The Wire Magazine May 2018
Review - Elektrick Lycanthrope Meltaot (Sharon Gal & Sav X) + Dylan Carlson Live at Cafe Oto London 9th of January 2018 London
Mami Wata review
The Wire Magazine June 2017
The Wire Magazine 2014
Café Oto, 20 August 2013; review by Geoff Winston
Thurston Moore & Dylan Nyoukis, Sharon Gal & Andie Brown, Byron Coley & Savage Pencil: A Night Of Heliocentric Duo Exchange
"The Dancing Shadows Duo, Sharon Gal, vocaliser extraordinaire, and Andie Brown, sound artist and bassist, developed an exceptionally intense dialogue around Gal's anguished, dark vocal expression. Brown's eyes followed Gal's every deviation, allowing her to build up an ominous, humming environment that the agony of Gal's intimations of the horrors of today's Guernicas would inhabit. Like Phil Minton, Gal presents a disembodied and uncomfortable mirror of our times in an allusive, yet direct, manner. Vocoder-like mouthpieces allowed Gal's speech to briefly take on a siren tone and Brown to add additional indistinct layers. Brown's oversize water-filled wine glasses, rims wiped to draw out whining sounds, and Gal's tinkling chimes were foils to the raw drones, wails and screams released with such passion in their moving performance."
Full review here A Night of Heliocentric Duo Exchange at Café Oto
The Wire Magazine 2012
Reviews of MELTAOT - Souls on Board feat. Bruce Gilbert (with Sav X)
Ash International # Ash 8.7. 2010
A dark pleasure from Meltaot aka Wire magazine's artist in residence, Savage Pencil with Sharon Gal plus a Bruce Gilbert collaboration as Souls on Board. The longer A-side was recorded live at the Tapeworm night in London's Café Oto late 2009 and features Meltaot in all their sludgy depravity. To a background of droning black ambience worthy of Sunn 0))) Sharon Gal removes her vocal cords one by one, firstly testing their elasticity, before coating them in phlegm and wrenching until they snap clean, or that what's it sound like anyway. This goes on for 14 minutes and puts you in a fucking unholy place. On the flipside, the live Souls On Board track just made us p*ss ourselves. Together with Wire's (the band, not the mag) Bruce Gilbert, Meltaot create another doomy dronescape punctuated with industrial squalls and a sample of some poor bloke from the black country (judging by the accent) practically breaking into tears. We won't spoil the fun, but you may need a man nappy. Finally Bruce gives his own 'Pirates Mix' of viscous gloomy ambience.... Genius record!
Live recordings of longform experimental/torture sounds from London, featuring folks you know, dating to November 2009 and an event held by exp cassette label The Tapeworm. Meltaot is Savage Pencil, a man I admire, and his musical partner Sharon Gal. They go at it as only two artists would, guitar and bass leaking black sputum while Sav X bangs the cymbal, sticks the instrument cable up his you-know-what and howls in sputtering discontent. Souls on Board is billed as a “mystery group�? featuring Wire’s Bruce Gilbert (so much for the mystery) – they offer up a barely-there thrum of low-frequency interference, long on time and kind of short on excitement, though I am positive people want this for something. I plan on scaring my upstairs neighbor tomorrow and I think the subtlety and long-lasting nature of this one will drive him fucking bananas. IF I DON’T GO INSANE FIRST! [Doug Mosurock]
Reviews of MELTAOT- FIRST AND SECOND RITE (with Sav X)
The Tapeworm TTW#08. 2009
One of four new releases on the always fascinating, and often perplexing UK tape label The Tapeworm. This one comes courtesy of long time aQ customer and pal, bad ass artist, and scribe for the mighty Wire, Mr. Edwin Pouncey, aka Savage Pencil, along with his partner Sharon Gal, a UK artist and broadcaster. Besides doing time together in a noisy rock outfit called Pestrepeller, the duo unleash a pretty grim din as Meltaot, whose sound is a strange assemblage of abstract guitar drones, whispered incantations, abstract percussion, all woven into a candlelit crawl through some subterranean sonic doomscape, equal parts harrowing atmosphere, noisy abstraction and blackened beauty. Imagine a more artrock Abruptum, lots of squealing feedback way off in the distance, thick chordal buzz up front, lots of space, plenty of scrapes and creaks, moans and whispers, the female vocals are feral and haunting, sometimes slipping into some sort of demonic processed chantlike vokills. We also definitely hear some Angelblood, but picked apart and stretched out into some sort of unholy soundtrack to an endless night lost in a haunted forest, pursued by some unspeakable evil. Intense, and weirdly beautiful, each side a single track, each titled a 'rite', which is precisely what these sound like, the mysterious rites of some forestkult, conjuring up all manner of sonic demoncy.
Fans of atmospheric blackness and grimnoize will for sure dig, and even people into other abstract foresty weirdness, a la Sylvester Anfang, Avarus and the like, as long as they're up for something a bit darker, could do with a wonder through these black woods.
With a killer Savage Pencil cover illustration.
Meltaot is the unholy union of Sav X (aka the Wire magazines Savage Pencil) and musician/broadcaster Sharon Gil playing doom-scaped metal on a primitive set-up. “First And Second Rites” is the eighth release on the brilliant The Tapeworm label, and the duo's first as a musical entity outside of their noise/rock group Pestrepeller. Over the tapes 20 minute lifespan the pair grow hairy handed doom riffs like a cave dwelling Sunn 0))) with a practise amp and occasionally claw at an array of percussion, while polluting the whole thing in narcotic fug of feedback and smoldering distortion. Gil's vocals are a real centrepiece to this set. We're not meant to understand a word of it, but her incantations are delivered with such conviction that they achieve some sinister and arcane meaning along the way. Towards the end of the second track they drop the guitars for a genuinely unsettling sequence of hushed vocals, rattling chains and close mic'd exhalations, expressing some dark and dirty feelings of an unclean nature. 250 copies only!
Crucial Blast (US):
This was one of the initial releases (circa 2009) from the cult UK cassette label The Tapeworm that has produced some fantastic and highly sought after tapes from the likes of Philip Jeck, Stephen O'Malley, Tongues Of Mount Meru, Fennesz, Pita, Daniel Menche, and other explorers of shadowy abstract sonic forms. The tape from Meltaot is probably their creepiest entry in the label's catalog, though, and of particular interest to those of us here at Crucial Blast. Released in a limited edition of two hundred and fifty copies, First And Second Rites is one of the few releases to have surfaced so far from the duo of artist/Wire Magazine scribe Savage Pencil and Sharon Gal (both members of another noise rock group called Pestrepeller), and it's killer stuff, an improvised aural nightmare sketched in deformed distorted guitar, feedback manipulation, demonic vocalizations, and freeform percussion.
The a-side unleashes their free-improv blackened amp drone with “First Rite”, clanking metal trashcan lid percussion ringing out over oozing doom-laden snail-trails of molten black detuned sludge. Whispered incantatory vocals and threads of wailing feedback list through the air along with motes of volcanic amp-ash, and guitar strings slacken and slip out of tune, not playing riffs per se, but rather strange warped detuned drones . It's a delirious freeform occult sludge ritual, more formless drone than free-metal but imbued with a pitch black vibe that makes me think of some sort of Shock Records guitar-splat being crossed with the bizarro improvised black metal of Abruptum and the ramshackle blackened free-folk of bands like Sylvester Anfang and Hellvete.
On the “Second Rite”, the duo move into more subdued shadows, the space alive with the sounds of hushed breathing, gasping and wheezing, and everything from strange clinking sounds, electronic rattling noises, squealing rats, and cloudy trails of black ambience unwinding throughout the room, getting pretty creepy and unsettling as it goes on. By the last few minutes, the sound transforms into a mix of piercing feedback and gasping, wheezing throat sounds, and sounds something like hearing sound artist Randy Yau doing the foley work for Suspiria.
The white cassette package features a nightmarish Lovecraftian illo on the cover from Savage Pencil, naturally.