Thursday, 11 December 2008

ATP: The Nightmare Before Christmas 08

Review for The Fly

Butlins Minehead might not seem like the most obvious place for a Mike Patton curated festival of leftfield metal, hip-hop and electronica, but the mismatched collection of arcades, theme bars, fast food joints and terraced chalets proves an oddly fitting environment for this Christmas All Tomorrow’s Parties festival.

Detroit's Dirtbombs have an early evening slot in the vast main hall that doesn't quite suit their explosive, authentic garage-rock style, but they still proceed to belt out an accomplished show, complete with two drummers and some awesome guitar-humping solo heroics from their iconic frontman Mick Collins.

Stockhausen's Kontakte is a mammoth experimental piece that encompasses tape loops, gongs, piano, bells, percussion and countless other instruments and gizmos. Four sets of speakers surround the silent audience, sending sparse sounds skittering around the room; disorientating and brilliant.

The Melvins

The Locust have, if anything, mellowed out slightly – their seminal apoplectic grindcore outbursts now come with ace prog interludes too. The Melvins’ counterintuitive timing shifts, two drummers, and endless sludgy riffing reveals their full range across the course of their hour of virtuosic metal filth. Iceland’s Ghostigital fuse effects-laden drum patterns with oddball MCing from ex-Sugarcubes frontman Einar Örn and discordant trumpet blasts from his adolescent son Kaktus.

Dälek are a progressive hip-hop outfit on Mike Patton's Ipecac label, and the highlight of my weekend. They fuse languid beats with pulsing basslines and waves of atmospheric lap steel guitar, building slowly and purposefully until the atmosphere is electrified with swathes of sound. Dälek are a real original - unstoppable and intense. LISTEN

Mike Patton’s rogue supergroup Fantomas combine spazzy grindcore segments with creepy renditions of film soundtracks, weirdo funk and wonky pop. It’s a self consciously mind-bending musical concoction that bears more than a little resemblance to the construction of Patton’s challenging and unforgettable ATP bill.

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