Strobes release show at Birthdays

Strobes release show at Birthdays Folder

(Wednesday) November 02, 2016 - 20:00

Birthdays Dalston - 33-35 Stoke Newington Road (Map)

74 people attended

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Strobes: “Brokespeak” Album Launch
Full line-up TBA

A sonic triangle of electrified polyrhythms, spaced-out synth jams and off-kilter beats. Is how three-piece Strobes attempt to describe their occasionally indescribable debut album.

Formed centrally around the work of keyboardist Dan Nicholls, he is further joined by drummer Joshua Blackmore (who has previously played with the likes of Squarepusher) and guitar and synth man Matt Calvert (Three Trapped Tigers, Heritage Orchestra). Between the three of them they have created, via their debut release Brokespeak, an album that eschews genre and feels free from time-stamps. They are an intensely high-octane group that fizzle with frantic tempos and intricate complexities, yet despite all their bubbling energy and raging intensity also retain an accessibility through fluid grooves and an engaging sense of melodic intuition. It’s an approach that Nicholls’ feels the group adopted almost intentionally, “Our music seems to have naturally moved towards making something simple out of something complex – whether it be a lop-sided beat which is somehow danceable, a combination of patterns that form a melody, or improvisations where the instruments seem to blend into each other.”

The resulting record is one that feels like a triumph in collaboration, of three people working together weaving in and out of one another and allowing the space, tone and rhythms that come from that to rise naturally. Like a twisted jigsaw puzzle, the group interlock through Nicholls’ agile and sophisticated keyboard and bass synth work, Blackmore’s dizzying and immersive beats and Calvert’s riffs that shift from crunching noise to ecstatic grooves.

The concoction of this collaboration and the end album at times feels hectic and jittery, a scattered assault of slightly math-rock explorations, soaring post-rock guitars, grooving African rhythms and often-glitchy yet pulverising electronics. Yet for all it's seeming restlessness, it contains a feeling of fluidity and restraint that adds a further sense of depth and cohesion to the record; it's additional jazz tinge making the finished album sound like a record one would not be surprised to find being put out on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label. Evading convention has been the route to arriving at this juncture, Calvert says, We often find ourselves scrapping anything that seems clichéd, instead trying to find a sound or atmosphere which is engaging despite its weirdness.

Uniqueness has been at the core of this trio’s explorations leading up to this record and even the album’s title feels emblematic of the idiosyncratic output and approach of the band, as Nicholls points out. The title for me encapsulates this concept of odd-sounding rhythms and melodies – like a broken language – which make sense in it's own way. Wonky, off-kilter, a little foreign sounding.

Ultimately, originality is the fundamental essence of what Strobes are doing here. In an attempt to evade or demolish anything resembling singular genre exploration they have created their own mutant being of a sound that traverses sounds, styles and eras. One that has to be heard to be experienced and fully understood.

Weds November 2nd @ Birthdays
33-35 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 8BJ
Doors 8:00pm | FREE ENTRY | 18 +


Tickets available on:

(Wednesday) November 02, 2016

Strobes release show at Birthdays

Birthdays Dalston 33-35 Stoke Newington Road London, United Kingdom

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