Monday, 16 July 2012

Canned Music. Now Then Manchester Presents, feat. (murmur) & Raikes Parade @ Antwerp Mansion Festival, Saturday 14th July 2012

The last time I entered these premises it was by traipsing through an overgrown garden littered with empty beer crates and then climbing over a fence. All done under the hours of darkness. The main area in the building comprised of a large, dust filled, poorly lit room where the artists performed.

This time the approach is in bright sunlight and along a path of sorts, though there appears more beer detritus than last and a temporary BBQ stall has been set up. The vast size of the premises is now apparent. The access door to the inside is more of a challenge as it has been painted to form part of mural that extends from the ground floor up to the roof. The location has always been a ‘work in progress’ type of development and the owners / users have now managed to repair another section of the roof, allowing an upstairs toilets room to be created. The layer of dust has increased in depth.

The reason for the visit is that the venue has been hosting a three day musical festival and today is the middle day. This section comprises of a series of solo performers, organised by Now Then Manchester, that utilise electronics to develop their tastes.

First up is (MURMUR), aka Rick Hartley, who has previously appeared as one half of Bug & Leaf. As the warm, pulsating beats grow and fill the room, there’s a constant stream of musicians walking in front of the raised stage to collect their instruments that were used the previous day. Putting this visual disruption to one side, the air starts to fill with Japanese style chimes and ethereal notes. Layers of ska beats are then mixed in as the morphing of the different strands into something new and attractive continues.
A more robust and aggressive product is displayed by Raikes Parade. Hunched over his decks, Andy Blundell, who has worked as a soundman for GNOD, unleashes an explosion of noise. The sound bounces out, hits the wall and slides down. Those present feel the beats flow though the room and eventually their resistance to move and sway along begins to crumble, although it’s not quite an outbreak of dancing. The recent sound proofing (i.e. bricking up the windows) is put to the test, but those outside sampling a few rare rays of summer sun are still able to sample the intensity whilst partaking in the barbecue.

Words & Photography: Ged Camera

The next Now Then Manchester gig sees an audio-visual show with Disney's timeless feat of imagination, Fantasia, remixed in a live headlining performance by experimental band TheBrokenDoor. Special guest Paul Green will support by adding his ambient electronica to an edit of Gaspar NoƩ's cult hallucinatory classic Enter The Void. All at Dulcimer bar in Chorlton on Sunday 22nd July.

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