First up on an evening of immersive live music at the ever-brilliant Cafe Oto, was Cam Deas; a solo acoustic guitarist combining composed works with gripping improvisation. He wrings such a diversity of sound from his instrument that I would doubt it was the work of one musician if I wasn't stood in front of him. His music is incredibly inventive; utilising savagely bent chords, pretty bird-like trills, noisy atonal slashing, Country influenced melodies, melted blues, and sustained psych raga. An extraordinary artist, Cam Deas is a must-see for anyone interested in exploratory guitar music.
The main act of the night, Mountains, was no less immersive. A duo of modular synthesizer operators that occasionally weave in guitars; the band began with some chattering machine process before progressing into a smeared and dreamy post-rock of looped guitar ambience that built to a crescendo of noise. Curtains of shimmering guitar effects were fed into an opaque fog of humming electronics and at the climax were left to perpetually repeat through pedals and wires that chopped and atomised the vibrating strings into a stunning maelstrom of drone. A final brain shaking, chest rattling crescendo singled the end, replaced by the clamour of an appreciative audience.