Saturday, 30 November 2013

Vessels @ Sound Control, 07.11.13

Overcoming the winter sickness that seems to have been enveloping the North West in recent months, From the Kites of San Quentin presented their trademark, harmonious yet unnerving juxtaposition of sounds. With their sub-bass rattling all fixtures and fittings of Sound Control, they fuse end of the world rave sirens with the delicately manipulated vocals of Alison Carney.

There is an undeniable humanism to their music and a ludicrous level of mechanical dexterity from their primary beat-maker Blood Boy. That said, there’s plenty of headroom for progression for a band that could perhaps progress their sound even further and benefit from stripping things back to their bare minimum. Following a few singles and EPs, From the Kites of San Quentin have a debut LP due out on the new Victoria Warehouse Records imprint next year, so we’ll find out what direction their sound takes for that.

Having previously become acquainted with the music of Vessels through their superb cover of Nathan Fake’s ‘The Sky Was Pink’, their evolution from a synthesized post-rock ensemble to something resembling a live, contemporary techno sound was confirmed when faced with a back line resembling the deck of the Starship Enterprise, truly a synthesiser enthusiast’s wet dream. Shades of early Vitalic and Modeselektor were at times present, but Vessels really come into their own when they exceed all contemporary influences, like a house band on Mars riffing out alien love songs.

In a world where techno producers seem to spend more and more of their lives striving for the most organic, human principles of sound, Vessels have superbly embodied these elements of live bass, drums and shakers into their performance with ease and poise, and for this reason they remain as exciting a live prospect as you will come across, this year or next.

Words: Dan Coultas

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