Search The Line of Best Fit
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Suuns - Village Underground, London 29/09/14

30 September 2014, 10:00 | Written by Russell Warfield

Suuns’ records of noise, drone and repetition are classic examples of doing more with less. Stripped back to the barest essentials of one-note bass pulses and the loosest definitions of riffs imaginable (as little as just a finger languidly sliding down a fret board, bending the odd note into a pinch), these songs are a tribute to the power of deceptive simplicity. Live, they do more with slightly-more-than-less, preserving the minimalist instincts of their craft, but amplifying it through the bombast of sheer volume, visceral rhythm and a sharper performance instinct.

Some months on from what might reasonably be described as any direct tour of their most recent, excellent Images du Futur, tonight’s set is a wide reaching overview of Suuns’ body of work to date, including little known EP tracks alongside brand new material. It’s remarkable how coherent their young discography already is; melting across a spellbinding hour of pulverising sound. Opening with a B-side is no momentum killer for a band who can go onto deliver a powerhouse version of "2020" alongside the predictably show stopping "Arena". Starting from a looped electronic arpeggio with only the sparest smattering of guitar noise, the thing builds and expands into a thickly textured wig out at its race to the finish. It’s physically exhilarating, and just one highlight of a set littered with transcendent triumphs.

Suuns music has often felt like an act of self-erasure, and tonight’s light show manages to pulverise the audience while anonymising the band members. Shockingly bright backdrops illuminate and disorientate, rendering the band members as nothing more than sheer black silhouettes. Not only does it suit the menace of the sound, but it reflects the thematic atmosphere of self-obliteration. It’s not just a spectacle; it’s an extension of the performance.

The new material on offer tonight gives us reason to believe that their next release will be an even further improvement on their wildly underrated work to date. Using exactly the same techniques, years of touring have given them a razor sharp instinct for timing – knowing exactly when and where to push in the pins. They play with an otherworldly feel for when to let textures push forward and peel back. Songs like "Powers Of Ten" melt into liquid; the vocals collapsing over the chaos in new and unexpected syllabic patterns. In spite of their meticulous arrangements, these songs are alive, breathing and hold the capacity to surprise at every turn. It’s a thrilling set which looks back over a startlingly matured early discography, and hints at Suuns becoming one of the strongest touring noise and ambience acts in the world before the end of the decade.

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