ATTRITION – Invocation – live at The Tin for Kerri Bowes memorial show
Review from www.fighting-boredom.co.uk
“If you want an indication of how long Martin Bowes has been making music as Attrition you don’t need to go any further than the merch table. I counted twenty three different CDs and a pile of vinyl albums that are all different too. I also know that that isn’t everything they have released. He is a long standing musician and this is, I am quite embarrassed to say, the first time I have ever seen them live. This performance is a tribute to Kerri Bowes who passed earlier this year. They are playing the soundtrack recording that she co-wrote, Invocation.
The build up to the music is slow and subtle. They rise from an electronic hole and as the sound gets clearer people flock into the room. A slamming burst of bass drone marks the noise rising. A buzzing leads to the steady powerful synth powerfully taking over. It’s immediately mesmerising and very very good. There’s a tiny melody playing over grumbling, nasty swathes of electronics which leads to a throbbing overpowering organism that slowly morphs into view and then envelopes everything in its path. Simon is playing a Theremin to create God alone knows what noises as Martin tries his odd woodwind instrument, shakes his head and fiddles with wires. He has total focus as he plays and creates but it looks like things are slightly flakey. Luckily this is in no way reflected in the sound. The tiny subtleties underneath and woven into the rise and rise of the synthesizers that make this music so very good.
It’s giving me images of industrial wastelands and cracked, broken concrete landscapes. There are burnt out neon tubes trying to light and what sounds like artfully crafted wild predators on the move towards you. The sound is low and terrifying. A battered nursery rhyme echoes around you as you sprint away from the throbbing, relentless terror. It goes quiet and then builds up again, quietly and slowly. A choir is singing behind a broken, iron barred window. A wind is lowing, hot radioactive and dusty, blowing and spreading death and misery as it goes. It dies down and trembling, a hiss rises to a whine of feedback and rattling broken speaker hiss. Martin blows into the instrument and the sound is like a dinosaur coming for us. The hum gets stronger and harder, the separate noises merge into one and it grows harder into a sound that feels like it could split this building in half. Violence is brewing in the music, someone is going to get hurt. This music can crumble concrete and combust wood. It’s an excellent, fitting tribute.”