Somerset House Studios

Extreme Romanticism: Agnes Gryczkowska (NAKED), Vessel and John Bence with Chal Ravens

Part of Assembly

Sat 17 Nov 2018
15.30 - 16.30
River Rooms
New Wing

Terror, power, awe, hitherto darkness brought into the light. A gothic revival or a new ‘Romanticism’ for Brexit Britain? Agnes and Vessel discuss ritual, extremity and their ASSEMBLY performances with writer Chal Ravens.

Agnes Gryczkowska is a producer, performance artist and art curator, and a resident of Somerset House Studios. One half of NAKED she curated and performed as part of Assembly opening night Rage - a night of Extreme electronics, industrial noise and violent choral compositions in three acts. NAKED’s work is rooted in a socio-political confrontation, their music engaging with industrial and extreme sound, the pathology of power, and alternating states of control, the extremity of Agnes’s Salò-birthed vocals and performance characterising their live presence and subjecting the audience to a barrage of destructive ecstasies.

Vessel, the pseudonym of Bristolian Sebastian Gainsborough, is an artist whose sonic evolution has journeyed from techno and dub, to the visceral, post-industrial composition of a "new folk music" in 2014's acclaimed album Punish, Honey, stretching the boundaries of contemporary classical and the avant-garde. With forthcoming new album Queen of Golden Dogs this November - his third album on Tri Angle - he reinvents his sound once more with a record shaped by an infatuation with chamber music and conceived, developed and rendered into life over eighteen months of solitude in rural Wales.

John Bence is a composer and producer whose work tackles epic narrative themes and uncompromising sonics with a juddering emotional punch. His new release Kill, on Yves Tumor's Grooming label, is his first new work since the Disquiet EP. Kill is a piece in three movements: Kill/Aftermath, Alone/Suicide, Afterlife/Judgement, each of them equally sublime and abrasive. Bence’s live performance is as distorted as it is commanding, and morphs his intense operatic voice and body convulsions into an overwhelming emotional frenzy.

Vessel performs live for ASSEMBLY on Sunday 18 November.

Chal Ravens is a writer and broadcaster from London. Formerly an editor at FACT, she currently contributes to Pitchfork, The Wire, Crack and the Guardian as well as hosting Top Flight on Red Bull Radio, a Tuesday night showcase of new club music from around the world.