LIVE: HIDE – The Shacklewell Arms, 03.10.19

A primal, urgent, gripping performance: Industrial/electronic duo HIDE unleashed a torrent of brutal sound upon their Dalston crowd as part of their co-headline tour with Kontravoid on Thursday night.

Opening with ‘Chainsaw’, taken from the band’s latest album Hell Is Here (released on Dais Records), vocalist Heather Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher performed their aural exorcisms beneath frantic strobe lights.

The lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are informed by the street harassment Gabel has received in real life. Dressed like a misogynist’s nightmare with her unhinged grin and heavily blackened eyes & lips; she violently screamed the words “Smile! Bitch!”, throwing their abuse back in to the ether with scathing vitriol.

HIDE’s originality as a band lies in their undermining of patriarchal forces through powerful lyrical statements and abrasive noise. The pair transform fear and vulnerability in to distracting industrial tunes, and the impact of their efforts are best appreciated when seen and heard in a live environment.

Gabel’s frenzied, intense performance style perfectly accompanied Sher’s pulverizing beats. Between songs and blackouts, she removed articles of her clothing and continued to dominate the stage with her jagged movements and inescapable stares. By the time the duo performed ‘Raw Dream’, Gabel’s battle cries were fully fleshed – perfect for an anthem that tackles the imbalance of power.

Despite the brevity of their set, the impact of HIDE’s performance is one that lasts long after the strobes have finished flickering. Their thought-provoking, caustic, vital shows are a much needed antidote to the hellish reality they challenge through their art.

Follow HIDE on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut

LIVE: Lingua Ignota – Oslo, London 30.11.19

Catharsis incarnate: Lingua Ignota‘s sold out show at Hackney’s Oslo on Monday night was a vicious, yet vulnerable affair. The industrial/metal multi-instrumentalist’s hair-raising vocal range and dramatic performance style held her crowd in captivated silence, as she used her pitch perfect voice to sing songs about vengeance and violence.

With a set-list formed primarily of new material from her recent album Caligula, Lingua Ignota (aka Kristin Hayter) used minimal, but effective lighting to help deliver her brutal truths. Sometimes screened by a translucent plastic sheet at the back of the stage, sometimes strung up by her own hand with the wires from her lights; Hayter mastered the art of appearing calm as she intermittently screamed her lungs out. Whilst all of the songs performed were worthy of merit, her rendition of ‘Do You Doubt Me Traitor’ cut the deepest. It’s a powerful, vilifying song designed to unsettle and ignite fury, and Hayter used her operatic voice as a weapon to do just that.

Like an Anglerfish that dwells in dark waters attracting its prey with a dazzling light, Hayter used her portable spotlight to lure and illuminate her audience when she broke the fourth wall. The crowd obediently flocked towards her wielding their smart phones (naturally desperate to document the moment), but as with all live music; it’s best appreciated without the shield of a screen. Hayter’s fearless taking up of other people’s space perfectly accompanies her savage lyrics about taking down those who deny her, or abuse her self-autonomy.

A survivor of abuse and of industry misogyny (read her excellent interview with The Guardian here), Hayter has defiantly risen from these ashes in Phoenix-like fashion, and her live performance acts as proof of this. Her interrogative spotlight is not easy to escape, and her powerful voice is impossible to ignore.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Heather Gabel (HIDE)

Fine Artist and inimitable front woman Heather Gabel forms one half of Chicago-based electronic duo HIDE. Alongside percussionist Seth Sher, the pair create abrasive, industrial sounds and are renowned for their intense live performances. Their new album – Hell Is Here – was released earlier this year via Dais Records, and it seethes with their trademark fury against social injustice.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Heather to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five tracks/albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you catch HIDE live at The Shacklewell Arms (w/ Kontravoid) on 3rd October (event info here).

 

1. CRASS – ‘Reality Asylum’
This track slays in every way. Eve Libertine’s vocal delivery still gives me chills after having been listening to it for 25 years. I love that she isn’t singing. It’s a total assault on Christianity, noise and pure poetry, spat out with palpable contempt. I read that the record plant workers refused to press this track and instead left a three minute silence, so the band released it themselves as a single for 45p – half the going rate for a 45 at the time. I love so much about this band and ‘Reality Asylum’ sort of encapsulates all of the reasons why.

2. ANNIE ANXIETY – ‘Viet Not Mine, El Salvador Yours’
This song is so sad and heavy and scary. It plods and creaks and leers. It has the feel of sea sickness to me, like an inescapable situation you are just coming to grips with realizing is happening. The vocals are fucking wild; they layer, stifled, mocking, taunting, threatening, to create a real terrifying cacophony. The subject matter, violence against women/sexual assault, and makes the line “It’s not forever it’s not forever” sung frantic and childlike, ramping up and repeating, well, it’s especially horrifying. It’s such a powerful song.
Fun fact: Eve Libertine did the artwork for this record and the insert is a collage made of two pages from Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon, which shows the trashed San Francisco hotel room where Fatty Arbuckle raped fellow actress Virginia Rappe to death in 1921.

3. BORN AGAINST – ‘Well Fed Fuck’
I love this band. They were one of the best political bands going when I was growing up. They were so fucking sassy about it though, like way smarter than other hardcore bands or whatever from the 90s in my opinion, they were antagonistic. We’ve covered this song a couple times, it’s sick to sing, there are hardly any lyrics and it repeats, like a mantra, which is a lot like how I write lyrics as well. It’s “are you a good team player, remember your boss is your best friend, remember the bullshit they taught you, kill your head” over and over. It’s really simple but totally exhilarating.

4. INK AND DAGGER – Drive this 7″ wooden dagger through my Philadelphia heart (Album)
I happened across this band by accident in the late 90s. I didn’t know who they were, but they were playing in one room and I was in the bar in the next room. I was like, what the fuck is going on out there, went to see and stood there with my mouth hanging open for the rest of their set. The singer was a total force, later I found out their reputation preceded them, they had infamously egged Hare Krishnas and threw yogurt at Earth Crisis for example, silly stuff in hindsight but it was refreshing to see a band that ripped and brought real energy wearing vampire make up and the shittiest fake blood ever bucking the tired east coast “hardcore tough guy shit” that was so popular back then. I could kind of see myself in them the way they didn’t fit the genre, having been (still am to be honest) someone who feels like they don’t fit in with any particular group of people.

5. Rudimentary Peni – Death Church (Album)
I bought this record in high school solely based on the artwork but quickly sought out all their albums after listening to it. I loved how short and raw the songs were, all direct pointed attacks on societies ails, but the record sounded exceptionally good. I used to always buy this when I saw it at the record store and have multiple copies to just give people who hadn’t heard it because it really made an impression on me. I still would if I ever saw it anymore.
Side note: It was especially cool when Chelsea Wolfe did a Tribute to Rudimentary Peni Covers EP on Southern in 2012.

HIDE UK Tour Dates 2019 
01/10 – UK Bristol Exchange
02/10 – UK Manchester Soup Kitchen
03/10 – UK London The Shacklewell Arms

Photo Credit: Nicola Kuperus

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: HIDE – ‘Raw Dream’

**WARNING: Nudity & graphic content**

Brutal beats, abrasive synths and cutting vocals infiltrate HIDE‘s latest single ‘Raw Dream’, taken from their upcoming album Hell is Here, which is set for release on 23rd August via Dais Records.

Based in Chicago, HIDE are comprised of fine artist Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher. They describe their new single as “an anthem for the rise of the disenfranchised – a long overdue and joyous recalibration of an imbalance of power”. The track is accompanied by a video shot by Eon Mora, and edited by Christopher Michael Hefner and the band.

HIDE are renowned for their electric live performances, and dedication to channeling the voices of those who have been downtrodden, abused, or ignored. Their 2016 EP Black Flame was dedicated to the memory of Reyhana Jabbari – a 27 year old Iranian woman who was hung for allegedly killing someone who tried to rape her. Their 2017 debut album Castration Anxiety addresses issues of power dynamics and representation. Now, with ‘Raw Dream’ and their upcoming second album, the pair continue to transform vulnerability in to more powerful, distracting industrial tunes.

HIDE will be playing at The Shacklewell Arms on 3rd October, and we strongly recommend you grab a ticket before they sell out the venue. Watch ‘Raw Dream’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: ZAMILSKA – ‘Uncovered’

A ruthless, beguiling take on the forces that influence and overwhelm us; ZAMILSKA‘s latest release Uncovered is a densely hypnotic record permeated by the artist’s fascination with levitation. The result is thirteen richly textured tracks that seethe with “the anxiety of what we want vs what we get”.

Following 2016’s Undone and 2014’s Untune, Uncovered is the third in a trilogy marking ZAMILSKA’s progression from an unknown artist in to an emerging talent that cannot be overlooked. At times chilling, at times enchanting, ZAMILSKA’s industrial-techno hybrid is ruled by the need to purge ones self of negativity: “It’s about getting something out, to be able to start again, to rise” she explains. That urge is evident in both the sound and the artwork on Uncovered (see image above), which is an apt visual metaphor for the way her music lifts and suspends at unexpected intervals.

Pounding beats, ticks, sporadic bells, inaudible voice samples and relentlessly jagged synths are carefully staggered throughout opening track ‘Message’. Second track ‘Dolls’ hosts lighter percussion, but the same unnerving feeling permeates this and following track ‘Hospital’. It’s a nightmarish affair that pre-empts brief interlude ‘Still’, before bleeding in to ‘Hollow’, which combines melodic and industrial elements in beautiful yet brutal fashion.

The aptly named ‘Gape’ is overshadowed by the quiet fury of ‘Alive’, on which ZAMILSKA intermittently seethes “She’s a girl who can eat you alive”. ‘Delusion’ teases with its lighter synth sounds providing a welcome respite from the harshness of previous tracks, before bleeding in to ‘Prisoner’. Its warped synths and slow, unsettling beats are reminiscent of The Downward Spiral era Nine Inch Nails – a band ZAMILSKA has openly confessed an obsession with, and who in turn have championed her on their own Spotify playlist.

The pulverizing beats on ‘Blind’ act as an audible purge, whilst final three tracks – ‘Back’,’Front’,’Done’- feel less weighty, like a sonic resurrection. ZAMILSKA’s ability to orchestrate a record about “floating upwards, not about falling down” whilst exploring the sonic space between feels effortless, and Uncovered is a stunning third offering from this promising Producer.

Buy your copy of ZAMILSKA’s new album Uncovered here.

ZAMILSKA UK Tour Dates 2019
02/08/19 – The Shacklewell Arms, London
03/08/19 – Visions Festival, London

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: ZAMILSKA

Dense, rhythmic, hypnotic beats and a fascination with levitation permeate the tracks on Polish producer ZAMILSKA‘s latest album, UNCOVERED, which is set for physical release on 19th July. Her jagged soundscapes combine techno textures and intriguing vocal samples to reflect “the anxiety of what we want vs what we get”. With her enviable ability to create beats that ricochet around our skulls, we wanted to know more about ZAMILSKA. We caught up with the Producer to talk about the inspiration behind her new record, her upcoming live shows in London (The Shacklewell Arms on 2nd August & Visions Festival on 3rd August), and to find out the details of her previous collaboration with Gazelle Twin

How did you first get in to creating electronic music?
I didn’t choose this profession, it chose me. I cannot see myself doing anything else. I’ll skip the “I have always known I will deal with music” story. It’s all true but a bit of a cliche. I always wanted to be a Rockstar, play bass or drums, throw them into the audience and break them on stage. At fifteen I got my first computer. After stumbling upon Bjork’s Post album, I knew I would be making electronic music and somehow mixing in my inspirations for rock’n’roll and world music. It took many years of hard work to get here, there were moments when I didn’t have much to eat. But I am here, talking to you. Hard work pays off, and if you think something is impossible in life – maybe you just do not want it.

What’s the industrial/electronic music scene like in Poland where you’re from? Are there gig nights or venues who champion the genre?
Perhaps it will sound surprising, but I really do not part take in the “scene”. When I am home I like to stay in, enjoy the quiet. That, of course, doesn’t mean that I stay oblivious to what is happening musically in Poland. I love Resina, with all my heart – cellist, who is extremally talented. Also, I am a big fan of artists such as: Syny, Coals, and Księżyc. The Polish music scene is getting better. We just need to stop looking and trying to follow the West, create our own sound.

Your latest album UNCOVERED is about the concept of levitation. Talk us through this theme, it’s quite a unique concept.
The concept of levitation came up during the album cover design. It was as if a remaining piece of the puzzle fell in place and the entire story came together as whole. It’s about something malevolent that you want to leave your body, come out of you so you can start with a clean slate. Exorcisms, voodoo – all that is on the album. UNCOVERED is a story about cleansing, dropping weight off your shoulders. A fall with an attempt to rise. Ultimately, you do not know if the person is falling or rising.

Do you have a favourite track on the album? If so, why?
That’s a great question. I have never thought about it. When I was making the album, I had a different favorite track every day. The ending of ‘Done’ would almost make me cry. Perhaps ‘Hollow’. I’ve heard someone on the radio saying that it’s the biggest pop banger I have ever created. I like the entire album, it is a story that only makes sense as a whole. And you need to know that it is odd for me to like something in its entirety.

You’re coming over to the UK in August to play a headline show at The Shacklewell Arms. What Are your anticipations for this gig?
I am really excited to come back to London. Playing live shows is so rewarding after all the time spent in the studio. Finally, being able to perform in front of live audience. I try not to anticipate; each show is different. You can play in a large venue and something does not feel right and you can play the show of your life in front of a thirty people audience. People are most important. I really like London as a city, I’ve spent some time there. I hope people show up and enjoy the show.

You’re also going to be playing a set at Visions festival. How are you feeling about that? Any artists you’re aiming to catch on the day?
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see anyone on the day of my show. But if you can you should see Shygirl. It is a very special show. I saw her in Poland, she is a very cheeky girl on stage.

You host your own radio show on Polish national digital radio. Talk us through what kind of music you play, and how you came to work in radio.
I was invited as a guest on one of the radio shows, we were talking about music, and I kind of took over as a host. Radio execs liked my voice and offered me my own show. However, I just resigned from hosting. I wanted to focus on my own work, with UNCOVERED coming out I didn’t want compromise the quality of the radio show. Becoming a radio host was my childhood dream, but it was getting harder to focus on my projects and sift through fifty albums weekly, in order to choose music for radio. And since I presented music from undefined electronics, from distant corners of the World, novelties and sounds of the 50’s, I couldn’t compromise, after two years, I had to resign. I’d like to return to Polish Radio, if they want me back, as soon as I settle all my present affairs.

You remixed Gazelle Twin’s track ‘Belly of the Beast’ which was featured in the ABC series How To Get Away With Murder. Talk us through the creative process for that – how did you make your mark on her already very unique sounding track? (we’re big fans so please give loads of detail)
You want the details? So you need the entire story. In 2014 my debut album Untune placed twelfth on The Quietus’ list of albums of the year. Gazelle Twin topped the chart with Unflesh. I’d never heard of her, but the title and cover got me curious. A woman charting that high – I thought that she must be wonderful, you know “girl power” – had to be noted. I instantly fell in love. I thought she was genius. Soon after a Glasgow promoter invited both of us to play and The Quietus got involved in promotion of the show – serendipity. I would finally be able to see how she really looked under the pantyhose mask. It turned out we shared a dressing room.

I was extremely nervous to meet her in person. To the point that my manager had to just usher me into the room. Elizabeth tuned out to be a wonderful woman. I admire her in every inch. She mentioned that she was releasing Unflesh remixed and offered cooperation. I asked if it would be ok if I remixed ‘Belly of the Beast’ and so it began. I never anticipated such good response to this track. In my opinion the original is brilliant, so it was very difficult to change anything. I decided not to add but rather strip it down. Kind of echoed the sound. Instead of reverb – just a hint of dirt and bass. Only a little, not to mess with the genius.

Nine Inch Nails also recommended one of your tracks on their official Spotify playlist. How did you feel about that?
NIN are the music of my youth. I admired them during every stage of their career. They were the best example of an innovative band. A combination of heavy sound with electronic, dirty hits. It is kind of as if Jesus came down from heaven. Only you never believed in God. I didn’t want this to get into my head. I suppressed it, didn’t want this to mess with my head and make me think that’s me done. You know, the idea that Nine Inch Nails know you exist!

Finally, If you had to describe your music in three words, what would they be?
Distracted and inspired by everything…

Huge thanks to ZAMILSKA for answering our questions!

Order your copy of Zamilska’s album UNCOVERED here.

ZAMILSKA UK Tour Dates 2019
02/08/19 – The Shacklewell Arms, London
03/08/19 – Visions Festival, London

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: HIDE – ‘Chainsaw’

**trigger warning: mention of rape/sexual assault**

Not for the faint-hearted: Chicago-based electronic duo HIDE mesh abrasive, pulverizing synths and aggressive vocals on their latest track ‘Chainsaw’. Taken from their upcoming album Hell is Here, set for release August 23rd via Dais Records, the track’s accompanying video closes with the statement “Rape culture kills” and lists the names of multiple women who were raped and murdered whose pictures feature in the video.

The track’s uncomfortable context is deeply rooted in the band’s own reality; the lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are a slew of verbal assaults the duo have received repeatedly on the street, often while in the company of a child. The video is a collaboration with film makers Chris Hefner and Menthol Pictures.

HIDE are formed of fine artist Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher, and together the pair use a combination of self sourced field recordings and various pop culture/media to create their intense and powerful sounds and visuals. ‘Chainsaw’ is one of many HIDE of tracks that challenges misogyny and the pain of those who have been brutalised, explored through blistering noise and confrontational vocals.

The duo will be touring both the US and Europe from July onwards, including a show with Kontravoid at London’s Shacklewell Arms on 3rd October which we urge you not to miss. Watch the video for ‘Chainsaw’ below and follow HIDE on Facebook for more updates.

If you have been affected by these visuals and want to seek support, visit the Rape Crisis website here.

Photo credit: Nicola Kuperus

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut