Way back at one of the early Instal festivals run by Barry and Bryony of Arika, I think before they were called Arika, I was excited to hear that they had Phill Niblock performing. At this point I had only heard his music through the insubstantial CD format. When I stepped into one of the spaces of the cavernous Arches venue and found huge double sided screens with almost biblical images of people working in fields at the side of mountains or lines of people carrying produce down the side of mountains or through market places I was amazed. The contrast of the sound of electronic drones and waves of sumptuous warm noise was beautifully balanced. As I passed through the space around the screens and listening carefully to monitors was an elderly man dressed very simply. This was Phill Niblock. I had to say hello and he responded openly and enthusiastically to my inane compliments. Phill will be 80 years old this year and to have him back in Glasgow and at Counterflows showing a selection of his People at Work films and also a completely new film set to his music is absolutely fantastic. Of it is also great to have him accompanied with Thomas Ankersmit who has a growing reputation for his analogue synth music and robust improvisations on sax. This will be a full force performance, an immersion in image a sound.
(great comment on youtube to the video shown below “yeah, the ringing overtones and sub-harmonics. i’ve heard niblock play this live in manchester at ear-splitting volume, and the rigging holding the lights was vibrating and giving off resonant sub-harmonies.”)