Label: Hypnagogia Notify Me ( ? )
(OUT OF STOCK Why?)
The burning question on everybody's lips is of course - were The New Blockaders actually any good? Dear reader you can rest at ease. After eight hours of steady drinking in the less than salubrious drinking dens of Leeds city centre your roving reporter can report the fact that alienation and a distorted rumbling noise at the TNB gig in Leeds on the 6th. of June this year of our Lord 2003 was indeed at a seriously high and dangerous level. For their first gig in nine years, TNB took to the stage in balaclavas and did what they do best and made some horrible, horrible noise. As for me, the effects of those eight hours of steady drinking took their toll and by 10:45pm (when TNB finally appeared) I was all but screaming for the Erik Satie interlude to continue. Rule number one: Don't go to a noise gig when you're trashed out of your head. At least not if you want to give it an honest, sober and earnest opinion. So I'll refrain from doing that here and wait for the live CD release. IDWAL FISHER (UK)
Unlike many other ‘noise’ artists, The New Blockaders exhibit a very calm, methodical manner of presenting their take on ‘anti-music’. In fact the silent characters take to the stage without any acknowledgement of their audience. Clicks and throbbing buzz may be due to a clumsy soundman but we soon realise this is the opening introduction to the long awaited 20th. Antiversary Offensive by TNB. Despite appearing like a gang of comic criminals wearing suits and ties with balaclavas or laddered tights over their heads, their movements are as swift and accurate as a group of surgeons on fast-forward performing a delicate operation. Deep hums and fizzing tones are juxtaposed with sharp, clean sounds that sound like shattering glass. The eerie sound then bends into the flickering of clanking galoshes spinning around in pan-expansion, giving way to the head-clearing hiss of a forgotten kettle. Although they take an ‘anti-music’ stance there are times when two of the 'musicians' create a kind of dialogue between a wailing siren sound and a disturbing bubbling frequency which somehow tickles the back of the ears. The constantly mutating flow of sounds cannot be accurately described as either industrial or ambient. Some are reminiscent of earlier live recordings, but there is a certain depth and dimension that seems cleanly mixed compared to some of the ‘wall-of-noise’ recordings of previous TNB offensives. The scenario/set-up appears rather humorous and the strange sounds created could be mistaken for sounds from a busy building site - I am reminded of pouring gravel and the gratings of rusty machines. It is hard to make out what they are playing, all is concealed behind mixers and a strange suitcase. The soundscapes TNB create are suprisingly invigorating with much use made of dynamics, movement, and layers of audio brilliance. A fascinating evening's ‘anti-tainment.' EVE KHARAG (UK)
TNB appeared on the stage wearing business suits and balaclavas. They sit down in front of the 'instruments' on the left side of the stage. They generated various sounds by hitting and scraping metal junk. Those sounds were modified and amplified by sound effectors on a table. One member started peeling a roll of masking tape. That sound was amplified through the PA system and it generated a strange noise. He continued that strange performance until the tape became a weird spherical object (a picture of which accompanies the Gesamtnichtswerk review in 'The Wire' magazine). One of members stepped forward to the centre of the stage and sat on a chair. That's all. After that, he left the stage. After several minutes, he returned and took part in playing again. Then, another member sat on the chair and did nothing. Each member repeated this 'nothing' performance a few times. Unlike the support acts, Anomali and Con-Dom/Grey Wolves, TNB did not use any visual images by video projector and they executed their performance in darkness. Their live sound was different from that of their previous live offensives. It was not a discharge of metallic noise, but something like their first album, Changez Les Blockeurs. But, actually, their live sound was more experimental than harsh noise music. In fact, their costume and stage action reminded me of a Dada or Fluxus performance. TNB stated in their manifesto (1982) that, 'We will make anti-statements about anything and everything.' It's a very Dadaist approach and I became aware of it through their performance that evening. Nevertheless, the TNB that I know via their releases did not resemble the TNB of that evening, which confused me a lot.
On my return to Japan, I obtained the 20th. Antiversary Offensive CD. The music on the album sounds very different from the actual TNB live performance. The sound is thick, dense, and is full of speed & force. When I saw the live performance, I recognized their unchangeable attitude and philosophy. TNB is always nihilistic and is 'anti' towards anything and everything (they even hate anti-art). I must admit, that attitude is always interesting and very cool. DENSHI ZATSUON (Japan)