Ekca Liena’s project Plurals is a five-piece made up of Mr. Ekca Liena (Daniel Mackenzie), with Duncan Harrison, Dave Hamilton Smith, Mike Neave + Pete Dodd.
The quintet explore the art of drone with multiple players. In the charm and charisma department, few points are awarded, with five backs sitting on the floor amid hardware and wires, two guitars and one furry head yowling into a mike. There were times when this simply did not work, when too many colours swirled around and ended up as a brown muddy mess and I really had no idea what was supposed to be happening. But there were also moments when it did work, when the many tiny drone elements merged into a spectacular coherent picture rather like a satellite image of night cities pinpricking the globe.
A-Sun Amissa is Leeds trio, Richard Knox and Angela Chan (from Glissando) and Owen Pegg. Richard and Owen play treated guitars with Angela’s violin soared cleanly above. Their work is filmic and emotional, a white gull soars over the ocean, spindrift scutters in an arctic wind, you walk alone in a blanket of grief. I was reminded of the considered space of Johann Johannsson’s ‘And in the endless pause there came the sound of bees’.
Aidan Baker curled over a small matt black guitar behind a table of “stuff”. His work is introspective, tense, treading the border of dread and excitement.
When you are falling asleep your thought processes start to drift, seeming still logical. On the odd occasion when you jerk back awake, you are suddenly aware of the unreality of these half-dreams. Baker treads this world and holds it alive. I don’t know how.
In one part a thousand tiny paws marching, but mostly, there are no pictures, and you don’t want to watch or even look up much. Just a thousand yard stare. An icy withdrawal. Last time I heard such tension was at the Murcof Futuresonic gig in 2009.
Only this is very undramatic small stuff and the more powerful for it. It is the small terrors that truly bite.
Plurals have a vinyl about to be released.
Ekca Liena’s Slow Music for Rapid Eye Movement (Dead Pilot 2011) contains an Aidan Baker remix.
Aidan Baker has been working prolifically since 2003