Gazelle Twin @ Electrowerkz - Rolo McGinty reviews

Gazelle Twin played Baba Yaga’s Hut at Electrowerkz, London. Rolo McGinty of The Woodentops reviews.

Gazelle Twin - by Rolo McGinty

Gazelle Twin - “Broken angel voice of tripped banshee”

Don’t you just love it when you see something that somehow perfectly suits and encapsulates your evening? For me just now it was an ice cream cone, dropped to the pavement, that had been there a long time. The cone was intact but the actual ice cream had merely sloped to one side, not melted or run the pavement. It was nasty and chemical and will hold its shape for hours. Gazelle Twin have a chemically altered atmosphere that too, holds form in the heat. It has a nastiness, some kind of evil lysergic lives in the image they create. You want to feel a bliss but the face in front of you has no eyes.

The two performers are bright and simple and physical, A light blue and red hoodie and trousers are the colours that glow in the smoke. Elizabeth is gone, far into the moment, the zone of live drama and her face, obscured by stocking with a hole only for her mouth and a veil of hair, is instinctively using the space of the stage to rage and her companion behind a minimal equipment stand, is stooped and totally nod squad.

I’m reminded of Snapped Ankles or Ancients of Mu, Blair Witch even, that rocking of madness and intensity and hood. Smoke surges as you are sucked deeper into the darkness of the bass and spacious drum programming. It steams and splurges moments of industrial grim, but over the top is that broken angel voice of tripped banshee, that takes it all away from the typical electronics you have to admit, you’ve heard quite a lot of now. This is fresh, bold, simple and soaring. I often tell my ‘instrumental electronic music’ friends ‘yes all good but you need a vocal…just something.. You need someone to make that music real’. They think I’m looking for a vocal job or get pissed at me for saying ‘It needs something bro’.

Gazelle Twin - by Rolo McGinty

“It’s an exorcism, non stop”

What Elizabeth Bernholz does is exactly what I mean. Like Alan Vega in Suicide, or Perry Farrell in Jane’s Addiction do, a scientifically, electronically altered strong original vocal, with in your face, onstage unchoreographed raw theatrical drama. It’s an exorcism, non stop.

The vocal started brittle and ear scratchingly dry but within the first song began to warm and thicken as the mic effect unit began to be mixed in (by Elizabeth) and soon the echo and looping gave the voice wings and she knows how to fly a dragon. We all fly with her, we are hooked.

Mainly the music is mid pace underneath her but the odd moment of fast drum programming and a rushing 16th sequence techno style, leapt out. Usually I would want to get excited but the fat sound kept me quite happy, it’s heavy as a Sabbath, which is what we had here. A kind of trance ritual in a world of anime and solar glass and nuclear filth in bags. Somehow, a weird beauty lives in the middle of it. A human voice, high, chanting, looping and stomping the boards amongst the twisted mental metal of morphing sound. I’ll be honest I may have wanted to stay home, but my friend’s enthusiasm pushed me to the station. So glad I did. I saw something new. I know people doing something actually new are out there but they are hard to find. Bingo! Found one.

Of course Elizabeth will get all the attention but her partner is ..unless he’s just miming and bobbing haha I’m sure not, is really adding to this show in presence and sound design. Some clever chords that feel just right come and go, the bass and drums are interesting and never over packed leaving plenty of sonic room in the sound for the songs. Did they have words? Probably did, but like say Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins, it doesn’t matter. I’ll work that out another time.

Gazelle Twin - by Rolo McGinty

“They are already future”

Because of who invited me along, and his intentions, I know they have literally the best person they could have, to help take them into the future. They are already future though, so it’s going be a great story to watch. I can see them playing large stages to huge crowds at festivals and it completely working. It won’t be about choruses and sing along, it will be about Elizabeth captivating any amount of people and that music making and holding the fort, filling the speakers right out. Some of those little sounds that flick left to right that made Electrowerkz seem so much larger than it is, will make a festival scale environment feel enormous.

I’m pleased to see Gazelle Twin in what will be early days, I’m pleased that definitely some people will hate it, but I don’t, I feel the desire to suggest you go see them, Gazelle Twin as I say are great already. Now that I have been told Elizabeth Bernholz is the principal writer and producer of the music I am double impressed.