The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


tQ Presents: Nik Void & Klara Lewis
The Quietus , September 26th, 2014 08:56

Factory Floor & Carter Tutti Void's Nik to play alongside Klara Lewis at Birthdays this November

The Quietus is pleased to announce that the next in our occasional but always diverting live music outings will be a night of electronic music from Nik Void and Klara Lewis on Monday November 3rd at London's Funktion One-equipped Birthdays venue (tickets here) with Charles Poulet, live engineer for Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, Liars etc, on the desk. We recently saw Void play at the Wysing Festival at the excellent Wysing Art Centre in rural Cambridgeshire. In front of an screen featuring an image of her guitar revolving on a screen Void played a set of music that emerged from abstract sounds before wandering towards the dancefloor. Our reviewer described it as a "bone slicing" set, adding "as the dark minimal noise filled the room, brought forth as a bow on guitar added new layers of abyssal sound, a pixelated projection of a guitar lacking strings revolved as though dead on a slab. This is the future, and it is intense." Nik Void says "My performance is based around re engaging with guitar, using extended techniques and electronics."

It comes at the end of a fruitful and busy year for Void, not least in the recent rapturously received return of Carter Tutti Void, as reviewed by Rory Gibb here. With Factory Floor she's worked with the artist Haroon Mirza as part of a residency on the volcanic island of Stromboli, which was followed by two sets in the rather diverse venues of London's Fabric nightclub and The Serpentine Gallery. The fruits of this collaboration will be released by Factory Floor in the near future before the group head over to Australia for a tour this December. You can listen to Nik Void's O Genesis single 'Gold E' here. The day after the Quietus gig, on November 4th, Nik Void will be appearing on a panel with the title Sound Synthesis and the Female Musician for the East London Fawcett Group, you can get tickets for that here.

We're also very pleased to welcome from across the North Sea Klara Lewis. The Swedish musician recently released ETT via the ever excellent Editions Mego label. Reviewing the record earlier this year, Joseph Burnett wrote "There is something almost scientific at play on this, one of the most startling albums to have seen the light in this first half of 2014. Klara Lewis may be a newcomer to Editions Mego's much-vaunted stable of electronic craftspeople, but Ett is the work of a gifted and thoughtful sound sculptress, who combines found sounds, field recordings and electronic textures to create beguiling and resonant works that operate on all manner of levels, and in which individual sounds are dissolved of context to create a fresh subliminal narrative."

For more on an early incarnation of what to expect, see our review from Wire's DRILL:LONDON Festival in 2013 by Matthew Foster: "Klara Lewis hides the machinery she's playing in a kind of light-box, and has torches attached to her hands. I wish more musicians had torch-hands. Everything you hear tonight, every beat, every flutter, every scrape, stems from field recordings. I'm convinced there's a warm synth pad at play towards the end and I have to check. I am slapped down; it really is all found sound.

"Listening to Klara, I'm reminded of Jonathan Meades' argument about places being the 'greatest of free shows'. There's something thrilling about music made from mundane, real-world sounds, giving life to the idea that the most interesting stuff is actually all around us if we pay a bit of attention. Watching her hands from the side of the light-box, you can see the fingers manipulating recordings to tease out hidden rhythms, chopping up and altering what would have passed most of us by, picking out secret patterns with her fingertips.

"The set evokes the giddy, slightly nightmarish thrill of getting lost in a city you thought you knew like the back of your hand; there’s familiarity and strangeness all at the same time. The tail end of the set nudges at conventional dance and the feet start to tap, though at some points you wonder how much you're actually hearing and how much your mind is filling is, such is its slightness. Teasingly, just as we're getting comfortable, Klara slams shut her laptop before the noise has a chance to properly dissipate."