Thursday 25 July 2013, 18:57
Late Junction presenter Max Reinhardt describes his experiences recording sets and interviews in the Lavish Lounge and exclusive truck sessions at the 2013 Latitude Festival.Drawing by Sue Eves (with permission)
Saturday 20 July
Morning ... comes eclectic obviously... Went to sleep last night dreaming distractedly about the most abstract ever bill on our stage in the Lavish Lounge. I mean no-one’s ever going to suggest that we’re veering into middle of the road/luke warm festival fodder with 3 acts like Walls vs Daphne Oram, Flower Corsano Duo and Troyka.
... Abstract and leisurely, wander into our studio truck compound immediately interrupted by reality: news from the legendary Latitude traffic jam ... cavalry delayed: fellow presenter and longtime technicsmate Nick Luscombe won't be able to be the LJ voice in the studio truck for Serafina Steer and Emma (Elysian Quartet/Geese) Smith. Climb nimbly into said truck and prepare myself for such a sweet encounter until next bulletin from traffic jam via walkie talkies: Serafina and Emma have also been becalmed by the traffic. Ah my... back to abstraction
....Nick and family (Harumi and Hannah) arrive five minutes later ... As day turned into night Nick (El) Luscombe presided over live sessions and interviews with artists from iArena, the BBC6Music stage and the main stage (Obelisk Arena); harpist Serafina Steer (Think Mark E Smith meets Joanna Newsom meets a sad girl at a disco, or so it said in the Latitude bible-size programme), nu’skool Americana hombre Matthew E White and Late Junction/World Routes/World on 3 Malian favourites Bassekou Kouyate and his family band Ngoni ba
Last night’s Melt Yourself Down set last night seems to have permeated the collective consciousness of Latitude. All round the site we heard people talking about how even the multicoloured sheep had been moshing to the duelling saxes of Pete Wareham and Shabaka Hutchings. BBC6Music’s Steve Lamaq, Lauren Laverne and Shaun Keaveny all told us that they’d heard all around that it was totally unmissable and such comments and whispers followed us all round the site for the rest of the weekend. As it goes, Shabaka and Pete were in the Lavish Lounge with us for most of the fest, along with Richard Dawson: on Late Junction the music is always the magnet , so it is written.
Live set from Walls vs Daphne Oram, with guest drummer John Barrett on board, shakes the treetops and floats the settees, while the spirit of Daphne Oram possesses a worshipful audience who feel the need to rise up and dance as the set reaches it broken beat climax. Walls are London electronic duo Alessio Natalizia and Sam Willis, who’ve been using the Daphne Oram Sound Archive at Goldsmiths College (Univ. of London) as a primary sound source for their set. Daphne was co-founder of BBC Radiophonic Workshop and, as an anonymous person from the audience generously chipped into my intro, ‘the first female British electronic composer who invented the Oramics drawn sound technique, a method of music composition and performance which allows a composer to draw an "alphabet of symbols" on paper and feed it through a machine that produces the relevant sounds on magnetic tape’... or something like that. It started life as a Late Junction session back in May (check it out here.)
Next set took us and our totally rapt Lavish Lounge audience deeper into abstraction: an epic improvisational session from Mick Flower and Chris Corsano. How does it happen that Mick, an Englishmusician playing the Shahi Baaja*, forms a duo with nonstop American totally freestyle kit drummer Chris? And how can they make such extreme and sublime freeform sonic magic? It's a conversation that no-one appears to lead but both transmute throughout their set, which starts at what seems to be the highest level of intensity imaginable and totally takes its audience with it, surfing the crests and plumbing the depths.
...and finally a late night piece of cerebral funk-encrusted jazz served up a band that's one of LJ presenter Fiona Talkington’s big faves... Troyka (Chris Montague-guitars & loops, Joshua Blackmore-drums and Kit Downes-keyboards and biggest fat organ sound). Once again the Late night Lavish Lounge was packed, this time with with laid back, mesmerised, cool-jazz heads ... while above the lake in front of our very eyes the Moon, the fireworks and the technicolour projections entertained us with some free form choreography. In one corner of the Lounge one woman braved the consciousness changing time signatures, syncopation, drops and stabs powered by Joshua’s percussion to dance non-stop through the set, with no partner but her necklace of clear plastic bottles ...
*a variety of Indian zither with ‘modifications’ typewriter keys which depress several of the strings to change their pitch and 12 additional unfretted strings which serve as an on-board drone harp (swarmandal)
Producer Peter Meanwell writes: On Tuesday night's Late Junction (23 July) there were live sets from Melt Yourself Down, Richard Dawson and Electric Jalaba, as well as Yo La Tengo in session and Richard Thompson in interview. Last night (24 July) we had Troyka, Flower-Corsano Duo and Walls vs Daphne Oram, with Matthew E White and Coco Rosie in session, and Bobby Womack in interview. Tonight (25 July) Max presents live sets from Graveola, Nancy Elizabeth and Anna Meredith, plus Late Junction truck sessions from Bassekou Kouyate and Stealing Sheep.
You can follow BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction on twitter @bbcradio3 #latejunction
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