October 2011 has proven to be an unusually busy month for Robot vs Dinosaur, with more going on than we normally do in a year these days.
First off comes our latest stint at 8Bit Lounge. We’ll be providing the soundtrack to your retro gaming pleasure alongside regulars Chromatouch and 8Bit Pete at the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, later this very evening. Games on offer include networked Wipeout and Quake as well as a host of other classic titles on formats including Amiga, SNES, MAME (arcade game emulation) and much more. Doors open at 8ish; entry is absolutely free; your enjoyment is guaranteed whether you’re a gamer or not. Find Facebook event details here.
Moving on, later this month sees our first ever set outside of Birmingham: we’ll be jetting off to faraway, mysterious Stourbridge to do a set as part of Carnage Club at The Temple of Boom on Saturday October 15th. The £3 entry also includes live sets from History of the Hawk, Papayèr, Crushing Blows, Vicious Bastard, Crash Night and Mothertrucker so you’ll be getting plenty of bang for your buck. No bar, so bring your own beer- but since the venue is next door to a Tesco Express, that shouldn’t be too much trouble. Full details right here on Facebook.
Finally, towards the end of the month we’ll be dropping some hard techno bangers at… Stitches & Ho’s, the Hare & Hounds’ monthly knitting/needlecraft event. Entry is free, whilst their website states “Everyone is welcome – you don’t even have to be good!”. That’s us covered then. Tuesday October 25th.
I’ll be DJing again at 8Bit Lounge, Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath on Tuesday 12th April. I don’t get up to a great deal else these days.
More pertinently, the amazing 3D Maze Crew will be coming all the way from Bristol to assault all and sundry with their unique blend of chipcore, visuals and nostalgia (see below video), whilst there will also be the return of the Amiga Kick Off 2 tournament.
Entry is free, and more details can be found on this here Facebook event, if you’ve the stomach for Facebook these days.
Following almost a year of silence I’ll be briefly coming out of retirement next week to do a set next Tuesday (the 13th) as part of 8 Bit Lounge, which takes place at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath (map).
In spite of the event being imminent, information is still pretty thin on the ground but as well as my good self there’ll also be sets from organisers VJ Chromatouch and Subcitizen, whilst 8BitPete should also be making an appearance.
In addition, expect the usual blend of vintage and not-so-vintage multiplayer gaming, eye-baiting visuals and maybe the odd Game Boy camera or two! Admission to the night is absolutely free, so hopefully we’ll see you down there.
We’re breaking radio silence to bring you a special bulletin: former RvD collaborator VJ Chromatouch has teamed up with Subcitizen to launch an extremely exciting new monthly venture known as 8Bit Lounge.
The event is a celebration of geek culture, taking in both classic and (relatively) modern gaming, chipcore, hardware hacking and much, much more. Chromatouch and Subcitizen will be manning the decks, providing music and visuals of a distinctly 8bit bent whilst the night will also feature a live circuit-bending demonstration by fizzPOP, multiplayer retro gaming, a Nanoloop session, an outdoor Wii tournament and all manner of other thoroughly good stuff… plus, apparently pro-celebrity Brum blogger Pete Ashton will be turning up at some point with his massive chipcore collection.
Best of all, entry is absolutely free! The night takes place in the Hare & Hounds back bar on Tuesday 1st September and every first Tuesday of the month thereafter. More details below, taken from their Facebook event page:
“A delightful evening of all things computer game and arcade oriented. From an array of consoles to play on including….
a snes with 5 player bomberman and all original controllers
an N64 with 4 player greatness like starfox 64
a gamecube with some great 4 player games like timesplitters 2
Chromatouch will be using old school consoles to control visuals on the night, including a nintendo ds that can be used to control visuals wirelessly through cellsds.
Hackspace will be doing demonstration and giving examples of circuit bending and hacked electronic toys etc. check the videos attatched for more examples of how this interesting underground art abuses the toys and electronics we know and love.
We are also looking to hold a Wii tournament in the courtyard, weather allowing.
Nanoloops: the famous nintendo game boy music writing software will be fully in place. Anyone that writes music in this format then please contact us. We are holding a competition to find the best nanoloops artist in birmingham. Bring it on!!
Music on the eve will be from Subcitizen and Chromatouch, so expect some classic pure electro, bboy style, computer game anthems, arcade classics, 8bit pop and electronica lo fi scribblings. All very good fun!!
free entry, this will take place in the back bar of the Hare and Hounds on Tuesday 1st August and every first Tuesday of the month thereafter.
We hope you can make it along as there are a host of other guests and exhibitors bringing items and distractions from the world of computer games, 8bit music and similar curios coming soon to this night.”
…but we sure are sleepy, having spent many months tirelessly working day jobs since we saw you last. Some folk might of course consider these two situations as being broadly similar, the big difference being that DJing is a fair bit more difficult when you’re in the grave.
And DJing we are, at a gig organised by Radio Black Forest, which sees a headline set from J-Folk duo Tenniscoats alongside support from the lovely Arc Vel and the rather more mysterious Ampersand.
I confess, I don’t know a great deal about Tenniscoats other than that they’re from Japan, weave soulscraping folk-tinged psychedelic symphonies and have collaborated with Deerhoof. “A convincing and beguiling melange of whispy folk, hazy psychedelia and murmuring electronics among which deft melodies blossom almost unnoticed”, reckoned The Wire at some point apparently, not that I read The Wire. Youtube presents a particularly rich seam if you’re after a taste, although they also have a couple of tracks up at Myspace which you should definitely check out.
Arc Vel on the other hand we know pretty well, and indeed regular readers of this blog (not that we’ve many these days!) may know that we like him just a little bit. “Mesmeric, delicate, yet punctuated by occasional bursts of raging intensity, like watching a beautiful thunderstorm” wrote The Wire a few months back. No wait, that was me! Maybe I should write for The Wire?
And finally, Ampersand, of whom we know almost nothing. “Do they have any stuff online?” I wrote in an email a few days ago. The reply was a resounding no, given that they’re such a very newly-formed project, although fans of Cities Prepare For Attack and Skarabee should understand that they feature their members. Actually, sod The Wire, they’re better off without me I think.
The gig takes place at the Flapper in Birmingham on Wednesday 3rd June, with entry costing £6. Find Facebook event details here. And as previously mentioned, we will be on-hand to play other people’s records between sets. Splendid! Don’t miss out, especially since chances are we’ll be drifting back off to sleep afterwards…
As previously mentioned, Robot vs Dinosaur will be returning to Island Bar come Friday 21st November and as ever we’ve all manner of electronic thrills and spills in store. On the live front we’ve got a headline set from London-based techno merchant The Third Man (of whom we wrote about at great length in our previous post) as well as some deft yet laid back electronics from fellow smoke-dweller Sunosis.
We’ll also be DJing an all-conquering electronic selection featuring the likes of aphex twin, arovane, autechre, battles, boards of canada, the books, broadcast, ceephax acid crew, chris clark, cornelius, cylob, dntel, the flashbulb, four tet, germlin, holy fuck, hood, kid 606, M83, matmos, max tundra, mouse on mars, polysics, the postal service, prefuse 73, ulrich schnauss, squarepusher, stereolab, tortoise, venetian snares, luke vibert and pretty much anything else with an electronic element to it bar the Pet Shop Boys- drop us a comment or email us via info [at] robotvsdinosaur.co.uk if you’ve got any requests…
Entry as ever is £3, or just £1 if dressed as a robot or dinosaur. Doors open at 8:30- see you there?
Ai Records technomancer The Third Man, one of the participants on the imprint’s recent triple-split EP alongside Plant43 and Najem Sworb, has recently released his debut album ‘Clarion Call’. More of a mini than a full-length LP, the release sees him distilling his love of techno, acid and the classic Detroit sound with the rather more hard-edged influences he appropriated while studying at Glasgow university.
Opener ‘Hemsby Acid’ acts as a gateway: written on a BLOC weekend comedown, its initial ambient wash soon reveals a dancefloor stomper underpinned by steely hi-hats and an evolving 303 melody. From here on, the London-based producer- real name Toby Leeming- continues to explore his own musical psyche, riding a knife edge between the digital crispness of today and the distorted, primitive yet comfortingly intimate sound of electronic music’s early days. More mellow numbers such as the title track and the blissful “Attacks” could have existed since the mid-80s, whilst on the likes of “Synchronise” and “Flaccid House” Leeming delves into decidedly more dark territory, brutally beating both acid and electro influences into submission to create music unmistakably his own.
Having been exposed to a mere spoonful of this electro-alchemist’s talent, ourselves at RvD Towers can’t wait to sample his next concoction- without doubt, ‘Clarion Call’ continues to cement Ai’s reputation as possibly the most exciting electronic label the UK has to offer. And, as standard with all Ai releases it comes presented in a package as beautiful and exciting as the music- in this case, a dirty great fleshy slab of vinyl encased within artwork by German anatomical artist Karl Wesker. Grab a copy from the Ai shop while you still can…
Best of all, you lucky people will be able to witness The Third Man’s work first-hand at the next Robot vs Dinosaur, where he’s all set to take our headline slot- this is a show not to be missed! Taking place at Island on Friday November 21st, the bill will also see a set from the rather more chilled Sunosis- a fellow Londoner, commander-in-chief of Shepherd’s Bush’s premier (and currently under-threat!) beat bunker Ginglik. Check out his sun-kissed yet resolutely beat-driven mini-LP ‘Warmth’, available via the famously unpredictable Rednetic label.
Enough talk- this is all set to be our most exciting RvD yet! Full details will be up on our events page, just as soon as we get a moment’s pause to update it…
Robot vs Dinosaur are all set to DJ this Saturday as part of the upcoming Gigbeth festival, topping a bill of exciting and innovative new acts performing on the 4Talent stage, located in the Dragon Bar at Birmingham Barfly.
Confirmed to perform are Rich Batsford, The Icarus, Iain Woods & The Psychologist, Keyboard Choir and Einstellung as well as a series of mid-set improv performances from Pete Ashton and his mind-boggling light-sensitive mini synths, the Thingamagoop and Thingamakit (pictured). We will be DJing following the acts at around 11- expect the usual ultra-eclectic RvD selection taking in abstract techno, breakcore, laptoptronica and other general electro-nonsense.
Tickets for the Saturday cost £18 (although please bear in mind this includes a whole host of acts and stages, not just the above- check out the Gigbeth site for more details) whilst a pass for both days can be procured for £25. For more info about Gigbeth’s 4Talent stage, check out their page right here or have a wander over to their Facebook event.
Thanks also to everyone who came down- hope you enjoyed, if you did then watch this space: we may well be doing another one some time next year. Leave us a comment or drop us an email if you’ve any feedback on how we can make things even better next time…
Mechakitten- the long-mooted joint event between Robot vs Dinosaur and indiepop promotions outfit The Autumn Store- is finally on the horizon, taking place at Island Bar this Saturday!
The night features a rare headline performance from ex-Broadcast/Plone duo Seeland, plus motorik madness from London’s Arthur & Martha, electronic epics from previous RvD performer Arc Vel and a warm-up set of joyous, multi-vocaled indiepop from Derby-based five piece Mexican Kids at Home as well as DJs playing everything from Battles to Belle & Sebastian until the small hours!
Entry is £4, with a free badge on entry- no cheap admission for robots or dinosaurs this time around I’m afraid, although we may well make concessions for robotic cats? Doors open at 8:30 with the night running ’til late- more info can be found on our events page, and in somewhat confusing fashion we have not one but two facebook events for the night, which can be found here and here. See you there?