Monday, 15 September 2008

And finally it feels as though we live here, and this sense can surely not be retrieved without also retrieving an idea about the change of the seasons, for it distinctly autumn now. The last two days, the winds have picked up and grey sheets of cloud cover the whole sky. No doubt England will be experiencing an Indian summer, but here, at night, it is starting to get really cold. But this change of season always excites me and although I don’t have winter shoes or a winter coat yet, I can’t fail to be excited. The prospect of snow looms and, before that, fresh morning where drifts of leaves fall from the trees and lie stiff in the gutters and roads.

Last night I cycled out not too far, to just beyond the lake and to a gallery. The space is some sort of new prehistoria, an artistic cave dwelling where every viewable inch of wallspace is scrawled upon with marker pen. The dominant motif, used again and again - a line-drawing of a chair. The youth club feel of the place, that unique Berlin paucity, that anti-chic that doesn’t always work, worked last night.

The acts, four hybrids, brought me a renewal of noise music – each was to their own, raising attention from audiences where attention seemed scant. Firstly, a business sort, loosely dressed in a grey polyester suit but with an absurd, badly fashioned mask and cape, sat at his desk building layers of tape drone with a quite expert ear.

Then, second, was the act that I had travelled for. One percussionist (the long-to-see z’ev), one standard, rolling metal drummer, one subterranean bassist and one angry young punkist, a tattooed girl screaming into a fifties microphone. Forty minutes of brutal dynamics ensued. Thirdly was a true noisenik, deafening with each push of his sampler, storming in adroit circles round his equipment, summoning an aggression from the crowd’s passivity, a passivity borne of his own music.

Finally came the theatrical, three musicians in coloured hoods, eye slits cut through the cloth, resembling some sort of Masonic ritual with stilted hand gestures and a slow crescendo of filtered guitar, bass and dustbin. Eventually they rose into walls of feedback, forming a triumphant structure in the air with their instruments held aloft and then, kneeling, they placed them at the noise source with ceremony, allowing the instruments to play themselves.

Today, I went again to the fleamarket, but found nothing except a new bicycle lock. Cara bought clothes, and gave me a present of a box of tapes full of ancient, decaying operettas and schlager recordings. Tonight, I will use them in a session we are holding at our house, a session that might prove to be a regular feature, provided we buy enough coal to make it through the winter. Dear santa, please send shoes.