OBSERVE: Vancouver Noise Festival V


IMG_1879 copyAnother noise festival has been visited upon Vancouver.

This was the fifth iteration, the second that I’ve attended, this year with a slightly larger line up necessitating the performances be split between two venues as the afternoon transformed into evening.

Some words, photos, and footage of this year’s Vancouver Noise Festival after the break.

IMG_1908 copyLike last year, Vancouver Noise Festival V fell on the date another big show was happening, this time right across from the main venue: Gorguts with Auroch, Tyrants Blood Xul, WTCHDR, and a few others.

Unlike last year it was not difficult to decided on which to attend, even given that I didn’t necessarily have to miss Gorguts if I planned it right. So I spent the evening at The Black Lab across the street (and earlier at The Hindenberg) and enjoyed the noise talent that had converged on the fest this year.

Ahna/The Nausea/Waste Away’s Anju and her circle once again put together everything admirably. A speaker went out on the last two sets but it didn’t do much to dampen things, people were respectful, the acts were varied, engaging, and killer. The crowd was pretty big too.

11134073_831712310235275_2659935855343594641_oThe contrast in venues was stark at first as well. The Hindenberg being naturally darker and asymmetrical near the stage area, dungeon-like and open, while The Black Lab’s gallery atmosphere was bright at least before the sun had set; a tighter fit for a larger crowd which changed the atmosphere as well.

More noise artists than last year, a different cross-section locally, from across Canada, and the US. Improvising doom and catastrophe through any manner of sonic implement with great success. Heaps of pedals and boards.

The Hindenberg early show line-up was as follows (bottom to top):

HICK
SLEEPING WITH THE EARTH (PDX)
RRKKTTTSS
NIGHT TIDE (VIC)
WHIP OF THE UFO
FOURCORNEREDROOMSTARINGATCANDLES

For hi-res photos go to Flickr. For video go to YouTube. I may be incorrect in attributing names to photos in a few instances below as I’m not familiar with all the artists, and the early show had a few switch-ups.

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FOURCORNEREDROOMSTARINGATCANDLES

IMG_1751 copyOpener at The Hindenberg early show. Messy, a lot of smashing heavy objects, violent and course wall of sound.

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WHIP OF THE UFO

IMG_1775 copyIntense local act Whip of the UFO made another appearance, casting a haunting darkness early on.

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NIGHT TIDE

IMG_1793 copyNight Tide also reappeared, the set this time was distinct from last years.

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RRKKTTTSS

IMG_1807 copyRrkktttss was another local to return. He complimented his chattering noise strongly with a strobe, much different from last year and previous performers.

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SLEEPING WITH THE EARTH

IMG_1817 copyFrom Oregon, the veteran drone and noise artist Sleeping with the Earth traveled to the festival. And upon arriving he unleashed a monster near thirty minute electronic spell as a second to last performance at the early show. You can view it below:

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HICK

IMG_1825 copyThis was the closer for the early show. Probably the most minimal set up of the night. A ton of vocal modulation layered and distorted, much more unusual than anything else at that point.

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As for the main show at The Black Lab:

GORDON ASHWORTH (PDX)
FLAT GREY (BC)
XIPHOID DEMENTIA (SEA)
GRIEFER (VIC)
RUSALKA
THE RITA
WORKER
POISON WAVE (CGY)
SISTRENATUS
RDC (MTL)
K.M. TOEPFER (EDM)
MOLENA
BUBBY
DEPASSER
PUPUPIPI

There’s one or two spots I may have mixed or confused, but unlike the early show’s set times this one only started a few minutes later, without much line-up changing that I recognized.

I could be wrong, if so correct my ignorance and message me.

PUPUPIPI

IMG_1839 copyA small technical barrier did not prevent the chaotic and weirdly vibrant sounds from erupting from Pupupipi.

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DEPASSER

IMG_1842 copyOne of many locals I did not know, Vancouver’s industrial noise Depasser made a strong impression.

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BUBBY

IMG_1860 copyThe elusive Bubby was one I couldn’t forget from VNF IV and that is absolutely the case for this year as well. Different garb, same harsh electronic ferocity.

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MOLENA

IMG_1876 copyReturning this year Molena scraped chains and bred feedback into another unforgettable set.

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K.M. TOEPFER

IMG_1881 copyOriginally from Germany, residing in Canada, K.M. Toepfer brought a great deal of tumult with his performance, stuttered and agitated.

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RDC

IMG_1901 copyAnother out-of-towner but still residing within Canada, Montreal’s RDC churned out another surprising dark industrial hymn.

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SISTRENATUS

IMG_1914 copyLoved his performance last year, this year is no different in that regard. Sistrenatus brought another powerful death industrial collapse.

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POISON WAVE

IMG_1928 copyApparently Poison Wave  from Alberta had to cancel last year. This year that was not so. His was one of the more peculiar of the night, a great dose of samples running wild amongst the haze and throbbing.

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WORKER

IMG_1960 copyThe other half of Ahna among other projects, Worker once again let sparks fly and a noxious cacophony began mounting. Always a sick performance.

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THE RITA

IMG_1999 copyAnother repeat and much to my liking. The Rita’s set continued the theme so familiar, the sampling here as intense as ever especially once disturbed, interrupted, malformed and violated.

Certainly a favorite this year, I wanted to pick up some of the new stuff but had limited funds unfortunately.

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RUSALKA

Another favorite last year and hard to track down outside of live sets. This year I decided to record Rusalka’s set, it’s the only set I didn’t get shots of this year. Her set was inescapable, getting particularly heavy in the middle. One of the nights performances I enjoyed most. Check it out.

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GRIEFER

IMG_2004 copyAlways enthralling is Victoria’s Griefer. His set was very short, the shortest I’ve encountered yet. Despite this in that span of time, incorporating the members of Night Tide and Rusalka to sustain elements of his noise, he created an alarming atmosphere.

I didn’t film the more ominous shouted intro, I was enjoying it, but I did get the final three minutes when it ramps up big time.

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XIPHOID DEMENTIA

IMG_2011 copyStill more different was Xiphoid Dementia from Seattle. At points it was much further towards electronic ambiance (nearly music) but circles the industrial landscape as well.

Long set, impressive visuals blanketing the stage, a great performance.

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FLAT GREY

IMG_2019 copyB.C. transplant from Montreal, Flat Grey got aggressive in this one, making the now singular speaker barely a minor inconvenience. Crushing.

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GORDON ASHWORTH

IMG_2032 copyThe final performance was another Oregon noise veteran Gordon Ashworth (also of Concern, Oscillating Innards, and Knelt Rote). As a solo act using several house speakers and frustrated energy, crumpled cans and knives, it was an excellent end note to the night, particularly towards the final more minimal minutes.

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That’s it for this year. Until the next one.

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