ORGAN THINGS: Built with the collected detritus of art fairs? Is Sex Swing’s menace ready to go?

Now this was kind of bothersome over at Frieze a couple of weeks back, all that infrastructure, all that wood, I did ask, I got no response, went and had a look at the end but the security really didn’t get it. Did rather looking like there was a forest or two of waste and in line the #365ArtDrops.  We did try to suggest that rather then see it head for landfill the material might be used in a more positive artistic way, the organisers of Frieze showed very little interest, well actually they showed no interest whatsoever. As for Moniker an d the rest, they only seem interested in interacting the sycophantic art blogs, the so called Art Conference is only open to the yes men and women so it would seem,  how dare we question any of it? Did invite the organiser of the Art Conference to come chat with us about it all, she wasn’t interested. So yes, the the collected detritus of art fairs, what does happen once the tents comes down and the pop up restaurants and designer chefs are packed away? Thrown away?

Ghost of a Dream, ‘When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project,’ interior view

Ghost of a Dream, ‘When the Smoke Clears: The Fair Housing Project,’ interior view

Over on American arts website Hyperallergic.com there’s a rather interesting piece headlined  Considering the Environmental Damage Done by Art Fairs –  “Built with the collected detritus of art fairs, The Fair Housing Project illustrates just how much good material is thrown away once the tents fall…. read on here via Hyperallergeric and then come back here and carry on with whatever it was you were carrying on with here. The piece makes for good reading as we recover from those pop up restaurants and the outrageous price of a cup of team and that selling of a painting for five million and the excess and the vastness of a world that really looked like it wasn’t in touch with anything that much outside of a world of their own…..

SEX SWING? The debut album is ready to go, are they going to live up to that early promise? Was it just another fleeting blast of something? They are an exciting band, those tastes from last year and those gigs, and now….

Sex Swing

Sex Swing

 

Sex Swing are a band we got rather excited about last year, they arrived with a bag of demos and early recordings that were alive with raw edgy energy, alive rather lot of menacing warmth…

“Sex Swing, now this is the best thing these ears have heard in a while, “I rather like this band” she said, she was right, word of mouth you see, rather like the menace, the brooding power, the tension, the building on things, the layers as it broods up inside you, and yes they do brood, this is brooding, this is good . “Sex Swing – a newly-birthed project, comprising members of implicitly trusted yet sonically nefarious outfits Mugstar, Part Chimp and Dethscalator” is what we said in the middle of last summer.

And we really didn’t hear that much about the band again until a couple of days ago when news of a debut album and a Soundcloud taster landed in our overcrowded inbox.  Is it me or has someone cleaned them up? Has someone dabbed some antiseptic on those cut knees? Has knocked off those glorious edges and made them all nice and presentable? There is still lots of that magic there and this is clearly going to be  a significantly exciting album and once we have more than one track to wrap our ears around that debut album (out on November 25th) might just prove to be one of the very best albums of 2016, right now we’re sitting up here with the splinters and pigeons on the fence waiting for a little bit more, here’s the one track that they’ve let loose at the moment. it does sound exciting, is it as exciting as the bits from last year? here’s a first taste from the forthcoming new album    .

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And here comes the record label press release hype thing, really should stop cutting and pasting all this, but hey, things to do, places to go, can’t be here all day writing an article when we’re still sat up on the fence and waiting to hear the album properly. And as someone rightly pointed out the other day, “who the hell cares what you think these days”. These press releases are usually nothing but bullpoop, this one seems to have it nailed though, here you go, have a read, have a listen, I’m off for a cheese sandwich, there’s paint to sling, that and mud and damn you you Daily Mail reading Brexit idiots, the price of spray paint has almost doubled now the pound has fallen apart. Spray paint pretty much all comes from mainland Europe, never mind no Marmite shortages or Pot Noodle chaos, the price of Montana Gold is up, Jimmy C was raging about it yesterday, well he wasn’t raging about Montana, he’s strictly a Belton jockey, a Molotow Premium shaker, stinks the place out with the stuff rather than the sweet smell of Montana Gold… Here, this is a bit of Sex Swing Soundcloud action from last year and the press release is on the other side of it…
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Sex Swing have announced their self titled debut album, set for release via The Quietus Phonographic Corporation on 25 November 2016 with live dates in November & December.
Sex Swing are the British underground supergroup that shouldn’t even exist. One member has survived a plane crash. One has survived (and won) a chess/boxing match against an opponent with the (entirely deserved) nickname ‘The Finnish Hammer’. Another has survived being struck by lightning. And one has even survived jumping out of a moving train straight into an industrial trouserpress full of cobras. (Actually we made the last one up, but the others are 100% true.)
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But survive they did, to bring you an album which is like a heady combination of Suicide, Joy Division, The Thing, Brainticket, Motorhead, Harmonia and “Third-era Portishead tweaking on brown acid” (Clash Magazine). They combine heinous volume, brute rhythmic throb and a devotion to twisted concave noise, which is crushingly physical, mentally disorientating and creates a deeply seedy music that speaks of narcotic London nights and drab suburban nightmares alike… while still being pretty good to dance to.
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Burning with distortion, flagellating peels of sax and synth debasement, they are the result of an intense musical coupling between five veterans of the fertile liminal space that lies somewhere off the dilapidated motorway of noise rock and avant experimentation. And while their live shows have been an underground sensation for a couple of years now (it’s impossible to describe how good they are live “without my innards falling out of my mouth, like in the infamous scene from Lucio Fulci’s City Of The Living Dead” said one reviewer from The Monitors magazine) – their debut album has taken them to the next level in terms of intensity.
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Tim Cedar (keyboards), formerly of Ligament, who fronts Part Chimp and runs Dropout Studios in Camberwell; Jason Stoll (bass) is a member of revered Liverpool psych champions Mugstar, makes tumultuous and foreboding sounds with Bonnacons of Doom and runs God Unknown Records; Colin Webster (sax) is involved with a plethora of free jazz projects (including Dead Neanderthals) and releases many of them through his Raw Tonk label; Dan Chandler (vocals) sang in the masterful Dethscalator and Stu Bell (drums) played in the same and Gin Palace, while newest addition Jodie Cox (guitar) currently also plays with Seattle drone metal overlords Earth. Getting a line-up together like this is no mean feat especially given the pastimes and luck of those involved. (It was Stu Bell who survived both being struck by lightning AND being in a plane crash to become the unflappable, metronomic and David Niven-esque sticksman of the group; while Dan Chandler was the fearsome contender in the self-explanatory sport of chessboxing who roundly trounced The Finnish Hammer. And as anyone who was present on that fateful night at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, will attest, this appellation was in no way ironic.)
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Forged from the sum total of five distinct personalities with a welter of experience making wildly different music of various vivid hues, Sex Swing are a unique proposition. Forming in 2014, intense improvisational sessions in South London ensued and – by the end of the year – it was apparent to all involved that a potent alchemical libation had been uncorked, one distinct from all the previous projects of the band members. A number of festival dates followed and later that year they released their debut 7” – ‘Night Time Worker’ – God Unknown Records.
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Dealing in sweaty groove and physical menace Sex Swing are musically tied to an England both squalid and hallucinatory: rain-soaked and rat-bitten but also (genuinely) psychedelic. Because while psych – a contentious phrase at the best of times – is often thought of in terms of beatific hypercolour and can readily encompass everything from jangling 60’s revivalists to bedroom laptop alchemists, Sex Swing operate at the brutal end: a greyscale dockland in a warped hive mind screwed by lack of sleep and haunted by the twisted waking dreams that inevitably ensue: waves of cranial discomfort tempered by the pure physical release of the music.
“When we came up with the idea for Sex Swing we essentially wanted to sound like Motörhead’’ laughs Dan Chandler. ‘‘Problem was, we didn’t have a guitarist at the time. Our sound is based around improvisation, essentially. We never play the same song the same way twice. It’s about energy and immediacy and constantly challenging ourselves’’.
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The band are set to release their eponymous debut LP on The Quietus Phonographic Corporation (tQPC) on 25 November. A rising epiphany of carnal sonic force that spangles one into submission by dint of its gleeful and cleaving weight, the record places the band at the forefront of the darkest and heaviest end of noisy avant psych. Imagine some hellish pan dimensional Krautrock marching band clad in ill fitting, bong water and Buckfast splattered, suits fronted by David Yow, conducted by a wildly inebriated Conny Plank and waved along by Jus Oborn and Dik Mik and you’re still not quite there. This is music that doesn’t so much ebb and flow as trounce and mangle. Boasting a staggeringly, hellishly, loud production job by Joel Eaton, Sex Swing is about primal animal body sonics.
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As Quietus editor John Doran states: “When I first saw Sex Swing live it was like diving headfirst into a white hot volcanic vent and then being instantly vapourised by everything true, righteous and sublime about music. After the gig there wasn’t even any discussion about it. Luke and I immediately decided we had to put their debut album out.”
Harry Sword, September 2016
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LIVE DATES
Friday 4th Nov – Birmingham, Supersonic Launch Party with Xylouris White (from the Dirty Three)
Saturday 3rd December – Manchester, Star and Garter with Lake of Snakes
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