Appliance – live at Sound City 99 – The L2 Liverpool – October 26, 1999 – John Peel Concert – BBC Radio 1 –
Appliance in concert tonight. Live at Sound City 99 at The L2 In Liverpool and broadcast live by John Peel on October 26, 1999.
Appliance ormed in Exeter in 1995, the band originally comprised James Brooks (guitar), David Ireland (percussion) and Stuart Christie (bass). Christie left in 1995 to form Harmony 400, and was replaced by Michael Parker.
They released three 10-inch vinyl EPs on various independent record labels, including their own self-financed Surveillance Records, before signing with Daniel Miller’s Mute Records in 1999.
The band’s first album for mute was Manual (1999), and was positively received by critics.
The mini-album Six Modular Pieces followed in 2000, an album of “droning, atmospheric” tracks, described by Allmusic as “lo-fi garage numbers with layers of textured guitars, bleep effects, and vintage synthesizers”, and regarded by the NME as “a creative breakthrough”.
Imperial Metric (2002) was seen as more diverse, with Allmusic’s Tim DiGravina identifying Neu!, Joy Division and The Velvet Underground as influences, describing the album as “deceptively complex, melodic, and timeless mood music”. Pitchfork’s Paul Cooper saw it as an improvement on their previous work, calling it “a fascinating blend of post-punk dub, primitive electronics, and Soviet-menace nostalgia”. Noel Gardner, reviewing for the NME was less impressed, viewing the music as dated, and calling the band “just another troupe of high-minded post-rock paranoiacs”.
Their music was inspired by Krautrock, a 1970s Germanic experimental movement involving minimalist song structures, mantra-like rhythms, drones and repetition. Often described as “post-rock”, they used home-made guitar effects extensively, including their own creation, the ‘Tritone’. They also used a huge array of instruments, with more than 50 listed as being used on Manual.
Critics drew comparisons with Kraftwerk, Neu!, Stereolab, and Spacemen 3.
Crank it up and have a listen.
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