"The dark cube resonates for STEEP 12 as Lisa McKendrick begins on electric guitar. Her array of pedals at her feet, she crouches and turns knobs and presses switches, conjuring a swirling cloud of grey sound. McKendrick plays and moans through electric currents, twisting life out of what’s hidden inside the small boxes. What will happen, she thinks, if I turn this a little more. Can I surprise myself? If she surprises herself, she stays alive, in the moment, changing the world for herself with electronic noise. She wears the red headdress she has made herself, a symbol that is has stepped into the shamanic space in which she can communicate with and invite into the present, those ghosts, spirits, and unseen that hover over the shoulder, shut out from the conscious communication of ordinary conversational moments." - The Sunday Tribune
" Queer Noise: A Psycho-Social ExperimentEvent Review by Loose LipsIn what was both a musical and performative act, Nnja Riot’s ritualistic method made use of light and kinetic devices. Using a collection of DIY synths, such as light sensors within a jar triggered by an LED toy,
the female artist first set a ‘base’ of bubbling distortion before chanting through a microphone. The movement and tone of the distortion acted like an extreme sort of vocoder that made Nnja’s voice sound at once demonic, and at other times ethereal. This performance was the most sonically-varied. Albeit painful to my ears, the listening experience gave me an insight I’d not thought about before.
In most musical compositions and genres, the musician writes the hooks for a track and implements them effectively. Then, we, the audience, learn, anticipate and enjoy those hooks through the structure of the music. But with this performance, I felt myself enjoying the fleeting moments. Unable to anticipate them, beautiful sounds would appear, hinting at melodic hooks or powerful bass lines just long enough to appreciate before quickly returning back to chaos.
Between each performance was a time to discuss and explore what had been presented. Nnja invited people to look at her equipment and described what they did. Demystifying the creative process is now a common theme in the arts. Maybe as we head towards an automated world, understanding the breadth of creativity that people can engage with may be helpful to a positive ‘post-work’ future. "
Full review here:
RADIO FREE MIDWICH
" First up is Nnja Riot, an evocative name that’s summoning up kick-ass thoughts in my little head. My curiosity is repaid with some very bright and shiny semi-improvised songs, kick-ass for sure but without the shuriken to the forehead. In fact this Ninja’s more likely to rustle up a milkshake with their hidden Nutribullet than threaten painful revenge.
As dense as LA smog, as furious as a dropped ice-cream; this brief disc houses the most eccentric electric bongos that I’ve heard in a long time. The amazing bongo is err…bongo-ing all over the place as the sound of the electronics (from the Pepsi generation) are splashed in rainbow patterns.
Twisting through the slippery sheen of processed guitar and keyboards Nnja Riot does an unexpected nod to the goof-poetry of Adam Bohman as instructions are read out (for super glue or something) in a sing-song voice underwired with a hint of menace.
I’m rubbing my temples at ‘Velcrow Hook’, a more guitar-laden piece until the jigsaw snaps into place and I’m minded of the much-missed Spacemen 3 and the slow build of their indie-hit ‘Revolution’.
It’s all well dandy, and dare I say it… a refreshing Spring listen. "