CrowhurstSet within the relatively hipster ambience of Harringay, New River Studios deceptively masquerades as a warehouse space for beers and coffee and is free reign to the two resident cats. Set deep within the back – waaaay into the back – is the studio space where, unbeknownst to the deck shoe clad regulars out front, a dark and sinister display of noise is about to take place.

One-man audio terrorist, Knifedoutofexistence, opens the show, taking inspiration from his hardcore/grind background (Swallowing, performance at Chimpy Fest, tour with Water Torture, etc.) with a short and nasty 15 minute blast of tormented vocals amidst a cloak of distortion and feedback. It makes for a punishing yet enjoyable mindfuck.

Noise/improv trio, Warren Schoenbright, are a deeply textural live experience, pooling from noise rock fury and aloof ambient passages, they create a cult vibe that is enhanced by the lack of stage and the audience encircling the band as they play. Their manic playing style, at times, evokes the sound and imagery of an orchestra playing in a thunderstorm, yet, at their most subdued they are almost primitive sounding. The least ominous of all of tonight’s sets but definitely one of the most emotive.

When playing as a duo, Caïna shelve black metal in favour of power electronics. Laurence Taylor, when not stalking through the audience, barking out stark and vicious vocals, spasms and convulses on the floor to a dense wall of electronics provided by Andy Curtis-Brignell. It’s a jarring and discomforting performance that is akin to the sound Gnaw Their Tongues produce at their best, but also draws inspiration from Fear Factory with a heavy focus on industrial atmosphere. A particular highlight is a cover of ‘Thieves’ by Ministry. The oppressive atmosphere is a lot like having your head stomped on repeatedly but rapidly turns you into a glutton for punishment.

LA based one-man noise act, Crowhurst, encourages the audience to sit on the floor as he pulls up a chair himself; it’s a little like being at a school assembly for the occult. Due to the late running time, the original 30 minute set time is cut down to just 15 minutes, however, what he manages to squeeze in still makes a powerful impact. “Things are going to get weird” he states, before a bizarre feedback loop shakes its way across the room, enveloping those sat on the floor to watch. A hypnotic end to a genuinely crushing evening.

(Review by Angela Davey)