Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chris Cunningham AV Set At Southbank Centre

I had the pleasure of going to see a mad event at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank last night with Irieman. It was part of the Ether 10 festival and consisted of the space-rock band created by Portishead's Geoff Barrow, 'Beak' playing live, followed by a 60 min. Audio/Visual assault by psycho-director and video artist, Chris Cunningham. (Aphex Twin, Bjork etc.) & then a DJ set by Squarepusher...

I left the Festival Hall wanting more to be honest. Beak weren't that great imho and I couldn't wait for Chris Cunningham to take the stage. When he did finally appear, his ideas/themes/cinematography did not fail to impress!

For a solid 60 min. the images were bordering on insanity. Lots of close-ups of flesh/body parts all set to a dark breakcore/acid techno/IDM soundscape. It was actually a great mixture of horror and beauty all skillfully timed to the mad soundtrack.

There's something about Chris' timing and editing that keeps you riveted. Everyone's tried synchronising Audio & Visual together before, but for some dark reason, Cunningham's videos still have the stylistic edge over other contemporary directors.

Squarepusher seemed to be having technical difficulties with either his mixer or the decks and for 15 min. all you could hear was this droning sound going round in circles. That was also a bit of a let down. We didn't have the patience to sit it out and decided to head back to Irieman's to smoke some trees and draw....(Luckily, we have both seen Squarepusher a number of times, so it wasn't too much of a biggie that we missed him)

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