Hidden within realms ‘unknown’ – presumably either some desolate field in Scandinavia or a deteriorating flat in East London – sit electronic outfit Nordic Giants. Merging images and sound is not a particularly novel concept; but the twisted way upon which the duo go about their creations make them a hipster’s wet dream. Manchester’s Deaf Institute was their modish Tuesday night abode.
Nordic Giants enduring attraction lies within their die-hard theatrical principles. In action they join deranged images with disturbing scores of electronica. ‘Evolve Or Perish’ – hauntingly built around meandering piano motifs, the swamping synth begins to layer the Nordic Giants frame with sharp trumpet further advancing the track’s body’ – was entangled with illustrations of outer space; crackling vocal samples generating a warped union of Public Service Broadcasting and Mogwai.
Art deco Tim Burton conceived caricatures depicting the journey of two hapless undertakers; flashing sequences of inner-city life; a scuba-diving trip turned murder rampage; all the visuals collected by Nordic Giants lent themselves to the expansive sound the duo produce. If MIA had decided to bring to life her controversial ‘Born Free’ video – ginger genocide in a wrecked subterranean dystopia – the result would be parallel with the quivering electronics that supported the illuminations. Collaborations through the intense ‘Futures Dark’ – featuring the shimmering tones of Nadine Wild Palmer upon a screen at the centre of the stage – and the Beth Cannon starred ‘Rapture’ hauntingly offered light against the dimmed dusk of their tracks.
Through ‘Illuminate’ the soundtracks become further succinct. Snapping snare portrays jerking head movements; the Go Go Penguin lounge jazz discerningly luring the mind from its own security; a true cinematic exploration.
The talents of musicians Loki and Rôka Skuld rarely falter. Considering the skills that the multi-instrumentalists have – drums, bass, piano, trumpet, you name it they play it – the scenes became almost too hypnotic. ‘Together’ pulsed at such a levelled beat, the lulling head moves were as mesmerising as a Mick McCarthy youtube video. Dressed as if attempting to replicate Lordi, Nordic Giants only continued to add to the tense flamboyancy unearthing from within The Deaf Institute.
Outlandish perhaps. But a severe fusion that deserves its place within the beatnik auditoriums of the country. True innovators within the moving sound revival, Nordic Giants cannot simply be listened to. They must be experienced.