Sounds From The Other City

February 20, 2014

Revealed: Golden Teacher, Islaja & Picastro to play for Comfortable on a Tightrope & Chew Disco

A much loved venue of SFTOC past, we continue our long partnership with one of Salford oldest and most significant pubs, The Crescent. Well stocked with a selection of fine ales, beer and cider, they also know how to put on a great gig – with Parenthetical Girls show-stopping Underachievers farewell party performance at Sounds last year being a perfect example.

This year will see champions of the underground  Comfortable on a Tightrope take over. Having long been involved with the festival, they have an ear for melody and fuzz, with Sea Pinks, Apostille and Veronica Falls among their SFTOC alumni. Joining them will be one of our favourite local club nights, Liverpool/Manc queer DIY club night Chew Disco, who’ve brought a slew of fine debuts to their respective cities including Mykki Blanco and Ms Vaginal Davis.

Today, we’re proud to announce the first few names from their stage:


Picastro is the nomme de guerre of Elizabeth Hysen of Toronto, Canada. Over the course of five albums (the newest ‘You’ succeeds a collaborative split with Nadja) Picastro have dealt in meditative experiments taking as much influence from Greek Rebetiko and traditional Russian Folk music as The Fall and The Faces (whose songs they’ve covered to devastating effect). Employing a wide range of collaborators including Owen Pallett, Tony Dekker, Dwayne Sodahberk, Zak Hanna Picastro remain fearless in their experiments,which, however far they go, always retain a deep musicality and respect for ‘The Song’ and it’s ability to communicate what it is to be human and alive. In our mind Picastro has more in common with the Abstract Expressionist painters of the 20th Century than with most of her musical contemporaries but if you must have a reference point we nudge you towards Marika Papagika, Tara Jane O’Neil, Grouper Et Cetera


Ostensibly a collaboration between noise-punks ULTIMATE THRUSH and analog house producers SILK CUT, GOLDEN TEACHER immediately transcend any preconceived notions of side-projects, genre and possibilities. A swirling, propulsive, heavy and intoxicating mix of African percussion, Downtown NYC ’81 smarts and post-punk energy result in 100% dance-ability both live and on there two highly sought-after 12″s on the legendary Optimo Records of Glasgow who descibe them thusly: “hypno-psych voodoo groove…imagine imagine Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L, Liaisions Dangereuses, mixed with a Shackleton edit of west African drumming”


Islaja is Merja Kokkonen, a visual artist and musician living and working in Berlin, Germany. Her debut album Meritie (Fonal, 2004) gained praise in international music media such as The Wire, Dusted Magazine and WFMU. The follow up release Palaa Aurinkoon (Fonal 2005) caused even more excitement and created quite a stir. 2007 saw the release of her third album Ulual yyy (Fonal 2006) and released a live cd “Blaze Mountain Recordings” on Ecstatic Peace label. Her latest album is called Keraaminen Pää and is released on Fonal Records September 14th 2010. Islaja records her music at home using a rainbow of instruments to accompany her personal vocal delivery sang in Finnish. She has already played numerous large festivals including Eurosonic, by:Larm, Sonar, Itsenäisyysyö at the B2 club in Moscow, Russia and All Tomorrows Parties 200 curated by Thurston Moore. Animal Collective invited Islaja to play a two week support tour with them in Europe