AUDIOSCOPE – Music for a Good Home 3

When you go to the Audioscope all-dayer and your eyes wander across the posters advertising Audioscope’s past, they soon snap into sharp focus at the names who’ve taken the closing slot over the years – names like:

Califone, Damo Suzuki (twice), Karma to Burn, Wire, Don Cabarello, Clinic, Deerhoof, Four Tet, Six By Seven.

Impressive, no? And that’s before you scan down to the other bands on those bills such as Arbouretum, Explosions in the Sky, Grumbling Fur, Nought and so on and on and on.

So while you marvel at that rock procession, you kick yourself for what you might have missed over the years. My big miss was NOT seeing Damo Suzuki in 2012, opting instead for an Oxford gig of ‘avant metal and free jazz, Black Sabbath meets Sun Ra’.

It wasn’t though. It was fucking earache. Attended by about 9 people. Worst of all, we couldn’t even leave because the venue was too small for a discreet exit: we were trapped. Trapped by metallic free jazz. By the set’s end, even the drummer sensed our escapist longing and rejected the band’s suggestion of an encore. SENSE PREVAILED. But he was overruled … and the band played on.

But let’s get back to the beauty of Audioscope. Once you get rid of the flashbacks and look around the event – now tucked upstairs at the Jericho Tavern – you again try and square it with the names on those posters.

How can an event that’s this unassuming, this low key, manage to bag bands of that stature year after year?

And yet, somehow, it does. That’s the magic. Punching well above its weight, Audioscope is surely the Bruce Lee of one-day festivals.

Now we have the latest Audioscope album, Music for a Good Home 3, and it’s an even bigger version of those live line-ups. A website link is on its way but first, check this for an opening one-two from the album:

Amon Tobin. John Parish.

Shit me, is that alone worth the price of entry or what??? Tobin’s cooling, gothic downbeats Twin-Peaking into Parish’s sliding Americana is as sublime a start as you could want, and it all ends 29 tracks later – yep, 31 tracks for a bargain 7 quid – with a ragged, 18-minute grope towards lo-fi salvation by Magik Markers, the spirit of Crazy Horse and Brain Donor infusing their tech-free reps.

Elsewhere on the record there’s a stack of goodness to digest. Grumbling Fur, Arbouretum’s David Heumann, Wolf People and Six by Seven count among the higher-profile bands, yet the pleasure of this expansive comp is unearthing the stuff you don’t know or haven’t heard. Karhide’s explosive chase/attack, Dirty Beaches’ beat-less drones and Barn Owl’s intense immersive swell are just a few new discoveries, for me at least, but that’s just the beginning. What about Danny Paul Grody’s timeless acoustic fingerpickings? Or Chrome Hoof’s eccentric precision metal?

Time to send you on your way, methinks – get the full listing for Audioscope: Music for a Good Home 3 right here and download the album. You’ll enrich your life and do your bit to help others too, because Audioscope’s proceeds go towards Shelter.

Then spread the word and tell your friends to buy it, ‘coz compilations this good really shouldn’t go unheard.

See Audioscope reviews for 2013, 2014 and 2015