Live At Sonic City by The New Blockaders

THE NEW BLOCKADERS Live At Sonic City - Lo res album cover for web

The New Blockaders | Live At Sonic City
Cold Spring (CD+DVD/DL)

This forty minute long live performance by The New Blockaders opens with a melodic front-facing piano work that exists in the space between melancholy and mechanical, and you can simply sense that the screws are slowly coming undone. And that’s exactly what pervades the space after about four minutes, it’s a chaotic ballroom blitz with noise galore, tables overturned and what sounds like people screaming from the rafters and at a distance. The listener is poised at the center of a colossal and fervent clatterdom. As a ‘band’ The New Blockaders has long been at it, embracing Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noise manifesto (1913) and with countless releases since the early 80s, and the underground would not be the same without his imprint.


AGILE + AGGRESSIVE: As metallic parts and pieces are strewn across the room at tornado-like speeds, you may imagine yourself at the eye of this utter ruckus that continuously circulates round and round. The tension is thick, the clang is real, and the intermittent feedback scaled back for the most part. It’s like every gizmo and toolbox gadget are on the fly and the fly-on-the-wall (so to speak) is acting as a form of surveillance capturing the industrial clash from above. This is pure noise of invention, never seems too brutal to walk away from, instead finds ways of moderating the volume and veracity of its nature, moving forward in its bombastic circumstance without looking back.It grows in scale, with the additional of obliterated voice samples and an internal fire that rages on implosion.

The freeform style of Live At Sonic City gives this one its cache, it’s far less of one of those in-situ improv sessions and more like an all out performance art assault on the senses. And after a careening collision of distortion and sullied cadences, they come in for a landing in the final three minutes in the same way they entered, with a sweet tinkling of the ivories to lull the ear back to a new normal. But the active listener will be left with an uncertain ringing in the ear.

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