O Genesis & friends with Grumbling Fur + Elephant House + Luke Turner (Quietus) DJ set
O Genesis Recordings warmly invites you to a Yuletide residency at Servant Jazz Quarters. Featuring performances by Daniel O’Sullivan and his Dream Lion sextet, Richard Youngs, Alexander Tucker, Grumbling Fur, Elephant House and DJ sets from Tim Burgess, Nik Colk Void and The Quietus’ Luke Turner.
Somewhere, in the still-remaining quiet places of London, Grumbling Fur is at work. This being is the joint manifestation of Alexander Tucker and Daniel O’Sullivan which, since 2011, has birthed a series of increasingly focused albums of psychedelic pop. Their last album, Furfour, is a record that’s the sum of a dizzying array of creative projects by two key figures in an esoteric underground still thriving despite the pressures and pains of modern London. Furfour gradually emerged over three years of writing and recording at 147 Tower Gardens, the strange ivy-shrouded house that Tucker and O’Sullivan once called home. It’s an album whose warm heart is shaped, say Grumbling Fur, by birth, loss, friendship, death, those things that happen to us all. Yet as ever with this duo, it’s altered through fantasy and sci-fi, Carlos Castenada, shamanic mind warp, house ghosts and meditation.
O’Sullivan and Tucker create simple, hypnotically engaging songs from paradoxically freeform beginnings. Shaped by their long-standing shared musical affections, a polyglot music encompassing orchestrated poptones, collage, dub and beat-making as well as experimental and drone elements: touchtones might include Faust, Eno, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Moondog, Michael Nyman, Gate, Syd Barrett, Stereolab, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Lamonte Young and This Heat. Musical history is stuffed with male songwriting partnerships eventually driven apart by ego, but Grumbling Fur lift their music above the quotidian by making it about each other, a realisation that only by understanding our own human relationships can we comprehend how we might exist in part of something bigger. “The band is as much about our friendship and shared love of music, art, literature, comics, goddesses and gods,” they explain: “Joy, bliss, friendship and expression are the central keystone to the Fur universe.”
‘Pony Ride’ is the debut release from the London-based Sino-Greek psychedelic drone combo ELEPHANT HOUSE. It features digital drums and vocals from Shenggy Shen and melancholic synthesisers and guitars from Christos Fanaras. The track Shuidiao Getou is a cover of a traditional Chinese folk melody accompanying the Ci poem ‘Prelude to the Water Melody’ by Su Shi. The other track titles on ‘Pony Ride’ reference the traditional Mongolian coaxing rituals used to encourage female camels into accepting new-born calves. Coincidentally the duo are named after the cafe in Edinburgh that is the birth place of the Harry Potter series.
Shenggy Shen is the former drummer with China’s first all-female punk band Hang on the Box. She has since gone on to establish herself a noise artist, as a member of the avant-duo White (with Zhang Shou Wang from Carsick Cars) whose self-titled debut was produced by Blixa Bargeld. Her solo music has also been released on Noise Joy and Little Sound. Shenggy can also be found playing drums on the Masters 7″ ‘Rutger Hauer / Scatman Crothers’ also released on Adaadat.
Christos Fanaras follows in the Greek lineage of ambient pioneers, like Vangelis and Iasos only with an emphasis on deep dark brooding soundscapes and space-age melancholia. He has recorded and released 7 solo CD albums on his own imprint Down Is Up sometimes under the moniker Jack Shirt. Alongside M.K. Hauser, Christos is one half of the project Masters both having previously played together in the bandAgaskodo Teliverek. He also recently collaborated with Mark Wagner on his audio/visual drone project Chosen Frequencies. Christos also played bass and synth in Mothlite, drums in hypnagogic anti-band Temper Temper. He has shared the stage with musicians such as Alexander Tucker, Charles Hayward, Adam Bohman, Carla Bozulich, Alex Ward and Steve Noble and with bands such as Die Munch Machine, Grumbling Fur and Sunday Mourning.