Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Tobacconists present Smoking is Green

The Tobacconists present
Smoking is Green -
a radiophonic opera in four cigarettes
+ H + Stuart Chalmers
Café Kino, Stokes Croft, Bristol,
Wednesday 11 April 2012, 8pm
Tickets: £6.50 adv
Perhaps you haven’t heard of The Tobacconists… Chances are though, if you’re prone to occasionally dipping a toe into the murky world or outsider musics (and that’s why you’re here, right?), you’ve come across their members before. Scott Faust and Frans de Waard (for The Tobacconists are they) are underground legends of the highest order, with CVs that read like a who’s who of subcultural musical activity during the last few decades.
Visionary theorist, musician, composer, filmmaker and performance artist, Scott Foust is a true outsider artist. Unlike most outsider artists, though, who tend to be mystical crackpots or mental defectives (usually both), Foust has a clear worldview grounded in reality. For three decades Foust, now 50, has pounded away at The Spectacle, employing a wide array of aesthetic approaches with no public or financial support. Foust’s hermeneutics lie at the strange crossroads between Guy Debord and Oscar Wilde. If Foust’s ideas seem idealistic and impractical at first, it is only because being against power and for beauty is always idealistic and impractical. His Swill Radio record label, founded in 1983, has released not only his own work, but also LPs by The Shadow Ring, Asmus Tietchens, and Ralf Wehowsky among others. His longest running musical project, Idea Fire Company (or IFCO, as they are more snappily known), founded with long time associate Karla Borecky in 1988, , produced three of the finest – if still unknown – LPs of the last decade: Anti-Natural, Stranded, and The Island Of Taste. In 1997 Foust along with Borecky and Dr. Timothy Shortell founded the Anti-Naturals, an art and theory group, which has few but dedicated members worldwide. Faust has another group, Tart, with Graham Lambkin of The Shadow Ring.
Frans de Waard, meanwhile, has been producing music since 1984. First as Kapotte Muziek, but also as Beequeen (with Freek Kinkelaar), Goem (with Roel Meelkop & Peter Duimelinks, both of whom are also a member of Kapotte Muziek these days), Zebra (with Roel Meelkop) and Freiband, Shifts as well as his own name. He has worked for the iconic Dutch avant-label/shop Staalplaat (1992-2003) and since 1986 as a reviewer for his own publication Vital, (now online as Vital Weekly). As an improvisor, he has played and collaborated with Pan Sonic, Guiseppe Ielasi, Jaap Blonk, Howard Stelzer, Andrew Liles, and the mayor of his home city, Nijmegen. Frans de Waard started his record label, Korm Plastics, back in the early 80s, and it was a ‘major’ player in the thriving cassette-trading scene of that decade. Korm Plastics has released records by such artists as Francisco Lopez, Thurston Moore, The Hafler Trio, Jim O’Rourke
Frans de Waard toured with Scott Faust and Karla Borecky in 2005, resulting in the IFCO album Vital. In 2009, Faust and de Waard decided to take things to the next level, forming their own group The Tobacconists. With various releases already under their belt, the duo are setting out across Europe to bring you their most ambitious project to date: Smoking is Green. Starting life as a radio play, the piece has now evolved into a stage version or, as they call it, a radiophonic opera in four cigarettes. Taking the exquisite textural electronics/electro-acoustics of both players’ previous work, and mixing them with a collection of smoking-related texts, The Tobacconists have brewed up a wild performance dedicated to the band’s favourite activity – smoking. Pretty much guaranteed to be unlike anything else you’ve seen before; come and fill your lungs…

Plus two great musical performances to begin the evening…

H is the solo project of Héloïse Thibault, a French expat who has been making waves in Bristol’s underground music circles since moving to the city a couple years ago. H unleashes impro-ritualistic dream-music, that obliquely references a whole bunch of dance/electronica approaches while sounding not like any of them. Her music is celestial in its reach, yet retains an earthen warmth; bedroom music for galactic diversions. Oscillating between theta and beta brain-states, H ventures far out to reach magical spheres.

Stuart Chalmers makes frenetic junk-collages from magnetic tape and electronic circuitry.  It’s raw, un-digital noise that manages to hover just above the point of collapse; absorbing both the energy of kitchen-sink breakcore and the sparseness of minimalist improv clatter. There are musique concrète elements to his output, but they are filtered through a no-fidelity DIY aesthetic that owes more to American Tapes than GRM, and a compositional approach that is based on more intuitive compass-readings.

Tickets available from Bristol Ticket Shop and The Here Shop

A co-promotion with Public Interest Promotions