Tucked away deep in the countryside of Bristol last weekend saw what we can only describe as a pilgrimage for music lovers. As someone who is very new to the genre it was incredible to come to ArcTanGent Festival for an edifying combination of the weird and the wonderful in a hub for math and post rock aficionados. We have never attended anything quite like and doubt we will again till ArcTanGent 2015.
With our tents erected just in time for Baby Godzilla to destroy the renowned Yohkai stage you couldn’t miss them swinging around the outside of the tent. From ‘Powerboat Disaster’ to their latest ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’ there wasn’t a second to blink for fear of a wielding fret board amidst carnal riffs and crowd surfing cabs. We salute those who managed to successfully surf that bad boy. Closing on ‘The Three Legged Race.ist’ freed what was left of any restrained crowd movement, a frenzy that warmed not only the tent but also the entire weekend.
ArcTanGent did this beautiful thing with the opening night by welcoming back bands that had played the previous year, Nordic Giants being one of them. With the screen set up and the pair ready with black smeared across their eyes and suited up into black figures that make Nordic Giants less about individuals but taking incredible talent in audio and visual flair and merging them into unexplainable, notable and remarkable pieces that could only be compared to performance art. Yet everything remains so refined and minimal that the tent was held in a muted sedation, enraptured. ‘The Last Breath’ held us with welling eyes emerging from passionate soundscapes.
After witnessing Three Trapped Tigers a few weeks earlier at Hevy Festival it was enthralling and fascinating to be able to barely be able to see the band from the spills of people coming out of the sides of the Yohkai stage. The band create this incredible experience from start to finish and a like many of the bands on the ArcTanGent line up they are something you can rarely describe and must witness. Lost in a system of sounds, Three Trapped Tigers have established this elaborate network of insane time patterns and wild drums that mirror intricate riffs that well and truly blew our minds.
Closing the Thursday antics saw And So I Watch You From Afar drive us into jumping, singing lunatics, somehow the band combine these insane tones with forceful and inclining dynamics. As tracks increase and develop into these snaking whirlwinds that wound the room high before unleashing white lights and swift meandering riffs through ‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable’ we were truly left with melted faces.