Dave Phillips

19.03.2005    No Fun Fest, The Hook, Brooklyn, USA.

video action



…Contraposed to all of this hippy longhair’dness were the more theatrical performances: Dave Phillips, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, Sudden Infant, Justice Yeldham & the Dynamic Ribbon Device, Glamorous Pat & Mokinox and HAZMAT. While everyone at the fest was putting on a ‘show’, for better or for worse there were some acts where keeping your eyes closed would have been of significant detriment to the experience (Macronympha as well, but for different reasons.) …

The most anticipated, and in my opinion, two of the most fulfilling performances were those of the Schimpfluch-Gruppe: Dave Phillips and Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. I’d seen Sudden Infant - the third Schimpfluch member- play on the Thursday prior to the festival, and wasn’t so into it: covers of songs like Roxy Music’s ‘In Every Dream home a Heartache’ and Cabaret Voltaire’s ‘Nag Nag Nag’, via turntable loops, babydoll microphone with accompanying vocalist/cymbal smasher, Anne Stubbs.

Dave Phillips’ was in every way, the best performance I saw during the festival. John Hegre of Jazzkammer did the sound, which accounts for the clarity and massive dynamic range (it went from quiet to LOUD). Phillips played alongside an unabashedly polemical video: footage of animals being slaughtered, tested upon, and abused, interspersed with short slogans attacking those who treat animals as a means, and bourgeois values. The sound came from a variety of sources, his amplified heartbeat, sounds from the throat/vocal chords, samples of insects, and electronics. Halfway into the performance Phillips walked into the audience and blew up balloons until they popped right in audience members’ faces. There was an intensity of discipline and focus, a rigor which never again came up in the fest, as Carlos Giffoni wrote in an email to the Hanson_American board; ‘Dave doesn’t fuck around.’ The seriousness, the intensity tempered with menace was a bracing contrast to the looseness and openness of the much of the other music in the festival, an antidote to the hippy vibe that was present in mercifully few of the acts. Fucking heartstopping stuff.

(NIRAV SONI, Bagatellen)

Dave Phillips’ set was one of the more troubling ones to play out over the course of the weekend. Performing solo, he stalked the left hand side of the stage, bellowing forth a heavy and punishing din. He was accompanied by a visual projection that featured a series of penetrating questions geared at the arbitrary organization of mankind’s rules and laws inter-cut with footage from several different types of slaughterhouses and animal testing laboratories. I highly doubt those images were news to anyone, but the seemed a bit heavy-handed and over done, invoking the type of tired sloganeering and elementary punk/hardcore social riffing (‘Humans are like animals to the slaughter’ et al.) that seems to have done countless times over. Make no mistake, the sounds Phillips supplied were thoroughly engaging and excellent, but his use of imagery seemed a bit too over the top at times. Although, granted, that was most likely the point, as any display of chickens being beheaded and monkeys being tortured isn’t exactly shooting for the sublime.

(MC, www.dustedmagazine.com)

… Day Two: Dave Phillips projects large-scale videos of animal slaughter scored to his guttural wail against and its sonic equal, the power of which is felt in yon pocketbook as the barbeque salesman behind the club is overheard saying, “They played these videos of people killing animals - my sales went to shit”…

(Signal Magazine)

Otro de los que procesan su voz, pero de una manera muy distinta es Dave Phillips (ex-Fear of God), quien presentó su performance junto a un acompañamiento visual que no fue apto para los vegetarianos en el público. Diferentes animales siendo degollados, torturados, exterminados en masa, pietaje de experimentos que se hacen con gatos y otros animales. La combinación entre estas referencias visuales y el ruido creado por Phillips (‘sampleando’ su voz en tiempo real y creando una excelente y muy variada pieza sonora) hicieron que algunos volvieran a tomarse un respiro en el patio del Hook. El elemento visual fue intercalado con algunas palabras y preguntas que se proyectaban en la pantalla de vez en cuando. Un comentario social muy extremo por Phillips. Quienes se ofendieron, realmente no estaban prestando atención. Phillips también se desplazó entre el público con su micrófono inalámbrico aún amarrado a su oído.

(translation: Another artist processing his own voice, although in a very different way, is Dave Phillips (ex-Fear of God), who presented his performance accompained by some visuals that turned out to be not suitable for the vegetarians in the audience. Animals being beheaded, tortured, mass-exterminated, footage of experiments on cats and other animals. The combination of these visual references and Phillips’s noise (which he created by sampling his own voice in real time and then arranging it into an excellent and fairly varied sound piece) forced many to take a break in the Hook’s backyard. The visual element was complemented with extremely political comments by Phillips himself. Those who got offended by the performance were really not paying attention. Phillips also walked among the public with his wireless mic still attached to his ear.)

(Puerto Rico, www.mannonnetwork.com/noctambulo)