Gig reviews

Somadrone and Twinkranes (live in Dublin)

Dec 19

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Saturday, December 19, 2009  RssIcon

Somadrone and Twinkranes (live in Mill Street Studios, Dublin)

somadroneReview Snapshot: Twinkranes fused frenetic drumming and looped bass, while Somadrone saturated the studios with a luminosity of noise, discord and ambient musings. A night I won't be forgetting any time soon.

The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10

Full Review:
I like beards. When I walked around Mill Street Studios last night, I noticed it held a bearded-population of roughly 62.5%. This was going to be a good night.

And what a venue. Stooping in through a small stable door, we were greeted by a candle-lit walkway leading into the two rooms of the studios. This clandestine venue made me feel special – while everyone else was dancing to The Prodigy, I was sipping a can of Preszky and sitting in front of a white petal net. There were couches and fairy lights and a lamp that looked like it was made out of coconut and mushrooms.

This was the perfect setting for experimental rockers Twinkranes, who began decisively with a blend of electronica and a strong math-rock feel. Their use of organ reminded me of the 60s, which made me think of Andy Warhol and it was then that I realised how the group would have been the perfect accompaniment for a Warhol party. This is a band that works hard. The drummer was frantic and his intense stare of concentration was spellbinding. What a machine. ‘The Charmer’ was the standout track that resonated throughout the studio. Modern, exhilarating, and laced with moments of pleasant disease.

Somadrone took to the stage and at this stage the atmosphere in the studios had intensified. Expectations were fulfilled as Neil et al showered the venue with otherworldly sounds that ranged from controlled and tempered to explosive and chaotic. This musical project has been compared to Brian Eno and rightly so, but the association is only skin-deep. Somadrone draws from a wide range of influences, each giving it an energy that is incisive, varied and fervent.

The only criticism I have of this wonderfully unique event is that sections of Somadrone’s set would have been better suited to a bit of a sit down, or even a lie down. Granted, at that stage the cans were taking effect. But when I listen to Fuzzing Away to a Whisper’s second CD, Let’s Depart, I am usually relaxing rather than head-nodding. Next time, I’ll look for the couch.

I was once told, ‘A man with a beard has something to hide.’ Well maybe, just maybe, he is hiding the talents of Somadrone’s Neil O’Connor, who created a glowing atmosphere that evolved into a deafening climax. Fin.

Niamh Madden

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