In the Sublime Frequencies documentary Musical Brotherhoods from The Trans-Saharan Highway, a man in a Moroccan market makes an incredible noise. By effecting his electric oud, a kind of Middle Eastern lute, he creates the most wizardly sounding warbles you’ll ever hear. At last night’s Chop Suey performance, MMOB replicated the Moroccan man’s unique electric oud tone almost perfectly, wielding it to cast their own sort of wizardly spells. It’s no surprise the group are scooping up sounds from Sublime Frequencies’ globe-trotting documentaries; the sorts of shred Sublime Frequencies unearths are far removed from the West, which is exactly where Seattle’s Master Musicians of Bukkake like to reside. Also, the label’s founder and Sun City Girls freak-master Alan Bishop has been known to join the group on-stage. For all I know, he could have been there last night. There’s really no telling who was performing, as the group were swathed in black robes that covered their faces. During the set, MMOB managed to transform Chop Suey into an otherworldly opium den, pumping the room with obscene amounts fog and smoke. The effect made discerning anything but the insane deer mask the singer was wearing damned near impossible. It was incredible.
Like a lucid nightmare, MMOB’s show galloped through parched deserts and sun bleached wastelands, flipping its world music influences into chest pounding heaviness. Coming off the group’s new LP, Far West, MMOB proved that its mystic warpath will not be stopped.
MMOB member Randall Dunn just recently finished producing Midday Veil’s new LP, The Current. The group was celebrating the album’s release at last night’s show. We recently sat down to talk to Midday Veil about the album, a triumph in kraut-rocking grooves and hypnotic, trance-inducing rhythms. Lead singer Emily Pothast’s eyes opened three times larger than anyone expected as she hissed her metaphysical musings at the audience. Ripping through a lot of the new album, as well as a slew of off-album numbers, Midday Veil’s set was formidably dark and powerful. As synth player David Golightly mentioned in the previous interview, through some ingenious programming he was able to conjure up the sounds of roughly 20 instruments at once, providing the set with dense atmospherics. As someone very appropriately described it on Facebook, “I feel like I’m in a 90s movie about witchcraft where everyone is going to a hazy goth party.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself.