Damo Suzuki Review
Damo Suzuki was in town to share his particular brand of musical expression, teaming up with local ‘sound carriers’ AK/DK, Feline1 and Ann Shenton for an improvised, one-off show at the Green Door Store.
The first thing we noticed on arrival was his casual presence in the smoking area, mingling with the growing crowd and occasionally nipping inside to make a sale from his self-run merch table. It’s fantastic that a cult hero eschews pretence for the sheer enjoyment of making music and connections all over the world. The intimacy of the Green Door Store adds to this feeling of collaboration – guided by Damo Suzuki’s ‘free energy’ and infectious charisma, we were to merge through the experience of music.
Kicking off at exactly 9pm, the locals tuned into each other as Damo held back amidst the pondering audience. As the idea began to develop, Damo burst through the crowd to take his place at the microphone – his long, black hair making him look like the middle-aged son of the girl from The Ring. His first vocal foray was a guttural, Mongolian throat chant of a growl. Some noise for a dude the size of Pikachu.
Live, jazz-style drumming and analogue synths from AK/DK set the jams in motion, aided by a more modern electronic approach from Feline1. Meanwhile Ann Shenton’s ingenious DIY noise-maker pumped out oscillating frequencies seemingly in response to the electric signals emanating from her hands. Damo rode the waves of melody with freely spun lyrics, finding the hooks in the rhythm to create repetitive, tidal movements of song. He varied his approach from the throat chant of the intro to styles more reminiscent of Can, occasionally dipping into Japanese and soulful, rock ‘n’ roll crooning.
As with all jams, the tempo languished at times as the musicians searched out each other’s melody, yet every performance managed to build into a gorgeous crescendo of heaving noise. Feet stomped to drums while bodies shook together with Mr Suzuki as ringleader, instigator and motivation.
An encore was called for, making for almost two hours of music being created in front of us, our heads swimming from the barrage of art. Afterwards, Damo applauded the crowd with the same enthusiasm that he was treated to, exiting the stage down the centre to shake hands and share high-fives. A singularity had been achieved – we were newly initiated members of Damo Suzuki’s Network, sounds carrying us happily back to the reality of our lives.
Green Door Store, Tuesday 19th June 2012
Words by Philip Williams
Photos By Blanche Potter for Brighton Noise