Mego Records Night

Tue 23rd September 2003
The Theatre


Event Details:
The Austrian label MEGO started in 1994. Regarded as one of the most respected label’s of its time, due to the extreme effort that is put into packaging and artwork, as well as a glorious disregard for being pigeonholed into any one genre… It is the aim that Mego releases and ideas should be collected and experienced for many years to come and not be seen as some fodder for hopeless fashion victimised disc jockeys.

Four MEGO artists present real-time material at this event. Label boss Peter Rehberg [PITA] states: “its a game of 2 halves really: One half improvised ‘in patch’ audio work outs using SC 2.9 and 2.10 patches developed by Andreas Pieper for Mego, one half playback and manipulation of own and other persons audio works”. The Britsh Artists Russell Haswell uses generative audio software to create audio so physical as to provide a collapsing sculptural like experience. The German Florian Hecker [HECKER] Uses the Computer Hard and Software enviroments, live demonstrations include a broadband mix of historical as well as most recent computer synthesis and file manipulating techniques. [HIAZ] A founding member of Farmersmanual a pan-European, multisensory disturbance conglomerate that had a stream of concerts and performative events since 1995, continuously expanding their performance practice towards environments where the public becomes an essential part of the work. His latest work focuses on creating synesthetical experiences presenting an interconnected, holistic view of the world by cross activating sensual stimuli.

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Review from The Wire Magazine

The Custard Factory, Digbeth

This was the opening night of Austrian label Mego’s five-date package tour. Its owner Peter Rehberg (alias Pita), Hiaz (a member of Farmers Manual), Florian Hecker (from Germany) and the UK’s own Russell Haswell could all be described as sonic sculptors, using computers to gobble up the very grain of their audio matter, to be spewed out in a heavily altered state.

The whole show wasn’t exactly the embodiment of live entertainment. It’s difficult to discern who’s performing at any given time, with each artist lurking circumspectly in the shadows. In the stretches without video output, we’re just looking at a pair of brooding speaker stacks and four static spotlights. Haswell’s earlier pieces adopted the accepted vocabulary of linear progression, amassing extended rumbles and drones of complementary bass and treble sources, steadily increasing in density and volume. It was Russell who later began to lift the proceedings into a new energy zone, starting to become more agitated, fidgety and fragmented. After Haswell’s throwing down of the gauntlet, Hecker and Hiaz started to engage with dislocation, descending into the lowest bass frequencies that can tickle out what amounts to a near ear-orgasm, even if the price paid is heavy damage to the inner drums.

Even the usually bold Capsule audience was decimated by evening’s end, but my own view was that the greatest pleasure was to be found on a curve that rose gradually upwards during the second, more active, stage of the proceedings.

Martin Longley