Another bewilderingly disparate and hugely promising line-up from HOW COME, the work of Bristol’s laudable super-promoters Qu Junktions and polyglot afrobeat/funk outfit Zun Zun Egui.  As ever they’re piling on the bands and DJs, though this month’s has a chilly, dislocated thread to it; a disorientating mix of low-end wobble, shuddering rhythm and queasy electronic manipulation reminiscent in places of the West Country pasts of Mark Stewart, Geoff Barrow or Matt Elliott.

HYPE WILLIAMS are a head-turning draw at the top of the bill, garnering predictable levels of blog and style-sheet attention but also, notably, top ten end-of-year plaudits from the Wire and 20 Jazz Funk Greats among others.  The mythmaking around the Hackney/Estonia duo is sometimes deliberate, often hilarious – a Joss Stone sideproject, one rumour weirdly insisted – but their cut & paste collages of lo-fi, gothy electro, sampled n’ slowed-down hip-hop and unsettling ambient plunderphonics are a very interesting and effective listen.  Snippets of sampled pop vocals and disembodied human voices merge with their own, odd cover versions emerge from the sonic murk and the whole resembles a sort of mangled R&B mixtape warped and cracked in the sun.

There’s more than enough in How Come’s descriptions of the rest of the bill (below) to merit attendance, so we’ll take their word for it.  Improv electronics, eerie darkwave ambience and crushing bass abound, with members of the aforementioned Zun Zun Egui and SJ Esau involved.  DJ support is from the laudable Chris Farrell of Idle Hands Records - read up online about the death of independent record shops in Bristol (and speak to anyone affected about the role of chain stores, Fopp in particular, in that) and you’ll agree that his Stokes Croft venture is much needed in such a musically vibrant place.

HOW COME…

Hype Williams + Raime + DJ Chris Farrell + Hacker Farm + Hesomagari + Willderbeast

with DJs Young Master + The Janitor + Mingpirate

(Fri 25th Mar 2011 / 8pm / £5)
Things go deep, heavy and dubbed-out for the March edition on How Come, as Zun Zun Egui and Qu Junktions bring you shadowy synthesised entities, emotionally-hotwired electronics, an icon of westcountry under-culture and wave-upon-wave of juicy low-end. Bass in your face Bristol.

Hype Williams – Wonderful mystery sounds from Hackney/Russian/Berlin. A boy/girl duo trading in disorientating visual art (just youtube them), sepia-faded echoes of bling, withered Sade covers and submerged synth pressure … proudly and without doubt evoking the ghostly green vapours of Bristol trip-hop past. Currently the talk of trendy town but they are rising up their own way. “One Nation” album out in March.

“What do we actually know about Hype Williams? … an obscure, lo-fi form of dub-inflected half-pop as much akin to the post-industrial funk of 23 Skidoo and early Cabaret Voltaire as the scratchy psych of The Skaters et al … music which fascinates largely because of its refusal to commit” The Wire

Raime - a London-based duo seeking to re-establish electronic composition as a physical and emotionally inquisitive force, drawn into the dark by early European goth, minimal dance and synth wave. Having released two phenomenally well-received EPs on sharp new London label Blackest Ever Black, Raime are now bringing their vast waves of sound – both beautifully intricate and artfully industrial, all woven around gut-shaking rhythm cycles – into lucky live rooms.

“This is not dance music, at least not as conventionally rendered: there’s no 4/4 kick, no handclap; it creeps instead of bouncing. But it still feels like techno, just sliced open and turned inside out; it’s ambient with pulse, with teeth” Resident Advisor

Hacker Farm – one of the various heads of Kek, a Yeovilian stalwart of the weird and true whom Qu has known in the past as part of Ice Bird Spiral. Improv-y electronics, wonky riddims, plenty of bottom.

Hesomagari – Bristol super-duo. The pair of Yoshino from Zun Zun Egui and SJ Esau emit longform, semi-improvised pop shapes that hover above chaos and billow with psychedelic colour.

Willderbeast -  Will Edwards (aka Strange Billy the Saint) indulges his love of instrumental ambient music … a dreamy swirl of Mountains, Labradford, Eno, Global Communication and more, with extra  Reich-esque clapping and live contemporary dance.

Plus a special guest to be announced, and DJ support from Chris Farrell – custodian of broad-eared Bristol electronic imprint Idle Hands, and the saviour of Bristol’s record shop movement (please check out and support his new premises on Stokes Croft).

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