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The small club is packed.
It’s a rough helen former building in a proper old school squat village – the venue is part of a mini Christiana style collection of counter culture concrete on the edge of Ljubljana city centre and is seething and heaving for a night of stunning dislocated guitar music.
There is something about the Balkans that has always brought the best out of post punk/noise/art bedlam since the punk days.
Thankfully this tradition shows no sign of dying.
In the UK this kind of artful racket would be a fringe music played by social psychopaths but here in Slovenia it seems to be normal and Nikki Louder are a fantastic, distorted racket who make the room sweat and are three albums into an imaginative racket.
The gig was seat of the pants thrilling as the trio played in the classic triangle – each one intently crashing and colliding with the other is a meltdown of noise and precision.
They have the fury of hardcore and the free form ethics of free jazz- the rhythm section really moves air – the seated bassist is nimble fingers and the drummer is like a high decibel octopus whilst the guitar fills in the gaps. The singing threads this all together with these artful, heartfelt screams that somehow they make sense of the time honoured racket and turn their beautiful noise into music.
In the death to trad rock days we used to dream of finding bands like this – bands that sounded so alive with the possibilities of music and the no boundaries assault of racket. In Slovenia they are almost the norm and yet Nikki Louder provide a needed step further- turning the life affirming rush into something monstrous and beautiful.
They are like a beautiful dream where Rudimentary Peni meet Shellac meet the Ex.