Artist: Machines in Heaven
With a fearlessly experimental approach, Machines In Heaven (MiH) bring together widescreen electro, sunshine-textured shoegaze, majestic post-rock and devastatingly melodic synth-pop influences. The band’s current line-up features long-time members Greg Hurst and Davey Gwynne, both experienced producers, performers and multi-instrumentalists from Glasgow’s thriving indie and electronic scenes, and new member Lorna McKinnon, taking the place of guitarist Connor Reid, currently on sabbatical and working on his solo music as Yutani. The band have recently been experimenting with a 4-piece line-up, recently playing with Franz Ferdinand’s Paul Thomson on drums. Currently moves are being made to bring on a live drummer permanently, and with plans to expand their live sound even further, MiH continue to carve out a unique space among their Glasgow peers – increasingly psychedelic, always danceable, and harder to categorise with each release.
2016 saw the release of their second full-length album, Phenomenology, receiving praise from Complex UK, The Herald, The List, SynthGlasgow, Tenement TV and The National. BBC Radio 6 Music’s Nemone played out album track Ruix Con, while declared fans Vic Galloway and Jim Gellatly also heavily backed the tracks on domestic channels Amazing Radio and BBC Radio Scotland. Previously, the band’s 2014 debut album bordersbreakdown caught the attention of everyone from MTV and Clash Magazine to local tastemakers The Skinny, STV Scotland and BBC Radio 1’s Ally McCrae, going on to win Best Electro Act at the 2014 Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs
MiH have recorded sessions at Red Bull Studios (previous single Feel Slow) and played some memorable shows – including a spectacular set in London’s South Place Hotel; a session for BBC Radio 1 Introducing featuring a cover of an Arthur Russell song; a support gig with Californian sound wizard Daedelus; a joint gig at the Dundee V&A with Ubre Blanca and Paul Thompson; and a well-received set for the Glasgow leg of the Simple Things festival, alongside Autechre, Nightmares on Wax and Clark.
In their current incarnation, Greg Hurst, aka Magic Daddy (Optimo, Stuff Records / formerly NUMBERS) provides beats and production. Sublime vocals, synths and beats from Davey Gwynne (aka blood blood); while new member Lorna McKinnon provides heavenly guitar textures and layered electronics. The addition of a drummer only increases the band’s already considerable power, allowing for dizzying improvisation and a fusion of towering organic and electronic rhythms.
They have played Glasgow’s iconic Old Fruitmarket venue alongside Petrichor (Soma Records) and Michael Mayer (Kompakt), and at festivals across Scotland and the UK, including the Kelburn Garden Party, T in the Park, Wickerman and Electric Fields. Across these shows, the band have drawn comparisons to the iconic sounds of DFA Records, Prince, Aphex Twin, and Glasgow’s decibel-decimating finest, Mogwai. They have provided urgent, slamming, remixes themselves for everyone from local punk-rap heroes Hector Bizerk to Brooklyn synth-poppers Au Revoir Simone; dream-pop duo Turtle; early 90s techno-heads Finitribe (for the 25th anniversary of their classic track 101, also remixed by Andrew Weatherall); and a full-throttle 140bpm remix for psych / noise outfit Outblinker.
Signalling their turn towards creative live improvisation and beats aimed squarely at the dancefloor, this is a new era for Machines In Heaven, now often known simply as MiH – a rebirth of sorts. Given the acclaim they have received so far, it seems likely that anticipation will continue to build, as we wait to see where these sky-travellers will venture next. One thing is certain – the future belongs to Machines.
- 23/03/17 – The Garage – Attic bar – w/ Bearcubs
- 12/08/17 – Clamjamfry Music & Arts Festival
““ONE OF THE UK’S MOST INTRIGUING DEBUTS”
by CLASH MAGAZINE
““AN INTRIGUING COLLISION OF VARIED INFLUENCES,WITH NODS TO EVERYTHING FROM
SHOEGAZE TO PRINCE AND APHEX TWIN”
“THEIR LUSH, SQUELCHY ELECTRO HAS MILD UNDERCURRENTS OF FUNK DRESSED UP WITH STUNNINGLY
ETHEREAL GUITAR RIFFS” by BILLBOARD MAGAZINE