The screening will feature eight short films and one feature made by the writer between 1982 and 1995, which move between genres, fusing cinematic styles of documentary, fiction and essay film, as well as performance art to create “a body of work that is as intellectually rigorous as it is sardonically funny.”
Forget Animal Collective and everything Paw Tracks –New Weird America has met its match. Born from an East London bin and a makeshift approach to noise making, UK experimental duo Gentle Friendly are just a small part of the art-school undercurrent bubbling up from London’s South.
They produce the kind of music that combines rampant sampling with a collage of digital and analogue sounds, pieced together from a foundation of conscious Ludditism and an almost self-destructive inefficiency. Their second LP Rrrrrrr is both a frenetic buzz and an ambient journey that just won’t let you decided whether you should relax or have a fit. The primal revelry of ‘Kiwi Change Cane’, with the bouncing rhythm and hyperactive Casio keyboard ends on reverb and starts on the dark trance of ‘Love Scenes’, offering a synthetic cadence disguised as the deep wild.
Needless to say, Gentle Friendly is uncategorisable, their history, impenetrable. Their bio lists the duo as Daniel Boyle and David Maurice one day, then David Maurice and Richard Manber the next. But don’t expect an explanation. Instead you’ll find interviews with Maurice running off about ‘breatharianism’ and Kurt Cobain conspiracy theories, while remaining as evasive and off the point about himself and his music as his thematic focus.
How then, in a world with so much information being readily available, is it so damn hard to work these guys out? Could it be that the facts can’t be trusted and everything is up for interpretation? They are, after all, part of a very regional scene that seems to exist both because of and in spite of the internet. Their label, Upset the Rhythm, is connected to a world of like-minded artists, who often eschew the trend of social networking for mass self-promotion, while using the very same tool to reach their specific audience.
Personalised ‘Google’ algorithms and target marketing has made people less a part of the collective consciousness some of us expected and more the singular eccentrics we thought we’d finally gotten rid of. And you don’t get much more eccentric than London, or Gentle Friendly. They rehearse at a venue dubbed ‘D££p House’ –bearing that quintessentially British symbol of the Commonwealth –in a place where you could go to the shops in your underwear without anyone noticing. Where it’s an embarrassment if you don’t cross the road at a red light or you can make some insanely singular music, while getting away with it.
aqnb: It seems a lot of bands from there very much identify with being a part of South East London. What is it about the area that differentiates you from, say, the North East? Continue reading Future Englishness