Giant Tank Remedial Social (4 stars)

Giant Tank Remedial Social

SunBear Gallery, Edinburgh, Mon 1 Nov 2010

The idea behind this new venture from Edinburgh’s longest serving promoters of experimental sounds, Giant Tank, is to provide an informal, semi-regular speakeasy for the burgeoning low-key scene that’s somewhere between a bar, a gig and a ‘happening’. With the enforced closure of the Roxy/Forest/Embassy due to Edinburgh University Settlement’s spectacular financial problems, such independent outlets are crucial.

The reality is a loose-knit three-act show, falling somewhere between the original Dadaist Cabaret Voltaire and 70s TV cabaret The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, with Red Death’s assault on a vintage Wasp synthesiser and Edinburgh duo Ash Reid and Graham Stewart, aka Scrim’s dual burst of analogue sound-bending punctuated by impromptu parish announcements by MC Ali Robertson.

The Gamecock’s Total Vermin label-connected Stuart Arnot and Nick Mitchell (pictured) play drum machines like typewriters while rewiring the sort of ancient Casio and Roland keyboards that invented club culture in a manner that puts them through a retro black hole of swirling, anti-rhythmic overload. By the end, all the machinery is slugging it out in a St Vitus’ dance marathon which, out of shape and out of time, is a technical knockout.

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