Date: Friday 29 & Saturday 30 November 2019
Location: Dublin Castle, Camden, 94 Parkway, NW1 8AN, London, UK
Prices: £12.50 - £24
A two day event bringing together a few of the artists Fourth Dimension Records has worked with in more recent years alongside a couple of others whose work is actively endorsed.
The same as the event at Cafe OTO in October 2018, there will be an exclusive release tied in with this available from the first day of the event onwards. This time round this will be a limited edition 10" featuring exclusive tracks from a few of the artists involved and a couple of others. Further details soon.
The two nights themselves will run as follows. Please note there are 100 early bird tickets available.
Friday 29, 19.30 - 23.30
Alternative TV (newer material/more experimental set)
DJ William Bennett
Early bird 2-day ticket (100 limit): £20
2-day ticket: £24.00
Single day (advanced booking): £12.50
Single day (on door): £15
About time there was a book on this group and its founder (watch this space!). Most, however, know that Mark Perry, the man behind the legendary Sniffin' Glue fanzine, formed the group either due to or as a response to punk in 1977. Since the debut 'How Much Longer' 7" released that very same year, Mark has remained the sole surviving original member and still highly motivated driving force. Not one to stand still, he has taken the group through a succession of lineup changes embarking on a wide spectrum of styles since then; including the blend of igneous rock bludgeon and amalgamation of stripped electronics that informs the fantastic 'Dark Places' 12" e.p. on Fourth Dimension from April 2018. Whilst awaiting the new album, Perry has overseen the reissue of 1979's 'Scars On Sunday' (on FD subsidiary Winter Hill Recordings and out in May 2019), plus the group are contributing a track to the limited edition 10" due to be released to coincide with the label event in November.
ATV will be once again in group mode (featuring Dave Morgan, Lee McFadden and Clive Giblin besides Mark Perry) at the label extravaganza at The Dublin Castle, playing two headline sets (the first of which promises to be dedicated to mostly newer and more experimental songs, the second of which will be based on The Image Has Cracked album) on both Friday 29th November and Saturday 30th November.
RECORD COLLECTOR said: "ATV's long-awaited 10th, Opposing Forces, suggests Perry's back in the game with a fresh sense of purpose. He's fronting an all-new five-man line-up (including ex-The Loft/Weather Prophets drummer Dave Morgan) and, for the most part, he sounds wholly reinvigorated. Accordingly, Opposing Forces presents a riveting programme for seasoned ATV watchers. The spiky, militant titular song quickly demonstrates that Perry and his latest charges are in the rudest of health; the lusty, swaggering French Girls and ballsy Hello New York are both unashamedly anthemic, and The Visitor's ghostly minimalism is genuinely eerie." (2016)
Founded in 1987 by Stephen Meixner and Jonathan Grieve, with Stephen J. Pomeroy joining in 1992, Contrastate boasts one of the richest experience pools among the groups of the post-industrial movement. Initially embedded firmly in the tradition of industrial music and physical confrontation through sound Contrastate did not cease to evolve and slowly moved away from extremes and towards more balanced, subtle compositions. Their current style on the recent releases: A Breeding Ground for Flies (2012 Dirter Promotions) and the live album No Eden Without Annihilation (2016 Tesco Organisation) are situated somewhere in the realm of the avant-garde variety of dark, ritual ambient music combined with elements of experimental noise. Their diverse musical heritage exhibits unique electronic manipulations combined with stentorian vocals embedded in a heavy, surreal industrial background. They have long abandoned any attempt to reproduce studio work live, new material is specifically written for their performances, combining live electronics, acoustic instruments, sound manipulation and performance art. Contrastate is indeed a prime example of experimentation in music. Those involved constantly feel the need to try out different ideas, different ways of recording and different ways to use instruments.
Contrastate also appear on the limited edition 10" on Fourth Dimension Records, released to coincide with the event.
TWO HEADED DOG said: "Contrastate follow up their studio album A Breeding Ground for Flies (DPROM 091CD, 2012) for Dirter Promotions with two brand new tracks. A sonic soundtrack to an apocalyptic world that is hypnotic, yet full of dynamic sounds and shifts. Their sound insinuates itself somewhere inside the dark ritual ambiance of the electronic avant-garde shot through with a vein of experimental noise and sarcophagic vocals strewn among industrial surrealism." ('True Believer' 7", 2016)
Trying to understand or explain the very name of this Yorkshire group to anybody when taking into account they already have songs about couch hunches, a goat bag and a grey scale quiche will always present a far tougher call than unravelling their music, despite the apparently disparate elements pulled together over the course of an album. Gad Whip have been operating for a few years now and have a string of mostly low-key releases behind them on cassette and suchlike. It was only in 2018 that the gears were greased a little more with the release of the Post Internet Blues LP on Germany's X-Mist label. This itself saw a CD reissue on Fourth Dimension Records in early 2019 expanded with four tracks from the now difficult to find 'In A Room' 12" (on Ever/Never) from 2017. From this point on the thick, dark and swollen skies forming a familiar blanket to the group's operations look like they’re firmly in reach as the work continues to get cranked into place, as galvanised by a limited edition 7", 'Ward 24', joint-released by Fourth Dimension and X-Mist in May 2019. Essentially bound to vocalist Pete Davies' semi-spoken psycho-rambled narratives, the music Gad Whip produce wavers keenly between scuffed garage punk, deconstructo blues and art-rock experimentation.
VITAL WEEKLY said: Gad Whip is a fairly straightforward, muscular/minimal rock band that plays loping, repetitive riffs for vocalist Pete Davies to speak his lyrics over. Davies' voice is front-and-centre on every song, but his low-key poetry recital can be tough going at times: "There go the monotone hands, held together with rubber bands/speaking of generation credit debt or something else to make you fret/An angel sneezed in my face/There's always someone on my case" (from "Puddle of Death"). He adheres to a rhyming cadence for most of these songs, sounding more like Anne Clark than Mark E. Smith. The content of Davies' lyrics is not particularly aggressive, confrontational or biting (he's not a sneering Jason Williamson or witty Atilla the Stockbroker), but what he does works with the music well enough. The opening song, "Red Shoes", gets perilously close to crunching metal (that's metal like Prong, not Hal Hutchinson), but the remainder of the album favours bass-led mid-tempo grooves and cleanly-recorded upfront drum patterns that, with a different vocalist, wouldn't sound out of place on mainstream radio or MTV. "Bad Terms" even has backup vocal harmonies, and the Bruce Anderson-esque guitar shimmer in the bridge of "Goat Bag" show a friendliness that ought to win over fans more into pub rock than post-punk. There is a synth player, Geoff Bolam, but for the most part, he only adds subtle shading to supplement the rhythm section. In other words, though Fourth Dimension is known for publishing some harsh and experimental electronics, Gad Whip are not that. Not at all. This music is surprisingly commercial sounding. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; hell, Fourth Dimension takes enough risks putting out uncompromising anti-social noise that they deserve to make some scratch with a record that could have mass appeal.
JFK has been Anthony Di Franco of Ramleh's long-running concern since the mid-1980s. Beginning, like so many of his contemporaries, by modestly cutting his teeth on the cassette network of the time, it soon became apparent that his often bass-heavy melding of sometimes savage textures and sonic overload possessed the same depth and prowess as the artists who'd doubtlessly inspired him. Since those days, his work has reached further and expanded to not only retain the power of the earlier releases, but also take the sometimes uneasy atmospherics into spaces perhaps more refined yet just as capable of evoking dystopian nightmares. Sometimes drawing as much from other forms of music, such as techno and electronica, Anthony now creates palettes of sound contemporaneous in nature which can still be brutal, unforgiving and crushing as huge slabs of bass or chunks of rhythmic devastation continue to bind them together. This is akin to Ramleh being stripped of their dark psychedelic overtones before being subjected to a thousand cuts and thrust onto the kinda dancefloor only the lonely and slightly insane would be seen on. Over the years, the work of JFK has long been supported by Fourth Dimension Records. Weapon Design, the latest album, first appeared on the label as a limited edition LP released in mid-2018. It was reissued on CD in April 2019.
COMPULSION ONLINE said: "Weapon Design is stark, punishing, clinical, incisive, in its rendering of beats, synths and noise. But it's the deft layering of electronics and noise and those unruly beats which help to make Weapon Design so compelling. Direct and unflinching, this is a mean record where everything is precision aimed to devastating effect." (Weapon Design LP, 2018)
Ramleh's Gary Mundy has been rather prolific in recent years with his solo Kleistwahr project. As with his main concern, there's a deep-seated interest in pushing the parameters where certain sonics can fall into a seismic vortex of sheer overload yet remain tethered to a knowing sensibility where greater power can be derived from simply holding back. Since the incredible This World Is Not My Home album in 2014, also on Fourth Dimension, Kleistwahr has embarked on a single-handed mission to not only take such possibilities as far as possible, but also reach inwards and rip out its core being in order to further attempt to make sense of its doubtlessly tarnished place in the universe. Although in and of itself often tempered to the point restraint assumes new, often disturbed (and disturbing) psychedelic or even filmic, properties, this music arrives like a spitting and foaming scream into the insanity of the void and the myriad challenges and questions it inexorably keeps hurling at us. Whereas Ramleh captures the sound of at least two people dealing as best they know how with the constantly rising rivers of shit around us, Kleistwahr is akin to one man having scaled a great height poking out of an infinite chasm and wondering why he bothered. This is uneasy listening sometimes rendered more palatable by dint of prowess rarely found in such realms. As with Ramleh themselves, Kleistwahr rarely plays live, meaning the appearance at this event is rather special.
VITAL WEEKLY said: "Ramleh's first tapes were some of the most psychotically ugly artifacts of the early 1980s cassette scene. If main instigator Gary Mundy was lazy (which emphatically is not), he might easily have churned out oodles of similar crowd-pleasing mammoth fuh over and over again and coasted along for decades. Instead, he led his band through fascinatingly disparate albums of cosmic psychedelia, rock sludge, intense electronic noise, and free-skree clatter. He also backed up new wave poet Anne Clark with the synth-pop duo A Cruel Memory, embraced ethereal indie-rock with the group Breathless and gothic machine chug with Toll. And yet, even with so many outlets for all the myriad directions he's felt compelled to explore, Mundy has had Kleistwahr in his back pocket to serve as a solo vehicle for whatever urge moves him at whatever moment. The latest Kleistwahr album, "Acceptance is Not Respect" (a provocative and ambiguous title, for sure), is a yet another confident leap sideways, a solo album of deep beauty that doesn't let up from its core of languorous sadness even/especially during its most aggressive passages..."
Brighton based Map 71 are a duo comprised of Andy Pyne (percussion, electronics) and Lisa Jayne (words, voice). Together they have been working away at an approach that draws from post-punk, krautrock, electronic music of all kinds and other such realms to create a refreshing environment where reflection, wry observations, the abstract and full immersion can develop. They have existed for a few years now and had several releases out both on their own Foolproof Projects imprint and via a couple of other labels. Fourth Dimension Records reissued their Gloriosa album in February 2018 and co-released (with Foolproof Projects) the wonderful Void Axis CD in October 2018. Since then, they have released the 'Ex Socialite Needs A New Invention' single (once again on Foolproof), have a new track included on the 10" for the event, and have commenced work on their next album.
COMPULSION ONLINE said: "Map 71 are about motion and emotion. The drumming and electronics provided by Andy Pyne provide the momentum to Lisa Jayne's words. Outside of Map 71, Lisa Jayne is a poet, and her words here may have evolved from poetry but within Map 71 they veer from sparse verse to social comment, magical tales to stream-of-consciousness lyrics. A stream of angst and agitation not seen since the anarcho-punk days of the eighties worms its way into the rhythm and voice of this Brighton based duo, which may account for the continual comparisons with contemporary political agitators Sleaford Mods. Our review of their previous release Gloriosa went further with references to Suicide and Z'EV and we probably should have mentioned the early albums of PiL, as the sound of Map 71 is strewn with influences from post-punk, industrial and improvisation. But they also sneak in influences from dance music into their electronics, even if it is turned upside down. Void Axis is perhaps less dark and stark than the Gloriosa, their previous release on Fourth Dimension which initially appeared as a cassette release before a hasty reissue on CD with additional archive tracks. Void Axis is their latest release of their current sound and it marks a further evolution featuring tracks that are more atmospheric and one that is even drumless, alongside their distinctive drum, electronic and vocal approach." (Void Axis, October 2018)
Splintered are a group who originally hailed from the Canterbury region of Kent, UK. They were founded in 1989 by Richard Johnson, Paul Wright, Paul Dudeney and James Machin, following several years of activity already, between them, in other groups. Over the next few years, they garnered attention via many records released on small international labels, two sessions for the BBC's John Peel Show, a further radio session for Holland's VPRO station, and many concerts in both the UK and mainland Europe, sometimes associated as part of a subculture of industrial and experimental groups in the UK, including Terminal Cheesecake, Ramleh, Loop and Godflesh, although Splintered despite sharing roots with these acts, always aimed to widen this palette with their continually evolving sound.
After the release of their first album, they were aided both live and on further recordings by Steve Pittis (later of Band Of Pain), Colin Bradley (Dual) and Steve Wright. The addition of these helped create a setting where electronics, analogue synths, samples and tabletop guitar played an equal part in a sound that was already intense, open to different ideas and instruments. In 1996 and 1997 they released a collaborative album with Germany's musique concrete/abstract electronics artist Ralf Wehowsky (formerly of P16.D4), produced another LP featuring two side long pieces also using piano and some source material by Jim O'Rourke, and had a 10" out on Steve Pittis' label that included two more subdued and atmospheric pieces.
In 1997 the main group disbanded but survived a European tour regardless via a lineup featuring Richard Johnson, Colin Bradley, Stuart Carter (ex-Heroin, Theme), Hasani Malik (ex-Theme, The Vitamin B12) and James Hodson (ex-Faust). Following this, due to the arrival of new ideas contrasting those of Splintered's, a new group, Theme, appeared (with Richard Johnson, Stuart and Hasani) and Splintered were put on hold.
Around 10 years later, the original Splintered members started mooting the idea of relaunching the group. The time felt right and everybody concerned felt positive. However, pragmatics intervened as the group lived in different parts of the UK and even in Poland, plus had numerous other commitments. In 2014, a label in Finland released a retrospective 2CD gathering unreleased material besides some otherwise only to be found on long out of print limited edition singles and suchlike. This compelled the core members to return to the idea of reactivating the group. This time around, beginning with rehearsals in late 2014, it was possible for everybody to commit to the idea and accordingly Splintered played a London show in April 2015 that brought together the original four-piece lineup. Later the same year, they played two shows in Poland, including one at the Wroclaw Industrial Festival, that also saw Stuart Carter in the ranks.
In 2017, Moraine was remastered and reissued with a couple of extra tracks featuring new material exclusive to the CD release.
In 2019, Splintered began work on new material, some of which should be premiered live. Originally due to play two shows in August the group had to cancel due to Richo's having a broken ankle, the group have now been added to the label event instead.
A rare live performance to promote the sixth album, Sacral Blood Warning, by the group originally founded by Stuart Carter and Richard Johnson in 2000, following both their involvement in the 1998 incarnation of Splintered for a European tour. Over the years, Theme have performed live sporadically, appearing mostly at festivals and playing a couple of short tours in Europe, the last of which featured them in a full band collaborative mode also including Faust's Jean-herve Peron on bass and Zsolt Sores (Inconsolable Ghost) on viola and electronics. Sacral Blood Warning pays witness to Theme once more returning to the core duo in order to expand on the largely brutal and less compromising approach their work has been imbued with since the very beginning. Partly designed as a reflection on modern times and all the inherent confusion as unrest appears to reign heavier than ever in an almost illusory realm, the music they are presently dedicated to explores notions of a self without moorings violently torn in several directions. Whilst it might seem deliberately dystopian for the most part, the rich layers of often organic sound reveal a gamut of other delphic shades besides the confusion. Initially inspired by all from sci-fi soundtracks to the confrontational assaults of Suicide and the ravaged voice of Robert Ashley, the short set planned for The Dublin Castle should be an intense one.