Review Ryosuke Kiyasu & Friends, The Exchange, Bristol by James Ellis

Ryosuke Kiyasu, photo credit: Adam Horswill

 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

The quest for more adventures in music lead me to Bristol. What could have been quite niche was anything but with the main space of the Exchange ever growing with a hungry, alive audience.

Now I happen to know the opening act, Linus who here has gone for the Germanic dubbing Wülf Gas. Known in the city for his grindcore sensibilities, here his heightened, furious vocal mic attack were shockingly brief. Adorned with a balaclava and little denium shorts, he peaked so intensely during this tiny set. It was extreme and I wanted more. Pain Matter aka Luke Oram gave a relentless and zen like offering on his electric guitar. Evoking minimalism and Glenn Branca, Luke helped up its momentum, his fingering also noteworthy, his concentration unbounded.

Seth Cooke, photo credit: Adam Horswill

Seth Cooke followed with some lovely use of cymbals, placed upon the floor sat atop devices which vibrate. This led to a drone like bliss, not disimailr to the binaural beats videos I was lisenting to earlier in the day. They sizzled and sang, the technology an improvement then the last time it was tried out apparently. He stood statuesque as he held he control which set the devices in flux. I’d be intrigued to hear more ambitious ideas here. Marvellous.

Then there was Insatiable Wound who scraped and blasted us. This noise level a feeling of Dubstep meets the battle of Waterloo. You really felt this one in your bones, the volcanic sound unlike anything I’ve heard for a while. The whole space appeared to quake, such was its impact. The audience count believe their luck at the idea of the thing.

Lastly, the big number. Ryosuke Kiyasu has been a player of the snare drum for twenty years. Gaining viral success back in 2018, there was a lot of buzz about how he plays. This bold new take on percussion is exciting. The audience had grown in size to see him play on this night, lost in their frenzy, staggered over his offering. Ryosuke processes and dissolves rhythms, structures and effects. His scrambling with his sticks, his hair almost a part of the music fling upon the drum skin and the literal flipping of the table at the end were all note worthy. A spirit seems to posses him when he goes, it’s like any notated element of music has been thrown out the window. We felt this freedom with him, as he wrapped up with night with in blaze of fire.

I’ll be honest with you, I was highly impressed with the evening. I crave much more.

Ryosuke Kiyasu continues on tour around the UK and Europe. 

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