In just under a week, The Deaf Institute plays host to one of experimental guitar’s most recognisable figures. Stephen O’Malley’s plaudits reach far further than being one half of the legendary fathers of drone, Sunn O))). In the last 10 years at least, O’Malley’s musical journey has been characterised by a constant searching for ground-breaking new sounds, which makes his inclusion in pioneering groups such as Burning Witch and Thorr’s Hammer seem a distant memory. Looking at his recent work alone gives a clear indication of this, forming the Nazoranai trio with Keiji Haino and Oren Ambarchi, scoring The Phantom Carriage with Peter Rehberg as the duo KTL, collaborating on the recent ÄÄNIPÄÄ release, a death-dealing hook-up with Mika Vainio and forming Ensemble Pearl with Muchio Kurihara. It’s a continuation of an already impressive pedigree in the realm of avant-garde music-making. It’s a talent that O’Malley has used to form his own record label, Ideaologic Organ, whose issuing of recordings by composers Ákos Rózmann, Iancu Dumitrescu and Norbert Möslang speaks plainly to the guitarist’s fascination with the fringes of modern music, a discography that sits comfortably alongside Editions Mego’s celebrated Recollection GRM series. It’s clear that these factors have had a marked effect on O’Malley’s playing and approach to the guitar, which, unburdened by the heft of Sunn O)))’s signature drones, offers a tantalising prospect, to see the man and his custom-made aluminium guitar’s duet, unadorned on stage. There’s literally no telling what he’ll release. In light of all this, Aluk Todolo seem the most fitting support. This French trio have been shrouded in mystery, befitting the oculist alchemy of their Black Metal and Kraut Rock inspired improvisations, heavy on space, mood and a re-inventive flare that mirrors O’Malley’s diverse range of influences. Covering DJ duties are Fat Out To You Pass Out, promising to play an eclectic range of heavy sounds on wax.

Wed 9 Apr, The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, M1 7HE, Tel: 0161 276 9350, 7.30pm, £11.50,

Wed 9 Apr
David McLean
Published on:
Sun 6 Apr 2014