Bassline Circus are a group devoted to expanding the possibilities of circus arts, coming from a background in fine arts, which informs their work. Members of the troupe served their time in 85A, a renowned interdisciplinary arts group who collaborated with some of the finest bands in Glasgow in their time, including Golden Teacher and Tut Vu Vu. For this outing, Bassline Circus have chosen Sue Zuki to supply the soundtrack, one half of the city’s finest mutant R n’ B duo LAPA, as well as a noted purveyor of darkwave in her own right.

The title alludes to the classic 80s New York-set queer science fiction film, which, I must admit, I’ve only ever seen projected in the background at Optimo, as well as to a famous laser effect where a beam of light cuts through fog to create a cloud effect. Another source text is Doris Lessing’s feminist science fiction novel about a matriarchal Utopia, The Marriage of Zones Three, Four and Five, which, like the film, I’ve never read. None of which really matters, since Liquid Sky, as directed by Bex Anson, succeeds triumphantly on its own terms.

The scene is set by Sue Zuki’s ominous, subbass drone at the onset. A figure (Aedin Walsh) appears, shackled by what looks like an umbilical cord to a rock. A trick of the light and a space is revealed at the back of the stage where Sue Zuki appears, imperious, like an alien queen. She performs three tracks from her debut album, We Are All Very Anxious; if Waster is a muted, moody diss, Fml_25/10 picks up with its dislocated rhythms and alienated vocals, and Enter Mine a haunting (and haunted) torch song.

Most of her soundtrack is original though, to match the spectacle of the figure’s ascension to escape on a rope through a stunning virtual lightscape created from lasers by Jack Wrigley, and soars to the occasion. The total effect is probably the closest I’ve ever felt to being in a science fiction film – that can only be a good thing.

By Brian Beadie.

Released: Fri 7th Sep 2018