03 December 2016

Hexagon Trail, Dälek and Radian at the Fat Out Burrow, Islington Mill, Manchester, 27th Nov 2016

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I love Fat Out events. Amazing venue, eclectic and experimental artists, friendly vibe and great sound. I love Fat Out events even more when one of my favourite artists is on the bill. Like tonight. Dälek are the band in question, who pretty much won me over when I first saw them quite a few years back at Supersonic Festival in Birmingham. The insane amount of sub bass, noisy soundscapes, huge beats and the aggressive hip hop core hooked me instantly. Tonight they are one of three acts on the bill, all worthy of space in this review.

Proceedings were launched by Hexagon Trail. Impressive in sonic scope, he offered up harsh four to the floor interwoven with arrhythmic noise, chilled vibes and mangled chiptune in equal doses. When vocals were present, they were ugly and abrasive, but this is not a criticism, just an observation. This sort of art would fit finely on labels such as Ant-Zen or Ad Noiseam.

dalekThe apple of my ears Dälek landed next. Sounding as huge as ever, the three piece are animated and frenzied as the tension is ramped up and the harsh hip hop driven home with a bass heavy sledgehammer. Numbers were culled from their entire career, including my personal favourite Eyues To Form Shadows and some choice cuts from the recent Asphalt for Eden. Densely layered, atmospheric and at the same time weighty, Dälek are pretty much unique in the current music world and I remain as impressed by them now as I was upon first experiencing their live show.

I could easily have departed the venue with my audio appetites sated, but gladly I remained to witness Vienna’s Radian. This three piece or guitars, bass and drums provided so much more than their basic instrument roles would suggest. The guitars were mangled, glitched and remoulded by a table top of boxes and wires, the drums were artfully percussive and hugely creative and the bass just glued it all together. I can only call to mind a potent mix of Three Trapped Tigers, Aphex Twin, Jesu and Einsturzende Neubauten as unlikey ingredients in this melting pot of noise. This sounds interesting enough but it is the sheer range of dynamics that make Radian stay in the memory long after they have left the stage. The quiet/loud dynamic is lent further impact by an element I can only describe as soft/hard. Guitars shimmer in a quite lovely way over chiming percussion before bludgeoning noise pours for, sometimes just for an instant. Melodic and brutal, and entirely engaging. Highly recommended.

Watch out for an interview with Dälek airing soon on Midlands Metalheads.

Watch the Dälek set here courtesy of IMPA TV


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