Attrition – Khost – D.M.P – The Arches Venue Coventry 13th May 2023
On the night of the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 those of us not moved by the glitz and the glamour in Liverpool are gathered in The Arches in Coventry where dark industrial grooves are dominating the room. Attrition, Khost and D.P.M. are all playing, read what we thought below
DPM, or Don’t Play Music are onstage, a couple of tables full of expensive looking electronic equipment in front of them. They are, on one side of the stage Steve and Cristiana from Tuff Chowy and on the other Simon and Martin from Attrition. They all stand in a line manipulating switches and knobs and the noise is definitely not music. I’m told afterwards that the sample at the start is the only thing planned and that this is one long improvised track. It’s all drones, static and layers of noise. There’s a high synth and then odd noises come and go around the drones. The buzzing turns more bassy and the distortion scatters across the surface of the sound like rain on water. Wonky whooshing starts and as you look at the stage it feels like Kraftwerk have had a midlife crisis, taken off their suits and robot masks and decided to stuff everything and just have some fun and make noise. Hard electro beats come in and it turns nasty, dark and dank layers fall down as the noise rises again. The beats are swallowed up and it falls away, to come back in a huge wave of sound as DPM leave the stage one by one.
Andy from Khost puts his hood up over his cap and steps up onstage, Damian puts on the most metal looking guitar I’ve seen for years and a sample starts playing. The noise rises and Andy plays a bugle making a most unholy noise and then it’s amplified over a rising guitar whine. Then the guitars properly kick in and it’s slow, measured and as heavy as hell. There’s only the two of them and they make a noise that sounds like the Earth collapsing in on itself. Andy stands still, looking at nothing as Damian moves while the guitars take over everything. It’s grinding, slowly heavily forwards, glacial in its strength and potential. It is just so good. It lowers, the beat disappears and strange elephantine sounds echo before they move and the beats hammer back in, even louder and more intense. More weird noises as Andy uses a slide on his guitar, the sound turns nasty and slows even more, disturbingly heavy. Massive complete noise. A brilliant set.
Attrition start with the Voice of Truth and as the sample plays bursts of static clash around it, Martin lights the Joss sticks and steps forward to deliver his low growl and Julia adds the operatic flairs that together make this lineup special. The incense burns in a huge fragrant cloud, Julia looks like a Goddess in cape and headdress and Martin oozes drama and performance all in black, leant over the audience, waving the mic stand, growling and staring. The synths and electronic noises fill the room with darkness as Simon manipulates and twists the sound from the back. Throbbing and probing our minds. Julia’s voice sounds pagan, a call back to the old times, Martin’s whisper a growing focus on top of the music. A beat comes in and it’s stark and Martin falls to his knees. They turn depraved and sensual, the music synths throb and squelch and it sounds decadent and alive. It’s slow and sleazy and the beats alongside the choral singing makes it even more so. It stutters and then carries on until Martin stands, turns a knob and a groove ridden drum and bass beat splatters over the top of everything. It’s excellent and the beats just make the darkness draw nearer. The music fades to a blackened atmosphere of synths and beats, more drum and bass madness and then they’re done. Another excellent set from a brilliant band.