Gazelle Twin live at Rough Trade
For a long time, Gazelle Twin, the multi-media project of Elizabeth Bernholz, was brought to stage only for rare occasions. But for her latest album Unflesh, she embarked on a long tour, which finally brought her to New York.
It was clear that Gazelle Twin’s live show would center around the blue-hooded, faceless character she introduced in various videos. What I didn’t expect was the minimalism and the clarity of the presentation – there were no smoke and mirrors involved: one desk with a SP-404, operated by a no less mysterious figure in a red hoodie (Elizabeth’s husband Jez Bernholz as we learned later), an effect pedal and a mic. She even eschews a stand, because she doesn’t need it: she moves and dances around the stage for most of the time – not in a twigs-ish seductive manner, but rather unsettling and awkward, which works perfectly for the sentiment of Unflesh.
She played a relatively short set of tracks exclusively from Unflesh – understandable, because the different mood of her previous album The Entire City would have required at least a costume change and probably broken the intensity of the show. She opened the show like the album with the title track and a long scream. From that there was little relief: her music is dominated by hammering beats and by the marvelous sound of Rough Trade you could feel it with your entire body. The only slowdown was for Child, a song about childhood dreams, which she performed mostly by recording loops of her own vocals. Then the show culminated in the develish aerobics of Excorcise – for her reported aversion against physical excercise she is in remarkably good shape and bounced up and down on stage like a rubber ball.
I loved this show: it was stripped down to the essence of what Unflesh is about. Gazelle Twin is a great performer and I’m curious what she comes up with next.
See Gazelle Twin live at any of the following events: