James Ferraro and Spencer Clark (under his Monopoly Child Star Searchers guise), formerly the influential cosmic-noise duo The Skaters, made a welcome appearance in the capital this week.

The evening’s entertainment started off with an acoustic noise set from The Brittle Hammer Trio (think I must have missed Boom Edan who was also billed). It wasn’t really the sort of set you would like, or dislike, or really pinpoint exactly how to feel about, but just marvel at with bewilderment and intrigue. Amongst a plethora of agitated clanking and drunken murmur, the set featured hitting a rusty saw with a stick, dropping an ashtray on the floor and some chat about a bake sale.

Spencer Clark then charmed the audience with a selection of gameshow trance on his keyboard. Layered tropical, gamelan-influenced rhythms and looped, chanting vocals briefly transported you somewhere altogether cheerier than the Roxy basement. Only the deteriorated hiss of vintage instruments kept things harmonious with the sparse surroundings. The highlight was definitely James Ferraro’s set though. Less droney than recent output, more like a disco in a washing machine; the fizzing throb of synth smothering you like a saturated duvet with each rotation. His lo-fi approach belied the depth of sound and simple, expanding melodies that churned out of his small array of synthesizers. He slowly built the set around the lovely foamy bass, introducing new aspects without ever letting you get too familiar. It was unfortunate there was only a handful of people to witness, shamefully typical in Edinburgh. For those who did make it down it provided welcome escapism; a brief hazy portal to 80’s California, a faded advert jingle pre Arnie, Rob Lowe and Becks.

Video for Last American Hero out earlier in the year on Olde English Spelling Bee:

[Vimeo 9976692]

Thank you Braw Gig‘s.

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