The Psychogeographical Commission - The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow, Sat 8 Feb 2014
- Matt Evans
- 18 February 2014
An atmospheric ambient/soundtrack/electronica performance, with support from Security and (a is to b)
Rich with history, but regularly filled with challenging art, the Old Hairdresser’s is an ideal setting in which to bring together old and new in startling ways. Glasgow duo (a is to b) do so by juxtaposing nihilistic, tungsten-hard electronic beats with breathy, languid Billie Holiday-isms. Their atmospheric, imaginative set includes an abstracted version of Bauhaus’s ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and ends in an atypically upbeat electropop banger.
The debut manifestation of Security offers another thrilling clash between technology and the organism. Vocalist P6, ex of DeSalvo and Stretchheads, adds feral noise-rock throat and an extremely intimidating but mischievous presence to Joe Ahmed’s electro-industrial tanzmusik (dance music), resulting in an astounding, implacable and furious psycho-sexual juggernaut.
Given its blood-soaked, plague-ridden history, London’s Whitechapel–Shoreditch–Limehouse triangle is a potent spiritual locus for psychogeography – and therefore a natural subject for the attentions of the Psychogeographical Commission. Tonight’s performance is based around the 1979 Jack the Ripper-meets-Sherlock Holmes movie Murder By Decree, recontextualised into a loose association of harrowing imagery. Strikingly, the visuals join the dots between the Ripper’s crimes, carving a pentagram into a map of 19th-century London. Stuart Silver and Andy Hokano’s accompaniment is powerfully atmospheric, moving from looming horror to mournful aftermath via delicate guitar lines, slashing sounds and unsettling noise produced by a wooden box bristled with wires.