John Cage once stepped into an anechoic chamber expecting to hear silence. Instead, he heard the low-end throb of his blood pulsing through his body. This is the story that gave Blood Music, the first new act on Diagonal, their name. It’s an appropriate one, too: Simon Pomery, the creative lead and
only ever-present member of the band, strikes his guitar with screwdrivers, mallets and his own bare fists, exploiting contact mics and synthetic drones to put real blood into the Blood Music he creates.
His project is an infinite process of sonic experimentation that seeks to mirror the relentless pulse of the human body with drum machines, percussion, analog synthesisers and noise boxes. In its live 2013 guise, Pomery is joined by Jordan Cunningham, who mans bass and a table of DIY electronics, and Kenichi Iwasa, who hammers out taiko rhythms and, when a hand is free, sets the course for the drum machine that propels the music forwards.
For Blood Music EP, though, Pomery performed everything himself, and the result is a 12” of brute physical force, with guitars reminiscent of Confusion Is Sex-era Sonic Youth, and drones and percussion bleeding from the music as if from an American Tapes and TG collaboration. There are shades of Marty Rev in the propeller pulse of machine, and the drumming echoes the phasing patterns of Steve Reich, but beyond that, this music stands alone as something distinct — something visceral, violent and bloody.