Japanese analogue electronic noise artist Phew headlined a two-night residency with a second night supported by Sunroof and The Raincoats’ Ana da Silva. Sunroof consisting of Mute records founder Daniel Miller and partner Gareth Jones began the night on their Eurorack modular synths, which saw them manually manipulating multiple CV patch cables to produce electronic sound loops and frequencies, with the pair having released two volumes of their recorded compositions over the last two years. The live version of their sound is improvisational, filled with dusty beats and twitches that sound like being inside a computer.

Their second live track had more ambience with propulsive electric streams which became drops of electronic taps against a magical, shimmering background and gongs. For the final track of their set, the pair performed a piece with a series of echoing wirey and sonar beats, finishing with fizzy crackles and rips simmering down to bubbling pops.

The Raincoats’ Ana da Silva was next on support having produced her studio albums, ‘ahhh’ and ‘Island’, with headliner Phew, and did a solo set on guitar and vocals but which was unfortunately plagued with sound issues. She stated that in 1979, she was advised by Daniel Miller to buy a Sony tape recorder during The Raincoats’ early days and played a selection of solo tracks beginning on ‘Running in the Rain’ with backing tracks used against her guitar playing, then moving onto ‘Friend’ and ‘You’re a Million’, the latter with frantic guitar. She included more electronically fused tracks such as ‘In Awe of a Painting’, ending her set on a cover of The Raincoats’ highly charged ‘I Keep Walking’, with intense guitar strokes.

Japanese artist Phew, having collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Conny Plank, members of Can and Einstürzende Neubauten, then headlined the evening with her experimental one-piece noise track with laser effects, white noise, robotic and disembodied vocals, which then became bleeps and howling wind ambience haunted by a Middle Eastern oriental background and other sound effects. She operated analogue synthesiser controls and performed live vocals. A trance-like rhythm developed with ticking clock sounds and squeaks, then tribal beats and percussion before the track returned to pure white noise that then launched itself, sounding like a 747 taking off and bringing her mind blowing hour-long set to a close.

18/10/23: Phew + Ana da Silva + Sunroof @ Cafe Oto, London.

Photos © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.