£4 on the door

“Easily some of the wildest free rock/jazz ecstasy to turn up on a cassette in years. Can’t recommend this enough.” David Keenan, Volcanic Tongue on Metal Rouge

“Repetition and variation are key motifs, and there’s a dizzying brilliance at work here, with ever circling riff layers turning perceptions inside out until all that remains is pure joy.” Eric Hardiman, Tape Drift/Rambutan on Chalaque

Metal Rouge is the duo of LA-born Helga Fassonaki and New Zealander Andrew Scott, formed in Auckland, NZ in 2006. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2007 the band switched from earlier Persian instrumentation to pedal and lap steel guitars and the music took on the form of streamlined horizontal psychedelic continuums. Unlike many contemporary musicians coming of out of California, Metal Rouge stand defiantly against meta-new age irony, crafting an intensely personal brand of electrified minimal maximalism at the intersection of New Zealand free noise, NYC loft minimalism and free jazz. Their sets over the last two years have consisted of simple guitar figures strung around drugged minimalist drum pulses interspersed with explosive treble-heavy freeform ragas and fearless outré vocalese. Currently bi-coastal with Andrew in Los Angeles and Helga in New Jersey they continue to throw ideas across the continent, some of which resulted in their new LP ‘Soft Erase’ out this summer on Emerald Cocoon.

You might know AULOS’ SECOND REED better as Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides, but, whilst the line-up remains the same, the concept is completely new. Setting aside their much lauded flute w/FX and drums w/throat mic duo, Kelly Jayne Jones and Pascal Nichols have picked-up organic matter and found objects and unlocked their previously unrealised performative potential by amplifying them and applying their deep improvisational technique to slow-burning, ecstatic effect.

Chalaque is, to all intents and purposes, the solo project of guitar player Nick Mitchell, who currently leads the eight-piece free rock unit Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura and was formerly a member of A Wake and Beach Fuzz. Occasionally augmented by a band (drummer Pascal Nichols and bass player Dylan Hughes most frequently), Nick uses synths or tapes or other instrumentation to forge repetitive cycles around which he develops damaged arpeggios, discords and brain-fryingly extended solos on guitar recalling the creamy dorian style of Kimio Mizutani. A new 7″ is out in June on Golden Lab and a cassette on Feathered Coyote is due the same month.

Metal Rouge: