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Consumer Electronics et al @ Chameleon Arts Café UK, 9th March 2013


Written by Lazrs4

Rammel Club are a Nottingham-based organization who have been putting on experimental gigs in Nottingham since 2008. There have been many nights held over the years featuring a wide range of artists from Ramleh, Sudden Infant, The Incapacitants, Modulator ESP, Aaron Dilloway, Pocahaunted and Nate Young amongst many others. Last Year Rammel Club held their own three-day festival in Nottingham, which was a sold out success; headlining acts included Blood Stereo, Bong, New Blockaders and Con-Dom. The event was also positively reviewed in Wire magazine.

The first act to perform were a newer one man act called Cremation Lily who have been releasing numerous recordings mostly on their own Strange Rules label since 2011. Tonight’s show was to celebrate their Fertility Servant 7” release on Harbinger Sound who are also part of Rammel Club. Cremation Lily began with shifting news samples and distortion, at first this just stood as a competent example of that. But things shifted up a few gears as the samples started to disappear and the guy in charge started to manically throw electronic noises together and scream into the microphone as this built up he became more confrontational, barging into the crowd angrily yelling and screaming. The set was brief and impressive with an abrupt end.

The second act was Nottingham based two man act Sleaford Mods. They use their own pre-recorded music which is played through a laptop by Andrew Fearn and vocals are supplied by Jason Williamson. Sleaford Mods played an angry ranting set backed by effective Post Punk simplicity. Conceptually Jason William’s pissed off stream of vocal delivery tied in well with what was to come from Consumer Electronics. Their brief set was mostly pulled from their Wank album and their new 6th album Austerity Dogs which had just been released on Harbinger Sound, this show served as a launch for the LP. Sleaford Mods delivered something distinctly modern whilst also being distantly related to the Fall or John Cooper Clarke at their very best . The cutting rage of social personal commentary that is Williamson’s vocals was impressive along with the fact that two men armed with just a laptop and a microphone can pull apart the now careerist copyist genre of Post-Punk and redeliver it as something so vital and exhilarating.

Prior to this event, I had never checked out Consumer Electronics, I had only heard Philip Best’s past work with Ramleh, Skullflower and Whitehouse. I arrived early and helped the organisers load amplifiers and other equipment into the venue. I stayed around and was lucky enough to be able to watch Consumer Electronics set up quickly and do their soundcheck. Things began with an impressive mass of electronic noise and after a quick “testing testing!” Consumer Electronics went into another full assault of noise and Philip Best shouting/ranting off in full mode; this was my perfect and intimate introduction to Consumer Electronics.

The actual CE show was more of a multimedia art event; Firstly there was a collaged film of different film scenes of children which was projected onto the wall behind Best and Sarah Froelich as they both provided an assault of rapid fire choppy electronic noise. The images were harmless enough but when but into context with Power Electronics they take on a darker undertones, especially when Best is prowling the stage with his shirt open, cross on chain showing whilst he was twisting his nipples; contexts were constantly changed and shifted. Froelich was in charge of making noise and was occasionally complimented by Best’s noise assaults in-between vocal rants. Best frequently stood facing the audience holding up his collaged art journal so we could see the different pages. His artwork can be seen on his blog-site and has also been exhibited around the world in different galleries; this was like a live showing of it with overpowering music that refuses to stay in the background along with an aggressive running commentary. Like Whitehouse there was a strong sense of performance to the show with Best being the lead actor, this is a massive contrast to the man behind his equipment scenario usually associated with noise and Power Electronics. Consumer Electronics delivered an impressive show through a strong combination of concept, sounds and visuals.