Lawrence English & Loscil / live in London

Spotlight about the hypnotic performance at Jazz Cafè

Jamie Macleod Bryden attends the Jazz Café to listen to sound pioneers Loscil and Lawrence English perform their collaborative album – “Colours of Air”.  He tells us about an immersive atmosphere generated by alternative music production and visual effects.
“You can feel just as much as you can hear” is the perfect synthesis of this performance, in which nature and sound emanate strong vibrations.

All is bathed in deep red. Pure light. An orb emerges like sunrise. An enveloping sound then evokes a gentle dawn. Simple, but with fizzing synths and shimmering keys that arpeggiate through. Next, we are underwater as it bubbles woozily. It feels like the start of life itself.

Nature comparisons are often overused when describing electronic music, but this set is so pure that it is the only comparison. It is elemental. Loscil has remarked upon this himself before. That his music exists on a spectrum that ranges from the natural to the industrial. “Colours of Air”, a collaboration with Lawrence English perfectly encapsulates that spectrum. Even in the way it was constructed, as it used a 132-year-old pipe organ that was then manipulated with electronics.

Loscil and Lawrence English take to the stage clad in black and bathed in light like 2 audio monks. Loscil favouring a simple utilitarian black shirt and English ensconced in a black futuristic jacket that masks the entire lower half of his face.

The set begins gently with “Cyan” and “Aqua”. It evokes the beauty and self-generative natural world with its accompanying sunrise backdrop. There is an ethereal synth punctuated by keys that sound like raindrops pattering. Audience in awe. They play with the ordering of the album. “Violet” follows with an insistent industrial synth flutter underpinned by a ringing gong and ascending keys.

A contrast of subtle menace with a reverberating soothing. It feels like nature duelling with the industrial. “Black” is ushered in with moody clouds behind them. It has a rising meditative quality where the nothing cleanses the audience, a vibrating synth that you can feel just as much as you can hear. As if standing before some awesome and ancient power source that hums. We are then plunged into the industrial pummel of “Magenta”. The spacious breath of earlier is now replaced with a buzzing rhythm that doesn’t relent. So powerful, it sounds like its sourced from electricity pylons. The backdrop replicates this with spinning spirals that even overlay the artists themselves. “Pink” closes the set. Still industrial but slower and even heavier. Like a steady low call like the horn this sound originated from but treated to sound as heavy as a slab, like a rumbling ship. It feels like Loscil and English have journeyed to some pure musical source from which this music emanates. Mined from a natural seam. The visual reinforces this, resembling a monolith like from 2001 Space Odyssey. An imposing black square behind which emanates pink light.

The audience have been taken to another plane of reality, from which they might not want to return. These followers usher out in a visibly altered and blissed out state. Loscil and English having crafted a set akin to a meditation. Felt as well as heard.

Lawrence English & Loscil / live in London

Credits:

Artists: Loscil aka Scott Morgan / @loscil
Lawrence English / @room40shoots
Words: Jamie Macleod Bryden / @jamiemacleodbryden
Editor: Maria Abramenko / @mariabramenko
Assistant: Annalisa Fabbrucci / @annalisa_fabbrucci

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