Tusk Festival 2017 Sage Gateshead
Midwich is the work of Leeds-based Rob Hayler and he exhorts that monicker on two related fronts. Radio Free Midwich is the blog he began in 2009 to chart what Rob terms the ‘no-audience underground’ – no surprise there’s an awful lot of crossover between RFM’s subject matter and TUSK’s line-ups, and TUSK’s own Joe Murray is one of the notably evangelistic scribes that make RFM a thoroughly vital resource for unearthing jewels amongst the cdr and tape mirk. And impressively it now runs to around half a million words.
By the time RFM began though, Rob had already been playing and recording as Midwich for a number of years, secreting gloopy electronics and compelling arrhythmia across a series of low-grade formats. Midwich’s output has been almost entirely produced via Rob’s trusty but ancient Roland MC-303 Groovebox, a machine now very much in its twilight years to the point that, though it should make it through the performance, TUSK is certainly its swansong, Rob even threatening to put it out of its misery with a sudden and decisive coup de grace at the end of the set.