Nurse With Wound - KoKo, London
Playing what I can only describe as jazz for the Korg generation, three piece Radian kick off the final segment of the Netaudio London 2011 festival with a generally relaxed set, but one not altogether without the hint of an edge. They do become a tad tedious as their performance drags on towards the fifty minute mark, but the strange collision of distorted bass, sweeping synths and inventive use of percussion – the constant moving of a variety of objects on and off the drums belying the sedate nature of the music – is not without its merits, nor admirers.
And so we swing to the other end of the electronic spectrum with an exciting proposition in the form of ex-Wire man Bruce Gilbert and Pan Sonic’s Mika Vainio; unfortunately the expectation does not live up to the reality as the pair plod through half an hour of pretty standard power electronics. Whilst certainly enjoyable to those that partake in this sort of thing, the lack of any ingenuity in the music is a disappointment; the distortion of the projections in sync with the noise was indeed clever, but is really nothing more than a sideshow and a distraction.
Both support acts are rather shown up though by headliners Nurse With Wound, who proceed to twist, cut and bash their way through an hour of the most mind-bendingly surreal aural gibbering this venue has ever witnessed. Like some sort of paranoid nightmare hallucination, the set veers from pure noise to drum ‘n’ bass to a child’s musical box as smoothly as gin & tonic on a summer evening, an impressive feat pulled off with gusto by four men revelling in the simple pleasure of making a lot of noise, very loudly. Alongside guitars and CD turntables aplenty a plethora of weird and wonderful objects are constantly used to add to the supremely dense assault that has the internal organs jumping around in what feels like a desperate bid to escape. But despite the harshness and strangeness of the entire set, it flies by all too quickly, and without a word Nurse With Wound disappear - and unfortunately take their warped reality with them.