Barn Owl & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - CAMP Basement, London

Tonight sees Barn Owl, one of the brightest lights of the over-populated drone scene, hitting the capital in support of their latest Thrill Jockey-released record Ancestral Star, an album that was very popular here at TMF. In support this evening though is Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, otherwise known as the mastermind behind the label Root Strata, and another artist in worship of the power of loud, ambient sheets of guitar-generated noise. There’s something serene about the way he produces the vast swathes of glacial feedback, and the manner with which he treats both his guitar and the numerous pieces of equipment in front of him shows that there is a method behind the noise he makes.

Having wow-ed everyone who witnessed them at last year’s Supersonic Festival anticipation was high for Barn Owl, and after a bit of fiddling with a projector their hazy, nostalgic films jump into life as Evan Caminiti gives forth strange chants which he loops on a bed of Jon Porras’ sweeping guitars. Opening with the monolithic ‘Sundown’ from Ancestral Star, it’s clear that tonight is going to be pretty damn loud but their slow, intricate melodies and enveloping, distorted noise doesn’t suffer as a result. Easing from ear splitting feedback to a soothing and meditative weaving of guitar lines, tracks from the bands new EP Shadowlands stand out, owing much to Earth’s latest, more contemplative direction but with a greater focus on layers and textures which make up the sound. Despite the band playing a criminally short set, tonight showed Barn Owl as one of the most exciting proponents of the format around today.

Last updated: 18/04/2018 12:34:06

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