Hototogisu & Bruce McClure

What we wrote at the time…

A new collaboration bringing together artists with a shared gravitational heft to their work; work with intensity and a concentrated accumulation of detail and power.  We’ve brought together Matthew Bower and Marcia Bassett of Hototogisu to collaborate with Bruce on a new performance for the festival. 

Working with different material from his Friday night performance, Bruce’s sound is generated by printing over the optical soundtrack of the film, allowing what amounts to a light bulb to read an image as it flashes past and transform it into sound, which Bruce manipulates with guitar pedals and effects into thick swathes of noise.  On hearing Bruce’s slow, buzzing sound I instantly thought of pairing him with Hototogisu and their densely layered, slowly evolving work, which is pretty much unparalleled at the moment.  Theirs is a blissfully hypnotic, celestial free noise thrum, built around swarms of distorted vocal howl and blasted amps into a vast vortex of detail; spikes of intense corrosive hum that peak in waves on the surface as the slow-motion current underpinning the track flows ever forward. 

Hototogisu’s performances typically involve them trance like, crouched on the floor or manipulating feedback with mics or guitar thrust into amps with ecstatic, swaggering intent.  It’s a sound born of intensity and concentration, of keening, throbbing power; caustic and abrasive, but it’s also hypnotic and beautiful, and with a sometimes mechanical edge to it that makes a lot of sense for this collaboration.

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    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0