A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Natural Snow Buildings, The Victoria, 10/03/12

I’d never actually heard any music by Natural Snow Buildings (mainly due to their hard-to-get, limited edition releases) but had read a lot about them so went along to see them play at The Victoria, a small pub in Dalston on Saturday night. Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte have cultivated a reputation for being enigmatic, shrouding their music in secrecy and mystery, and tonight’s show served to further deepen this.

They played four pieces that lasted just over an hour in total, featuring bowed guitar and a plethora of pedals strewn across the small stage. The opening track showcased their shimmering, hypnotic guitar drones that suggested what Murcof may sound like if guitars rather than electronics were at the forefront of his sound. The second piece was harder, reminding me of the menacing sound of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s guitars when played live. I thought they also had some of the creeping, dark sonic swell of the likes of Deaf Center.

For the final piece they were joined on stage by a third member to further bolster their ranks, seeing swathes of sound flood out into and fill up the 150 capacity room.
Their music may have a still, slow-motion quality but I thought it was also very purposeful – it offered a clear articulation and then ended. There wasn’t anything superfluous in their music.

There may be numerous acts making this kind of music (you only need to look at the abundance of under-the-radar artists featured on the excellent recent series of futuresequence compilations) but the fact that I struggled to come up with names to directly compare them to proves that Natural Snow Buildings stand apart. This show was part of their first ever proper tour; I hope we’ll be seeing them again soon.

After the show I bought a copy of their latest album Beyond The Veil (limited release, naturally – mine is number 91 out of 300).

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