AXXONN
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AXXONN

Devonport, Tasmania, Australia | INDIE

Devonport, Tasmania, Australia | INDIE
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THE ZOO: 19.08.10
Launching the similarly titled lead single of forthcoming sophomore album Let’s Get It Straight, Axxonn’s Tom Hall opens tonight‘s proceedings with the kind of set that, in an ideal world, would garner the one-man-band’s idiosyncratic noise-pop an entire slew of new converts. Hall has decided to focus on his more melodic material this evening and, in doing so, delivers one of his most unique sets this year – effortlessly combining blistering noise with beat-driven synthesiser vignettes. Unfortunately, an early start means only a handful of potential converts actually manage to observe Axxonn in action.
Sydney trio Seekae represent the inverse scenario – a significant crowd of onlookers bearing witness to a set of decided insignificance. The three-piece’s organic electronica is certainly well-crafted, imminently listenable and presented with a lively spontaneity and enthusiasm far beyond most electronic acts but the trio’s combination of subdued melody, glowing synth textures and loping glitch-hop rhythms is severely lacking in regards to originality. The occasional stab of live instrumentation (drums, melodica) occasionally staves off monotony but it isn’t until the violence of the band’s almost-industrial closer that one is genuinely impressed. That said – any supporting act was going to struggle for relevance this evening. The advent of PVT’s new name and sound (following the success of the Sydney/London trio’s work under their original Pivot alias) was always going to ensure the headliners were tonight’s main attraction. Audiences have all been asking the same question since the doors opened – will the sedate and synthesiser-driven sounds of PVT’s Church With No Magic release compromise the their legendary competence as a live act? The impeccably delivered arpeggios and slow-build dynamics of opener Timeless, however, provide the ideal response.
PVT’s penchant for minimalism may not be to everyone’s liking but, as a live act, the band remain superb. The trio’s musicianship has only grown more exceptional over time and the band’s improvisations are now effectively focussed as opposed to frustratingly inconsistent. The lush melodics and austere rhythms of newer numbers like Crimson Swan, The Quick Mile and Circle Of Friends, meanwhile, actually serve as a remarkable counterpoint to the complicated arrangements of Pivot classics like Sweet Memory and In The Blood.
Indeed, the only fault one could ascribe to the band is their insistence on gilding the lily – delivering Only The Wind Can Hear You after presenting the perfect closer with O Soundtrack My Heart.
MATT O’NEILL - Time Off Magazine


A man convulsing with ecstasy as his endless electronic crescendos hypnotised the crowd, Axxonn had taken over the stage and made it his own. Almost unaware of his audience, the boy from Brisbane’s dissonance and glitchy noise blended perfectly with the disco pop flavours he fed the audience, repeating over and over to give them a natural high. He brought with him memories of sci-fi, from the polluted dystopia of Blade Runner to the hopeless beauty of Sunlight, his sound was one of eternity. - Faster Louder


X & Y BAR: 19.03.11
It’s one of those summer hangover nights – the air is thick and humid, the rain just heavy enough to irritate – which is a fitting environment to experience Tom Hall’s last foray into Brisbane’s sonic jungle before he jets over to the US of A. Yet the clientele in the X&Y Bar – in particular a boisterous hens’ do – seem to indicate that tonight’s aural assaults may be a hard sell.
It’s left to exuberant electro-pop quirksters Toy Balloon to kick off proceedings, which they do with aplomb, crafting a short, lively set that a small but overly appreciative audience lap up. Black Burst and Ornament are particular highlights, showcasing a maturing sound that splices Architecture In Helsinki-esque percussive rhythms with more “traditional” electro-house tropes. The disco-centric numbers bring out the dance moves in the most straight-laced of observers – Toy Balloon are a band that enjoys themselves. Lead vocalist and effects maestro extraordinaire Greg promises to get as loud as they can in honour of the headliner (“we won’t get there as we are a pop band, but we’ll try”) and even throw out their remix of AXXONN’s Let’s Get It Straight, which is a nice closing touch.
Without much layover from Toy Balloon’s set, AXXONN gets under way, thanking everyone for stepping out for his last show on our shores before launching into a typically electrifying industrial set. The pure power that exists in these noise compositions are impressive coming from one man and his electronic toys, but even more impressive are the touchstones here – some of the more considered pieces evoke industrial noise pioneer Justin K Broadrick’s more nuanced Pale Sketcher and Jesu projects, whilst there are moments where the synthetic distortion is dialled right up, using the quiet/loud dynamic that Trent Reznor used to great effect circa The Fragile. Hall’s piano tinkerings are just as beautiful as the droning effects can be brutal – and vice versa. Hall himself hovers over his keyboard, rocking back and forward like a man sonically possessed. The sound is perfect tonight too – nothing is lost in the mix, tone isn’t compromised to the noise levels, leaving the sound as immersive as possible. The only drawback to tonight’s show is its brevity – it would have been easy to hypnotize the punters for another half hour at the very least. Nevertheless, whilst not fully sated and mighty sad to see him go, it is a fitting conclusion to the opening chapter of AXXONN’s sonic evolution.
BRENDAN TELFORD - Time Off Magazine


Let’s Get It Straight
(Useless Art/Inertia)
Let’s get one thing straight before we get to Let’s Get It Straight, AXXONN doesn’t make music, he creates sound. It’s a sound that’s multifaceted, layered and quirky. It’s a sound that is uncompromising, in your face and punishing. It’s a sound that’s like nothing you’ve heard before, all the while feeling strangely familiar. It’s as if Tom Hall has taken the sound of day to day life and transformed it into a piece of art.
Brisbane’s own genre-busting boy wonder is impossible to pigeonhole. Golfini is softly spoken with multiple acoustic guitars until distortion and electric meddling snaps you out of your placid lullaby. Perfect For Acid meanwhile is about as literal a title as they come. The imagined hallucinations from the combination of this track and synthetic drugs makes the pairing seem strangely inviting. Let’s Get It Straight is genuinely exciting as you just don’t know what is going to come from AXXONN’s bag of tricks. You could find yourself amid earthly piano meanderings like those on 10 Pound Trouble, being hypnotised by the tribal tones of Cod & Chips or being taken to hell and back with The Second Death.
Let’s Get It Straight is oddly ambient for those that skew slightly left-of-centre and who are willing to work with albums and give them the time they need to develop within one’s ears. However, there is also just an exuberant, unique spark that you can notably feel running through the album which makes it instantly engaging nonetheless. When everything you’re listening to is starting to sound drab and mundane, it’s good to be reminded by people like AXXONN that there are still truly innovative artists around, plying their trade because at the root of it all, they just fucking love it.
HHH½ Benny Doyle - Time off Magazine


Discography

Let’s Get It Straight (Arlen) 2011 (world wide)
Let’s Get It Straight (Useless Art Records) 2010 (AU Only)
Below The Dead Ones (Bedroom Suck Records) 2010
Masters Of The Epic Day (self release) 2009
Should You Fear Hell? EP (self release) 2008

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Bio

AXXONN commenced in December 2008 in the steaming hot tropics of Brisbane, Australia and comprises of audio artist, Tom Hall, drone artist Janeva Zentz and a handful of collaborators.

AXXONN has since toured extensively in the past 3yrs including JP, UK, EU, USA and Australia with supports for Health, Lichens, Tim Hecker, ISIS and PVT to name just a few.

Joining a new breed of multi-instrumentalist performers, AXXONN is a complex electro/noise/rock outfit that comprises of various synths, keys, fx and computer based processing all combined and created in real-time much like a full-piece band. Striving to maintain a ‘performative’ and physical element to live shows AXXONN prides themselves on using very little automation in live scenarios.

Releasing a handful of EPs over the course of 2-years that were met with excitement, recently AXXONNs debut LP Let’s Get It Straight was released globally with strong interest and good reviews.

AXXONN aims to transverse a number of genres, picking, choosing and using their favorite facets of electro, black metal, doom metal, noise, ambience and pop to create a cacophony of sound that feels like a rainbow sawing through your cranium (in a good way). This eclectic use of influences has lead AXXONN to be called a variety of names that include Stretched Metal, Art Metal, Gloom Pop and Electro Doom.