dea Lesson No.1: April 2005

Monday, April 18


Lesson Number One/Forecast/Plan B present:

OUTERZONE: A night of grime/dubstep spawned beyond the M25

While traditionally "a London thing", the tendrils of the mutant UK garage strain popularly known as grime have snaked out into the provinces, spreading spores in every malnourished sink-estate left to fester in isolation. Manchester's Virus Syndicate are one of the premier symptoms of this fresh batch: a three-MC crew powered by the infectious dub rumble of Mark One, they built their reputation with sets on premier pirate Rinse FM, and their debut album, 'The Work-Related Virus', is out on Planet Mu in June. Listen to samples of the whole album here

Renowned producer in his own right, Sheffield-born Mark Foster began his career as a drum'n'bass DJ before the spacious, minimal sound of dubstep lured him to the dark side. Label boss of Contagious Records, he's already won a nomination for Best Grime Producer at the 2003 Sidewinder Awards, released a solo album for Planet Mu, and contributed four tracks to Rephlex's pioneering 'Grime' compilation. Listen to samples of the whole album here

Pinch and Blazey are the two premier faces breaking dark UKG in the West Country: the former, dubstep doyen and head of Subtext Records; the latter, acclaimed Sidewinder resident and Bristol representative of Jon E Cash's celebrated Black Ops cartel. Hear a Pinch and Blazey mix, courtesy of the blogosphere legend that is Gutterbreakz

ALL HAPPENING AT: The Toucan Club, St Mary Street, Cardiff
Thursday 5 May 7.30-11pm, £5

Saturday, April 16


This is Grabba Grabba Tape. Two Madrid-born man-things with white bouffant fur and spraycan-pink flesh, they only escaped the silky confines of their cocoon last year, but have already built up a modest international reputation off a handful of limited edition, fur-lined CD-Rs and a fruitful overseas relationship with Leeds-based noiseniks That Fucking Tank (there's a split 7" with them available on the forthcoming tour). Live, they harness keyboard, drums and vocoder to batter out a typhoon of analogue-electric noise comparable to Load Records spazzers Neon Hunk, The Residents, or Daft Punk turned daft punks. They do a Minor Threat cover too. See more photos of these crazy guys! Oh, and go visit the home of their Madrid-based label, Gssh! Gssh! while you're at it: the coolest thing to happen in Spain since those festivals where they let angry bulls out into the streets to run like fuck and maul unsuspecting tourists.

Anyway: "LESSON NUMBER ONE where can we see this ker-azee band?" Well, they're playing with the aformentioned Tank and the mighty Gindrinker at Newport's Le Pub on Saturday April 23rd, and pikeys rejoice! It's a free show. (Incidentally, maybe you've seen the flyers that Gates from Gindrinker made to advertise this show? They feature a beaming Frank Butcher, naked apart from a revolving bow-tie. Bit of class, that).

Wednesday, April 6


"An instrumental symphony of sinister ambience grandiose enough to render the compositions of Godspeed! You Black Emperor dwarfish in comparison" - ****, UNCUT

Behold Guapo! Destroyers of worlds, priests of fallen idols, bashers of gongs. Guapo is three - a trio of wandering nomads, born of a decaying planet that circles a blackened sun. Now a decade old in their present form, they have settled in London, where they spend years in isolation carving towering progressive rock monoliths called things like 'Black Oni' and 'Five Suns' that wake vikings from their two-thousand year slumber and stretch the lid of your third eye to tearing point. Previous appearances have seen them take to the stage alongside bands like Khanate, The Melvins, and Kid 606. Their latest disciple, however, is Mike Patton, former frontman of Faith No More and high priest of Ipecac Records: he has the honour of releasing their new disc, 'Black Oni', and it is honour indeed.

Experience the terrifying power of the Black Oni!

A snip at £5, wouldn't you say? Support on the night comes from Oxford's Sunnyvale Noise Sub-Element and Scarecrows - a promising-sounding new outfit from two members of Worcester's dearly-departed "camp-metal-violence" crew The Murder Of Rosa Luxemburg. Should be an opportunity to transcend the shackles of your mortal body/have a pleasant chat and a few drinks (delete as appropriate)...