Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer / Ninni Morgia & Silvia Kastel (4 stars)

The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, Mon 18 Apr 2011

Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer / Ninni Morgia & Silvia Kastel

Photo: Euan Currie

Two couples stand side by side in a projected snapshot at the back of the stage. The fashions are retro, the pose casually studied somewhere between a 1970s terrorist cell and the anti-Abba. In the flesh, a blonde woman is slumped on all fours on the floor, babbling profane gibberish in free-associative tongues into a microphone. Her partner behind her, a dark-haired man, manipulates an old-fashioned cassette recorder. Further back, a dark-haired woman stands behind a vintage Korg synth unleashing shards of white noise into the ether. The small man next to her scrapes out minimal abstractions from his electric guitar, gradually steering things into full-on metal.

These two noise duos playing together in a German/Italian avant provocateur supergroup alliance are closer to live art in their sonic extrapolations. Together they conjure up the ghosts of Throbbing Gristle by way of Popol Vuh and Diamanda Galas all the way through to Les Georges Leningrad's infantile dada in this most beguilingly insular of spectral confrontations.

Kommissar Hjuler und Mama Baer live

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