MARK FRANCOMBE Musician, Filmmaker, Game-designer & Kipple-monger

Stots : Lukas Simonis

Does anyone here remember Ron Gysin? Or that really obscure and somewhat silly stuff on Umma Gumma?

Stots begins just like that, lots of ghoulish voices, groaning, growling, grumbling and having lots of fun bee booing into an echo machine. There is a bit of Hugo Ball Dadaism here… which would be cool… or maybe Simonis is influenced by fellow Dutch man, Jaap Blonk’s ranted gurgling? The field recordings, glitch and multi levels of odd noises are neither composed, organised or improvised, just a hotch potch of overlapping tracks and it all seems a bit of a mess. However, by track 3 Dalver, things do start to come together as lo fi drones are layered with radio sounds, abused guitars, drills and bubbles.

There are some great atmospheres here, Begoulesj for example starts with clickety clicking in a large warehouse as boulders are dropped. Lorries are braking nearby and amid fluttery backwards sounds, a thumb piano provides melodic elements. On Baljisrool, space station guitar, almost Arabic in its tones, is accompanied by the sounds of watery footsteps.

and… well its all like this… mixtures of bits and pieces, all jumbled, cut up, chewed up, spat out, burned, printed and sold. Some of it’s pretty good even if I was put off a bit by the zaniness of the first tracks but after repeated listening Lukas Simonis has grabbed my attention. By my third listen for example, I realise how much of this is actually “prepared guitar”. quite a lot of the effects and sounds that I put down to being noise or field recording are actually quite subtley played and mis-played from an electric guitar, recorded pretty open across a room, which gives it a really live and sharp edge. I also discover, more by accident than design, that playing the tracks in reverse order is much more appealing to my ears. Which, when you think about it makes perfect sense because Stots backwards is… well?… stotS

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