Gig review: Conquering Animal Sound, Glasgow

Conquering Animal Sound. Picture: Contributed
Conquering Animal Sound. Picture: Contributed
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“Speaking is overrated,” laughed Anneke Kampman towards the end of the show, following her bandmate James Scott’s abortive attempts at adding some conversation to proceedings.


Stereo, Glasgow

Star rating; * * * *

He really needn’t have bothered, for Conquering Animal Sound is a musical project which is just diverse and otherworldly enough to benefit from a bit of distance from ordinary analogue communication.

The pair were playing the first of two live shows this past weekend (the other was at Edinburgh’s Summerhall) in support of their brand new EP on Chemikal Underground, entitled Talking Shapes. The follow-up to their second album, On Floating Bodies, the EP reveals no new direction, rather a consolidation of a sound which has served them well so far, a sound which begins amidst the syncopated electronic swirls and allusions to experimental house played on Kampman and Scott’s keyboards.

Alongside the rich and inventive electronic heart of the music, these songs were lent added texture and live rhythmic punch by the presence of Glasgow-based percussionist Signy Jakobsdottir onstage behind the core duo, a temporary appointment for these gigs but a very welcome addition for the purposes of fleshing out what is already a strongly conceived sonic presence. Key to this is Kampman’s voice, an instrument whose debt to Bjork could surely never be denied, but whose often strongly-accented blending of rap and mantra singing lends a hypnotic element to these already hard to resist songs. In a live context they sound fresh, exciting, mature and dense in original thought all at once.

Seen on 03.10.14