7 April 2012

Vanilla Riot live at the Borealis Festival, Bergen, 2011

Here's one for Marc. I did promise him some skronk a while back and as a quid pro quo for sending me the FUK disc, here's a live recording of Vanilla Riot from the Borealis festival in Bergen last year. This 25 March gig was in a garage in the student village just out of town. Dreadfully cold as I recall and kudos to my son for recording the gig on my Nokia cell phone. Here's about half an hour, the second of two jams they did that evening. Quality is low-vi and low-fi, but perfect sound doesn't sit well with skronk. It's gotta be slightly murky, lot of distortion in the lower frequencies, otherwise the vibe isn't quite right.

Self-description from their web site:

Vanilla Riot move from particle improvisation to electronic eruptions, from softly flickering patterned samples to high intensity shockwaves of improvised noise. Simultaneously, and in interaction with their sound output, they project prepared and live video material onto walls, curtains and improvisers, creating numerous situations of synaesthetic experience.

The web site has a one-minute excerpt. We'll up it to half an hour.

Bostjan Simon (SL)
Clarinet, Synth, Live Electronics

Onno Govaert (NL)
Drums, Casio

Stephan Meidell (NO)
Guitar, Bass, Electronics

Roel Van Doorn (NL)
Live visuals

Live visuals certainly follow and reflect the sound material closely. There is a dynamic at work here from eerie passages to wall-to-wall noise, though the overall impression is that it is not exactly easy listening. A bewildered Indian couple who found their way into the garage asked me whether this is music. I retorted that it depends on your definition of what is music. Couldn't think of anything better to say.

Stephan Meidell is one of a younger generation of guitarists that take off from where Terje Rypdal landed. With people like Stian Westerhus, Anders Hana and John Hegre, Meidell takes the guitar into the realm of electronics and pure sound. And all four share one thing in common. They're fearsomely loud! I was watching one of these guys in the company of Frode Gjerstad and Han Bennink, who did their own gig that evening, and they were clasping their ears or inserting ear plugs. Sensible chaps. We did some recording from this year's festival, too, but this band was even louder, so the video may turn out to be unlistenable. We'll see.


kinabalu said...



This is in the mp4 format, so should work well on both Windows and Mac platforms.

sotise said...

I had until now been interstate with no computer for some time , thanks for thinking of me .... Gd++ skronk!

kinabalu said...

I knew you'd like it!