Damo Suzuki
The Holy Soul

7 February 2009
Hopetoun Hotel
Surry Hills
Sydney Australia

01 Improvisation 1 (28:13)
02 Improvisation 2 (35:33)

The Holy Soul
Trent Marden: vocals and guitar
Jon Hunter: lead guitar
Sam Worrad: bass
Kate Wilson: drums
Peter Newman: electronics

Lineage: SP-CMC-20 > SP-SPSB-1 (bass roll-off @ 69Hz) > Edirol R-09 > Sandisk 2GB SD card > USB > G4 > Sound Studio (amplify left channel 4.00dB, tracking, fade-out) > xACT > remove SBEs > FLAC

Levels are a little hot until about three minutes in.

A gjfatty recording
shared at Dime: March 2009

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Review from

Damo Suzuki is committed to the emitting of sound. He spares nothing, throwing his whole self into the grand wordlessness of Damo Suzuki's Network experience. He dances like a one-sided Axl Rose, hands gripping the microphone, long hair hanging like dusty curtains. Suzuki is enigmatic yet humble, as though the music moves involuntarily through his body. Dale Slamma Reports.

This was the seventh time Sydney band The Holy Soul have played with Suzuki as his Sound Carriers, and it shows. They constructed an intricate and evolving sound cage around Suzuki as he stood clutching the microphone singing his wordless, indecipherable and unexpected music.

Its easy to take The Holy Soul for granted, they're a good band with solid skills, I was curious to see how they'd sound without the structure and relative safety of their well rehearsed and well regarded songs. It would be easy to be worried about the thought of standing in a crowded room through a long set of improvised music but I was not disappointed. They started gently, on Suzuki's signal, with a slow atmospheric hum underpinned by extraordinary drummer Kate Wilson and punctuated by electronic artist Peter Newman. It was a tidal thing, the music building, receding and overlapping. They seemed effortless in their togetherness, moving separately to make one evolving sound, but don't misunderstand me, this wasn't a soft or safe experience.

The Hopetoun possesses its own microclimate, we all know that, but the heat was almost more than I could bear. The sound built until each moment was like the turning point of a long breath where the body starts screaming for oxygen and that's when I stopped noticing the heat, not even the man air drumming, or the fact that my right foot was stuck in something unidentified and sticky could bother me anymore.

I saw Suzuki play with The Holy Soul last February at The Annandale, it was good then but this time it was grand. This time the rhythms were more complex, varied and unexpected. Bassist Sam Worrad clearly agreed, he lifted his head and let it drop again and again, smiling at the ceiling and at smiling at the floor. Jon Hunter and Trent Marden produced that snarling guitar sound you expect from The Holy Soul but they didn't leave it at that. It would be easy to be sceptical about the combination of snarling guitars and a laptop but Hunter and Marden proved to be versatile and creative. They pushed the sound forward and up until even I was dancing, with my right foot stuck to the floor.

Suzuki ended the set, as he always does, with a small backwards step, the hanging down of his arms and the bowing of his head. I wasn't ready for it to stop, wasn't ready to fall back into being bothered by the sweat pouring down my face and the possibility of having to leave my shoe stuck to The Hopetoun floor. I don't know why Damo Suzuki decided to travel the world playing only improvised, unrehearsed and indescribable music with local bands but I'm not sure that it matters, I'm only glad that he did.