Kayo Dot + Bilbao Syndrome

Wed 16th February 2011
Hare and Hounds

Swordfish - Temple Street, Birmingham

Polar Bear - York Road, Kings Heath

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Kayo Dot

First Birmingham appearance of Brooklyn-based mavericks Kayo Dot. Their last two albums, Blue Lambency Downward, and the lastest, Coyote, were released on the Los Angeles experimental heavy music label Hydra Head, and ironically do more than any of their previous output to transcend the often-applied ‘metal’ tag. Myriad influences and multifarious instrumentation combine to produce records of swirling, eerie majesty, full of startlingly original orchestration, poignant vocal harmonies and constantly challenging arrangements. The constantly-shifting soundscapes take in elements of jazz and classical music and filter them through a Zorn-esque modern composition aesthetic, and a command of dynamic range which belies founder Toby Driver’s background in heavy music. The resulting pieces are executed with such ease and erudition that any attempt to tease out the shreds of the band’s influences becomes futile and unnecessary as one becomes lost in the disturbing beauty and sheer wonder. Expect entrancing live renditions of tracks from Blue Lambency Downward, plus earlier releases on Holy Roar and John Zorn’s Tzadik label.



Jeremiah Cymerman

The music of Jeremiah Cymerman (SIMMER-man), as described by Chris Weingarten of Spin/Village Voice “cuts a maddening line between free improv and musique concrète”. Based in New York City since 2002 and as an active participant in several different scenes, Cymerman’s work reflects an interest in improvisation, electronic manipulation & production, traditional, studio & graphic composition and solo performance. Cymerman has worked or performed with a broad range of contemporary artists and frequent collaborators include Toby Driver, Nate Wooley, Brian Chase, Mario Diaz de Leon, Christopher Hoffman, Jessica Pavone and Matthew Welch.  Cymerman has toured internationally, received numerous commissions and published several articles on music and music production. He has released several recordings of his own music and his recorded output has been documented on the  Tzadik and Porter record labels.

Bilbao Syndrome

Combining the more extreme elements of metal, jazz and modern composition in a confrontational and cathartic presentation. The bulk of the material is driven by relentless shifting guitar riffs which bring to mind a Ritalin-addled Meshuggah or a more wantonly violent Shining, underpinned by massive lurching bass and nervous, offbeat-laden drum figures. Periodically the rhythmic intensity reaches a climax and the groove breaks down into scattergun snare blasts and offbeat stabs, rendered with a seemingly telepathic sense of timing, recalling the spasmodic assault of The Locust.

The rules of metal allow for a certain amount of theatre, provided it is of the Dungeons and Dragons variety. Bilbao Syndrome circumvent the cliches of the genre to conjure a more austere, contemporary horrorshow which is guaranteed to be a divisive, ultimately rejuvenative presence in modern metal.


Poster designed by Tom J Hughes