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+ special guests: A.R.C. Soundtracks
Shield Patterns is the Manchester-based duo of Claire Brentnall and Richard Knox (A-Sun Amissa / The Rustle of the Stars / Glissando). Together they create intensely emotive music full of light and shade that’s both melodic and incredibly detailed. It’s a sound that is at once accessible and exploratory and ends up as a triumph of dark and dreamily surreal contemporary music. The duo’s critically acclaimed debut LP Contour Lines (2014) and subsequent EP Violet (2015) were both released via Richard’s own Gizeh label with new album Mirror Breathing released in September 2016. Operating with a fiercely DIY ethos, Shield Patterns is an exploration in sound and songwriting. The music is difficult to place into genres or pigeon-holes. Experimental sounds are married to striking, inventive melodies and wrapped up inside a rich, heavy, ethereal blanket.
A.R.C. Soundtracks are based in the north of England. Marrying bleak organ and guitar drones to distant percussion/beats and disembodied spoken-word vocals, they make for an unsettling listen. Their debut album of 2014 <Archive: Volume One> moved from sparse, fragmentary pieces to dense, slow- shifting blankets of sound. Its haunted, blown-out sonics received much positive praise and drew comparisons to the work of Demdike Stare, Svarte Greiner, Mogwai and even Cormac McCarthy’s writing.