the numerous other delights that were happening throughout the city for Light Night, the newly redesigned and reconstructed Everyman Theatre was a great place to be. We had a quick snoop around into the Auditorium which had been transformed into a dark ocean of calm, and an even quicker peek into the room where the evening’s debates were happening.

The whole building was buzzing with people, so thankfully we also got a fair share of passers-by, looking in on us, sitting down, staying for a few minutes or the whole performance.



Big thank yous go to the Everyman Theatre and its staff, Victoria Junashko and Jo Stapleton who supplied us with superb additional visuals, Alan for snapping some super cool silhouettes of us (and sticking around for all three sets), Cath and Andy at The Gregson Institute, Thomas Lang and everyone else who came to listen and show their support.

We're a happy bunch.

Also:

5/07/2015

Water Flowing Up a Hill by The Mekano Set: Liverpool Light Night 2015 Everyman Theatre Hope Street

Sky photograph by BeatnikSoup


We have been asked to contribute something to this year's Liverpool Light Night. We're been working on a new 30 minute video + live soundtrack based around the theme of Liverpool / Merseyside life. It's been great to work on something that has inevitably become quite politically charged and (hopefully) sonically and visually adventurous.

We were originally asked to produce something around the story of the RMS Lusitania but the work quickly blossomed into something wider reaching.



It feels really good to be working on something that has organically come to be about some quite specific things (the history of Liverpool as a place rich in industrial / creative / anarchic energies - which is quite in-keeping with the "forward-thinking, renegade, democratic, naughty kind of spirit of the Everyman" as Everyman Theatre's Gemma Bodinetz puts it.



So we've been researching, physically exploring and sampling the landscape of the Merseyside dunes, docks, backstreets and secret spaces.  And we've come up with something that sounds like us, but it's not a set of pop songs (even by our standards). The opaqueness is still there, but beneath the surface you can hopefully glimpse some sharp details...

Water Flowing Up a Hill will be performed three times at Everyman Theatre (upstairs in Ev 2, next to the Theatre Bar) as part of Liverpool Light Night, Friday 15th May 2015.

Performance / Projection times will be at 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm. 
Everyman Theatre, 5-11 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BH

A short talking-heads piece created by Kim Ryan from Picture Palace and voiced by Alex Cox will also accompany our performance. 

There are currently no plans to record or release the material. 



I see water flowing up a hill 1

The blush of dawn
Fire blooming in the ruins

Salt for wounds 2

We never learn
We never forget

The sin of indifference and
The glory of blame

A cool breeze of regrets
The dark warmth of shame

Downtrodden for decades gets you underground, underground

Hidden depths, secrets, walkways tunnels leading down and out, down and out 

They are painting you pictures while you lie bruised and beaten down.
They'll hang portraits of your wounds in great galleries for you.




Sky photograph by BeatnikSoup



Written and produced by The Mekano Set. Visuals by The Mekano Set, Jo Stapleton / BeatnikSoup, Victoria Junashko.

S. Tschackert: voice, keyboards

A. Habsburg: voice, percussion

M. Taylor: voice, baritone guitar


Special thanks to Thomas Lang, Catherine Odita and The Gregson Institute.


We have produced work of this nature in the past (video collage / live soundtracks) and it's always great to have the opportunity to do more.













1. Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe said reinvigorating Liverpool life / industry would be like "trying to make water flow uphill" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16361170

2.  "It was like salt was being rubbed into our wounds," http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-22073199

4/28/2015

Esha Shields + The Mekano Set @ The Gregson Hall Liverpool Sunday 3rd May 2015

On Sunday we will be playing live in Liverpool with experimental Dreampop adventurer Esha Shields at the wonderful Gregson Hall. It's worth coming just to see the space alone. Really looking forward to this one. Here we are watching ourselves rehearsing: 

Mekano Set watch themselves rehearse
How do we do that?



Esa makes some seriously unique, adventurous sounds; songs that exist like little worlds. His overall sound makes me think of the atmospheric avant-pop of This Mortal Coil but it's difficult to place his influences and reference points. I think that's a massively positive thing in an age where you can generally recognize a band's (limited, safe, played-out) influences within moments of them playing. 




So it's massively refreshing when you hear someone coming from a refreshing angle: doing something that is both experimental AND really melodic. So many people use 'experimental' as an excuse to hoard a load of over-priced electronic toys (or vintage instruments / effects) in order to make a directionless noise. I think it's way more adventurous (and challenging) to attempt to do something new within the confines of a 3 - 5 minute song, in 4/4 time, with groove and melody AND elements of experimentation.

Mic stand, cables and machete percusison


I've been enjoying getting my live guitar sound going again. I've said before that I take pleasure in the way that our guitar sound tends to offend guitar bands - even Shoegazers. Plus, our guitar setup is seriously basic compared even to your average rock guitarist's - which pisses them off even more hehe (we also use a tiny, tiny 5 watt guitar amp!). All of the droning / hi-pass filter style sounds AND the big guitar riff that comes in later on this (The Lighter) for example, were done with: 

Cheap guitar effects
That's not even a 'real' vintage fuzz box #shockhorror
(Korg ToneWorks AX1500G (my secret weapon)
Danelectro Wasabi Forward-Reverse Delay Pedal
BOSS - FZ-5)


We'll be doing some new songs, tracks from our latest E.P. and a couple of old favourites. We'll also be performing a traditional Imercian lullaby all about the Mhekan and his terrible curse...

Chucky plays cheap keyboard wearing a hat
Channeling the Mhekan

It's actually been a bit of a challenge to re-learn how to play some of the new songs live. But it's definitely worth it. Really enjoying playing Matchmaker at the moment, and exploring Fires Made Safe (one of my all-time favourite songs) with live drone guitar and live drums - no loopage. 


bass drum and melodica and Milk playing a guitar
A bass drum + a Melodica: essential tools for any guitarist surely?



3/16/2015

Light Night 2015



This week we begin work on a brand new audio / video piece... On Friday 15th May we're going to be doing three thirty-minute sets (music with video projections) at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre.

The plan is to perform the piece three times during the evening of the 15th as part of Liverpool's Light Night celebrations. The visuals will explore a tidal, docklands, watery lunar theme and the live soundtrack will comprise material written specifically for the piece (although we will probably squeeze an existing Mekano Set song or two as well).

The set will be site-specific and won't be repeated again after the 15th. Performance times and more info will appear closer to the time.

This will be a free event.

http://www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk/


We had the first rehearsal / noise making session today, having not made any noise in a couple of weeks. Some nice moments where you're hearing more than what is actually being played, some 'phantom voice' moments where you can hear voices / words when no one is speaking. Check out the new drums (Trommus toms and jazzy Tamma kit):



The Mekano Set

2/20/2015

HAWKWIND: DO NOT PANIC - EDUCATE YOUR EARS

Hawkwind and the politics of guitar music...

A familiar looking bass guitar?

Bands nowadays tend to bare an uncanny resemblance (sonically and visually) to the one or two bands they are influenced by (ripping off). We've never done that. I don't understand how any group of people can do that. It almost feels like duty to go the other way. Like really, really far. Too far maybe. I used to feel that what we were doing as a (Post-Everything) group suffered due to a lack of recognizable influences. But now I'm not so sure.

We are a group of people (The Mekano Set) making music that doesn't fit into one genre. This was never a calculated thing. That would be a big compromise, a contrivance. It must require a hell of a lot of time and effort to copy, wholesale, someone else's groove (and wardrobe). We work real hard to realize our own sound, our own sonic landscape. That puts us in a serious minority. But we're not alone, right?

When you grow up listening to a band like Hawkwind you receive a musical education. You're better able to understand and appreciate so much more music because it's all there in those Hawkwind albums: droning post-rock, neurotic punk, edgy techno, blissed-out ambient, psychonautical dub, interstellar psych-rock, holographic kraut-rock etc. You also quickly get over any troublesome phobias about whether something is cool or not. You don't wait for someone else to tell you it's OK to like what you already know you like.

My teens were spent latching onto a random selection of weird and wonderful acts (Public Image Limited, Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian, Curve, Magazine, Tricky, Tom Waits, Kate Bush, Leftfield, Seefeel, Autechre) as well as random snippets of unusual sounds old and new recorded off of radio shows by Gilles Peterson and Saint John Peel. Hawkwind were the first band I got into that hit the spot for me. And I feel very lucky that I found them. They opened my ears, enabled me to look beyond genre and just appreciate music, sound, noise...

The Shoegaze thing that's had a revival recently seemed kind of derivative to my ears; and a little bit too middle-class: all those vintage guitars and bespoke stomp boxes require some serious disposable income. Indie guitar scenes are like that, unfortunately. A major factor for me was that I was never able to afford stomp boxes, big amps, or guitars that stayed in tune as a kid. Fuzz? Delay? They sounded like sex aids.

Of course, when I eventually got hold of a cheap second-hand delay pedal (and a knife...) - it all started to make sense. A world of sound revealed itself. But things like our treasured white-noise guitar sound was a happy accident generated by a noisy power supply putting a lot of hiss through a cheap plastic wah pedal. We don't always use it because it doesn't always happen.

Same with the medium-wave radio signals that sometimes creep into our mix (via the combination of a cheap guitar cable and a cheaper compressor pedal): happy accidents generated by a couple of cheap bits of kit. It doesn't have to be all about vintage Fender Jags, huge amps and 200 quid a time fuzz boxes that sound oddly similar to what happens when you plug a guitar into an old (and much cheaper) tape recorder. Seriously - give it a try.

Just give me a bit of reverb on the guitar and we're good to go. The swirl and intricate harmonics tend to happen without the aid of too many effects, if you let them. The fetishization of equipment is a sign that maybe they are less interested in making music, and more interested in buying shiny stuff.

Broken guitar effects pedals
Look at all our shiny stuff.


Having had songs like Psychedelic Warlords, Back in the Box, Images and Wings (see vid links below) on my playlist on a daily basis for months again recently, it finally hit me just how much we owe to Hawkwind. That and the fact that the last time we played live we had sax (through a load of fx), and a fire dancer...

The 'often misunderstood Hawkwind': a grimy, narcotically moody, sci-fi tinged bunch of sonic explorers; fond of pulsing synths, swirling yet gritty guitars, urgent bass riffs, chaos and groove; drones, electronic noise, motoric beats and anthemic dirge. Sound familiar? Remind you of anyone?

Tense, dystopian ( a word you'll be seeing a lot of in this post), anarchic, blissed-out soundscapes... Getting warmer? I type this out and it all makes sense. Where would we be without them?

http://evenstevens.viinyl.com/


Eventually I began to recognize that sound and music are a kind of foodstuff. They can be (potentially) nourishing. But almost everything around me just sounded that little bit too macho, aggressive and egotistical. So it took me a while.

Long before I had any interest in music or music making, I was lucky enough to have read Michael Moorcock's Cornelius books (a heady cocktail of experimental writing, gender, politics, sex, psychedelia, anarchism and anachronisms), where the likes of Hawkwind, Lemmy, The Sex Pistols and Siouxsie Sioux made appearances alongside a cast of intriguingly enigmatic ficitonal characters.

I found Hall of The Mountain Grill in a second hand vinyl store sometime during the mid 90's (either Piccadilly Records in Manchester, or Mike Lloyd Music in Hanley or Wolverhampton). I recognized the band name from the Cornelius books and figured I'd give them a go. I soon went back for more.

Space Bandits by Hawkwind


I got hold of 90s albums Palace Springs, Space Bandits and Electric Tepee (terrible titles, great albums): kinda slick but also edgy electro-rock all radiating a dark dystopian psychedelia.

There was a lot of surging bass end powering away up-close in the mix, and a sense of near-chaos; but that grimy minimalist drone-rock guitar and pristine drumming held it all together. And there was a lot of space left over for the listener's imagination. This was exactly what I'd been looking for and I lost myself in it.

It was angry stuff too but not in a macho, formulaeic Metal way. The presence of Bridget Wishart's urgent vocals, Harvey Bainbridge's lush analog synths and Simon House's violin (sometimes plaintive, sometimes unhinged) added a sense of depth to these Post-Everything sonic explorations.

I found a VHS tape of a gig from around that time (Live Legends?) and was fascinated by the contrast between the musicality and the sense of chaos on-stage. There was nothing Prog about this stuff. It was all about a manic, surging Punk energy. There was none of the lumpen, horribly dated 'we're classically trained and must play a million notes a minute' daftness of Yes or whoever. It was raw, gritty. If this was Space Rock it was the grimy grunge future of Alien and Bladerunner.

The surreal-bordering on downright nightmarish theatrics, smoke machines and video projections definitely made an impression on me too. We've had a few gigs where we've delighted in swamping the crowds in smoke, strobes and video footage hehe (and again - I never made the connnection at the time). Audiences either love or hate this stuff. Which is great. The last thing you want is a passive audience that just stands there stoney-faced, politely applauding when it's safe to do so, and more interested in what equipment you're using than how it sounds. Seriously.




Hawkwind was definitely music to get lost in, and with a dark 'everything is not going to be OK' undercurrent that made total sense to me (I was looking for music to escape into, from an environment that was pretty damn bleak: happy trippy hippie music wasn't what I was looking for).

The way that 'Awkwind didn't restrict themselves to conventional song structures (a track like Images goes from an amphetamine surge to 'fallen off the edge of the world into dreamspace' and then back again); the way they can take one churning riff (or no-riff) and make it groove made total sense to me.




I loved how they were unafraid of technology too. I needed that because even early on I found myself wanting to hear and make use of non-musical sounds in a musical context. And I didn't care what I needed to use to realize that. The snobbishness of the musicians I met early on was a real drag. This is the 21st Century - this isn't the goddamn 1960's!

It was years before I found out that the drums on albums like Space Bandits were actually programmed (by the excellent drummer Richard Chadwick on discovering that he couldn't face having to play live drums in a studio environment); something that obviously had a subliminal effect on me.

I love drums AND drum-machinery and I don't see why you can't have both! We now use programmed (and de-programmed) drums, acoustic and electronic drums AND a load of exotic percussion instruments. Give me more drums!

Cowbell, congas and shakers
Mechete-style shakers (spot the cowbell)


It was disappointing as a kid when I eventually connected with local outsiders on the alternative scene, to find that the majority of the Techno heads, Goths and Metallers alike all thought Hawkwind (and Pil) sounded like unlistenable noise. You'd think these people would love a bit of chaos. Hell no. Hawkwind were far too multi-dimensional for that lot.

Looking back, they were just your average small-town small-minded people, shopping in different places to their leisure-suit and white trainered counterparts. A band that wasn't on TV or on the cover of certain magazines wasn't acceptable. It still pisses me off to this day the way that so many people can't decide whether they like something until a certain magazine or TV personality says so first. Like you need permission to simply enjoy music?

Discovering Hawkwind whilst still in my teens broke down some barriers in my head, so when I eventually heard some decent electronic, dance, Post-Punk, Dub and experimental music - I was ready for it, I recognized it, it made sense. And as you grow up and go further afield you meet other people that see no problem in being a fan of both electronic and rock music, and bands that play a mash-up of both. Sometimes you even meet musicians that like that too.

I can see now that we owe Hawkwind a lot. So I'm forever singing their praises. They are one of my obsessions, along with obscure / overpriced analog drum-synths and the equally underground sonic heaven-and-hell explorations of  Kevin Martin (The Bug, Techno Animal, King Midas Sound).




Synths + guitars + a load of delay + spoken word bits...



How many bands that have been going for... five decades can honestly say they have embraced - and been embraced in return by - everything from Punk, Metal and Dub Reggae to House, Alternative Rock and Techno (the darkness AND light of the psychedelic drug - dance -trance experience) and beyond?

I think the later-day Electronic / Underground / Alternative scenes owe more to the likes of Hawkwind then they realize. Pounding beats, a sense of impending doom and a generally grimy approach to production values... Hawkwind were on that groove decades before the mainstream was even capable of perceiving such a thing was a possibility.



That bass.....

Like any band with longevity they've gone astray, their sci-fi inspired antics can sometimes end up horribly one-dimensional, and I've got no time for anything resembling a 12-bar blues. But these are momentary glitches and the good albums far outweigh the bad.


I'm playing people Back in the Box and Psychedelic Warlords (along with things like Scorn, King Midas Sound, Young Fathers, The Bug) in an effort to prove that hey, we're not operating out on a limb, we're a part of the underground tradition of not giving a fuck about genre, and you CAN have a sense of dread AND a groove in the same mix!

Milk

2/07/2015

Tricksters and Charlotte Annes: The Manichean Set

News, reviews, and an interview:



It's Very Internet to see new music appreciated less than pictures of the equipment used to make the music.




Thinking about originality. I am always going on about how angry it makes me to see people championing people that aren't doing anything new (or are basically a tribute act with a different name, and slightly different lyrics). And are you ready for everyone and their neighbour to start forming Shoegaze bands any minute now?

I'm often told 'but if you do something totally original no one will understand it.' And I used to agree with that. But now I'm not so sure. Because ever since I was a kid I have always been on the look out for music that sounds like it's from another planet. I want to be shocked by music. I want to listen to something and have no idea how the sounds were made. That's why I was so excited about people like Jon Hassell, Techno Animal, Autechre, Coil, drone-music etc. Music that was clearly coming from a very adventurous, other-worldly space. Gotta keep that in mind in future.




Organic + Mekanic

So, we managed to survive another year. Wow. And what a f*cking year it was: weird, scary, productive, fun, and unpref*ckingdictable to the last.


The rising tide of vile Right Wing Extremism in Europe and the UK was a constant source of genuine fear and concern. How the hell has it come to this? You don't have to be a Loony Lefty to see that the far right has never done anything but destroy. Xenophobia and hatred do nothing but sap energy and insight violence, fear and confusion in the hearts and minds of people. F*ck that. 


The people with all the power laying blame on those with none: politicians demonizing the most humble, vulnerable and powerless members of society is just incredibly devious, cruel and unjust. Evil exists, running through the veins of blinkered, power - money greedy people with no regard for the consequences of their random, ignorant reasoning.





On a more positive note, we had a pretty damn productive year noise-wise. With the last couple of releases I think we've really realized our sound, and found more of a balance between the electronic and organic ingredients. 






It's also been great for me to have more input from people like Arthur and Chucky. The great thing about collaboration is you get to be surprised. The end results are bigger than you and it's easier to be objective about them.


Pareidolia picture


Pareidolia is fresh off the desk as of 1st January: mixing gritty grooves with silvery guitar drones, juicy bass and some contrasting vocal elements (fragile and sinister in equal doses), spoken word and soundscapes. For Fans Of: Cocteau Twins, Dreampop, Grooves, Shoegaze guitars, Dirty Beats, stories and sci-fi soundscapes.

https://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/pareidolia


There will also hopefully be some juicy remixes from the likes of Hollow Press, Blindness, Mutate and Meatbreak coming soon. Oh yes! We've also reduced the prices of everything on our badcamp site in celebration of the new year!






A review of Pareidolia by Intravenous Magazine: http://www.intravenousmag.co.uk/2015/01/review-mekano-set-pareidolia.html

And check out an interview with us from The Devil Has The Best Tuna from last week: http://besttuna.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/TheMekanoSet.html

You can find daily updates from us via twitter and facebook.


The exploits of our assistant S.W. Tucker also make for fun (not informative) reading:
The Matchmaker, a play in one act by The Mekano Set.
Featuring:
Arthur Habsburg as a smooth-talking purveyor of mail-order brides
Milk M Taylor singing a chorus he doesn't know the words to
Sandra Tsch with the lil' faraway sighs
"Meanwhile tell me, how young is your mother?"
https://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/track/the-matchmaker-2

 https://twitter.com/mekanosetpress


Have joy!


The Mekano Set