It’s unreservedly euphoric to witness a Fringe show in which practically every aspect of the performance has been squarely primed. Staging; lighting; sound; movement; story; all of these rev-up the snarling engine of KlangHaus. This furious promenade sound installation is a stunning partnership between experimental rock band The Neutrinos and visual artist Sal Pittman, in which all conventions of gig and theatre are wed.
We ascend to Summerhall’s Small Animal Hospital: a site of prior captivity, treatment, stripped walls and corroded chambers—who knows what has happened here? Led by the prowling, electrifying Karen Reilly, The Neutrinos discover a whole new identity to the space as we potter from room to room, the band getting right up in our faces to blast out electronica bass notes or gentler acoustic strums. It’s as if the building comes alive in a rhapsody of noise: groaning, throbbing, trembling from the roaring drum solos and thrashing guitar riffs. And just as it could rise to excessive levels, we’re let off the hook, allowed time to soak in what we’ve heard.
Beamed projections light up entire rooms and corridors with the cut-up designs of Pittman, whose artwork bathes us in clusters of colour. This is true, full absorption in which we experience dazzlingly artful musicianship and theatre borne out of its environment. Standing among the band can be like waiting for a grenade to go off, before marvelling, horrified but in awe, of the wreckage. It is a rivetingly prismatic and rampant dissection of style, form and function that is all the more loaded, all the more thrilling and intoxicating because of its anarchy.