zaterdag 1 februari 2014

Indian Askin live in Patronaat Haarlem, 30 January 2014

Photo: Wo.
Before the sonic and visual storm called De Staat entered the stage of Patronaat (click here for the review), a threesome had the honour to open the evening. Or should I say foursome? I'll come back to that later. First a few comments on the show of Indian Askin.

Yes, I was very pleasantly surprised by Indian Askin. Having not heard a song before, makes it hard to really form an opinion on the presented music, but some things were made quite clear. Indian Askin really knows how to drive a song forward, to sonically impress the listener. Walls of sound are produced by the permanently distorted, treated, warbled, guitar. A pumped up old acoustic guitar. Not unique, but always special to see. The variations in sound treatment ranging from a lot to totally over the top. The drummer, who's also the singer, pounds away filling holes, while the minimal keyboard produces all sorts of low growls and moderate beats. Combine that with great use of dynamics in the songs and the listener is kept on his toes if he allows himself to listen to an unknown band.

Photo: Wo.
In this presentation it was not always possible to hear what was being sung. That aside, this guy has a pleasant voice. His looks reminded me of the early Frank Zappa as a teenager picture, in which it looks like as if he was born with a faint moustache on his upper lip.

The fourth Indian Askin member is not on stage, but in the rafters, next to Patronaat's dj, controlling the light and all visual tricks. The band members on stage are lighted up in the same bright light the whole time. The light comes from the side, creating light and shadows all around. Behind them a screen is being treated the whole time. If I'm not mistaken through an overhead projector. By looking up it was possible to see the backdrop show live in action as well, as it was created on the spot. Pictures, cut out puppets and fluids all made up a part of the show. The ones in the photos are the least spectacular I've seen. The pictures do show the way light and shade are an integrated part of the presentation of Indian Askin. No elaborate light changes here. Just moving in and out of shadows and changing patterns in the background. Well conceptualised and executed and certainly a great addition to the music. So Indian Askin may be a foursome anyway.

Photo: Wo.
All I can find out about this band is that it's from Amsterdam. Indian Askin's website is not very forthcoming where information or anything else is concerned. The somewhat idiosyncratic presentation of the singer all adds to the mystery. Let's leave it at a very special form of communication. Extremely stressed or just strange? Musically there's nothing wrong with this band. So I'm curious to what a record will sound like.

Wo.

You can listen to 'I won't dance' here.

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