As the dark draws in, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting bill than the St. John Sessions and Thirty Three Thirty Three’s swansong for the year on Saturday 5th December, which sees three influential artists in the experimental world stepping up.
Topping the bill is Faust, with two founding members, Zappi Diermaier and Jean-Hervé Peron, still performing to this day. Faust remain one of the most storied artists of the fabled German set of the early 1970s, though their avant-garde sensibilities were not entirely rooted in the motorik sound that came to be termed ‘Krautrock’. Their unassailable (and, hilariously, major label-funded) run in the first stage of their career produced some truly visionary works, IV and The Faust Tapes amongst them; following a 15-year haitus, the group have kept busy with numerous LPs and collaborations – including Tony Conrad, Stereolab, and Nurse With Wound.
Steven Stapleton’s creature Nurse With Wound are arguably the only act on the planet who could drown out My Bloody Valentine when at full throttle. Stapleton’s rare ear for the malleability and underlying menace of sound leads him to draw on, and indeed fuck with, everything to make up his gnarled, ruptured compositions: from unnerving cabaret to decomposing tape loop experiments. With over a half-century of full releases to his name since the 80s, Stapleton has yet to surrender his bloody-minded dedication to the surreal and the savage.
Then there’s William Bennett, aka notorious noisenik and ‘power electronics’ pioneer Whitehouse. Bennett’s increasing fascination with African percussion and Haitian voodoo resulted in the Cut Hands moniker; that provocative streak and predilection for force are channeled into a (vaguely) more beat-driven vehicle, abetted by eye-popping artwork as usual. Equally as likely to be found on bills with Godflesh as Andy Stott, he is a clear forefather to the likes of Powell, Demdike Stare, and the entire Blackest Ever Black stable, with whom he now releases.
Bringing a combined 100+ years of performance between them, the final concert of 2015 within St. Johns-at-Hackney Church is a genuine coup. Don’t miss out.