@soundkitchenuk 1st Birthday – review

The intimately inspiring cafe Ort (which has been situated on Moseley Road, Balsall Heath for just over 3 months) aided in a rusticity of warmth to the usual SOUNDkitchen vibe.

Subsequently preparing the chill out hangout for a string of ravishingly sonic escapades, all in celebration of SOUNDkitchen’s year milestone of events, which have been/continue to be dedicated in bringing experimental pioneering sound artists, both internationally and locally to the venues of Birmingham.

With tea and alcohol aplenty, embarking on electro-wonders with Tom Mudd felt both intense and engulfing, as the usual cafe experience became transformed into an explosion of firework sound, crackling in tension and building in minimal flutters.
With adaptions from calming rhythms and rumbles, the sonic distress became literally ear ringing, as pitches were raised to the extreme.

The feud soon settled down into distant growls, which gave back an eerie stability to the initial expressions, and returned the hearing of many listeners who had fell victim to the exploding tones.

The organic/manmade contrasting tones of Mecha/Orga bestowed a familiar creative imagination upon the eagerly attentive listeners, who submerged themselves amongst the speeding sounds of transport and emerging thunderstorms, calmly, yet nervously, exploring the beauty of natural and human wonders/fears/threats that surround us in the everyday, outdoor life.
Next to transform Ort’s cafe presence were Anvil & Stirrup, who maintained the rustic elements with uplifting electroacoustic soundscapes.

Their use of chimes and glass clutter brought a playful exuberance, which in turn, radiated an energy throughout the cafe, making sure that the audience were fully immersed in their resonating blanket of sonic layers.

Estranged bass rhythms were then thrown into the mix, oddly breaking up in new depths to the sounds, which somehow cohabited throughout the improvisational structures.

Final creativities came from Portuguese duo @c, who were sporadic, intermitting their mysterious clatters with incoherently warped spoken word and expressing a sense of lucidity through echoing blurs.

Creepy insect-like noises infected the room, dragged alongside trip-hop-eqsue fundamentals, soundtracking the audience’s imagination with underwater scrapes and crashes, distorted by the reduction of aquatic hearing abilities. Their extrinsic patterns brought incomparable fears to tensioning illusions, favouring chaotic fabrics to disorientate listeners into their own otherworldly paths.

A feast of sounds proved more rewarding than a ‘SOUNDkitchen 1 Today!‘ birthday cake, allowing hungry ears to be full of avant-sonic waves in replacement to large quantities of sponge and icing.

Words: Ross Cotton

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