Gum Takes Tooth are a London based electronic duo who take all the preconceived notions of what electronic music can sound like and toss them out the window. The band’s sound is strong rooted in a DIY ethic and blends elements of doom metal, jazz, hardcore punk and electronica. The band uses no guitars, instead using an arsenal of synths, samplers, and effects in addition to percussion. On Thursday evening the band played an intimate gig at Dalston’s Café Oto, supported by BLACK TOP vs. ICARUS and Sly And The Family Drone.
Chaotic noises and thundering percussion melt together into lush psychedelic atmospheres as Gum Takes Tooth launch into their set. On ‘This Perfect Surface’ the band rides a hypnotic beat which drives the audience through a labyrinth of surreal soundscapes. Refracted vocal loops create a haunting atmosphere. Dizzying frequencies and shots of noise ride a sweet spot of noise, just on the border of overwhelming.
The band’s most impressive feature is how they manage to piece together all of these elements and textures from such a vast pool of genres. The duo’s primary noise maker Jussi Brightmore does an impressive job of navigating the massive rig of knobs, keys and switches as he creates a kaleidoscope of screeching synths and vocal loops on the fly.
Distorted synths grind out savage heavy metal riffs as the band dive into ‘Tannkjøtt’. The slow hulking doom riff of ‘Young Mustard’ gives way to a build-up which experiments with elements from spaced out prog-rock, rushing dance music and aggressive hardcore punk, before revelling in the sludge of crushing synth riffage again.
Drummer Thomas Fuglesang leads the percussion section, and what a job he does of it, never missing a beat as he makes transitions between unrestrained jazz beats, brutal heavy metal styles and trippy tribal rhythms seamlessly.
Looking around the room, I witnessed a crowd that was completely entranced by the duo’s mix of brain-melting noise and intense drumming. With the sheer complexity of their performance and instrumental set up, you can’t help but try to work out how they do it.
When you are presented with a sound with such a myriad of rich textures and complex dynamics, you don’t just hear it, you feel it. Gum Takes Tooth deliver a cathartic aural experience that takes the audience through a journey of exhilaratingly unknown, bizarre and psychedelic sounds.