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Back in May I made some brief remarks about "Fugue State," a two-day festival curated by Rebis (the record label I co-operate). I thought I'd take the time to post the full details here for readers of this blog who are into the experimental music and might be interested in visiting Chicago in two weeks...
These details live permanently here.
June 29-30, 2007
Empty Bottle, Chicago
Purchase advance tickets at www.emptybottle.com
On Friday, June 29th, and Saturday, June 30th, Rebis will present Fugue State, a two-night festival of expansive experimental music taking place at the Empty Bottle club in Chicago, IL. Fugue State is a celebration of the drone in all its many manifestations, as interpreted by some of Chicago's most innovative musicians. An eclectic array of approaches to soundforging will be represented over these two nights, ranging from harsh noise to gentle melodicism and from crafted composition to spontaneous improvisation, often within a single set. Five acts will perform each night.
A visual art component of the artists' choosing will accompany each act. Some acts will present visuals of their own creation, while others are collaborating with a visual artist to provide accompaniment to their live set. A variety of media will be represented, including film, live video manipulation, and other forms of visual expression.
Friday, June 29 (6/29):
The Number None
Saturday, June 30 (6/30):
The Fortieth Day + Noise Crush
Good Stuff House
The Zoo Wheel
Friday, June 29:
Over the past 2 years, DRMWPN (aka Dreamweapon) has gradually evolved to become the premier band operating at the nexus of the many divergent strains of experimental music in Chicago. Originally intended to be an outlet to showcase the more Dionysian improvisational impulses of the core members of Town & Country (Ben Vida, Jim Dorling, Liz Payne, Ben Abrams), DRMWPN has grown into an amorphous collective that at any given show may include Michael Zerang, Emmett Kelly, Rob AA Lowe, or any other number of Chicago's free rock/jazz/experimental luminaries among its ranks. Drawing on a shared knowledge and love of minimalism, ethnic devotional music, jazz, rock, and improvised ecstatic sound, DRMWPN's sublime live sets are augmented by the flickering hallucinatory generations of their Bryon Gysin-designed dream machine.
Haptic + Lisa Slodki
Haptic is a Chicago-based trio consisting of Steven Hess (Pan American, Dropp Ensemble, On, Fessenden), Joseph Mills (Jonathan Chen, Dropp Ensemble), and Adam Sonderberg (Civil War, Dropp Ensemble) that creates dense, drone-based works that can range from a rigorous minimalism to violent, carefully directed chaos. Initially conceived as a vehicle for live collaboration, Haptic has incorporated a different, rotating fourth member for each performance. Formed in the spring of 2005, Haptic has since collaborated with a diverse group of luminaries, including Tony Buck (The Necks), Olivia Block, David Daniell (San Agustin), and Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded).
For Fugue State, Haptic’s floating fourth member will be Lisa Slodki (a.k.a. Noise Crush). Noise Crush combines generative and found media to perform live video manipulation. Through the use of digital and analog mixing, her work engages with human gesture and dissonant emotional states. Seamless looping and overlapping junctures between images are the focus of her live performances.
Good Stuff House
Good Stuff House is the collaborative project of Matt Christensen and Mike Weis (Zelienople), and Scott Tuma (Souled American, Boxhead Ensemble). Starting with rock elements (drums, guitar, keyboards) and augmenting them with other non-standard instrumentation (harmonica, electronics, reeds, salvaged carillon bells and string and percussion instruments of their own design), Good Stuff House turns these raw ingredients into a psychedelic stew flavored with just a hint of raw Americana. Atmospheric folk drift that lulls one moment, then menaces the next.
Matt Clark is a mainstay of the Chicago rock/psych/improv circuit, having paid his dues over the past several years in many of the Windy City's most feted bands, including Joan of Arc and Pinebender. Matt's tunefully psychedelic guitar leads have most recently been parsed out among his current collaborative projects Ambulette, White/Light, and White Lichens. For Fugue State, Clark is going it solo the first night, and lending his talents to David Daniell’s headlining ensemble on the second.
The Number None
Number None is the duo of Chris Miller and Jeremy Bushnell, who force an ever-shifting variety of instrumentation (analog electronics, violin, harmonium, children's toys, found records, metals, thumb piano) through bewildering arrays of scavenged effects pedals and homegrown digital patches until they reaches that zone "where even open-ended words like 'free' or 'drone' are limiting." (Scott McKeating, Stylus Magazine) The Number None is the moniker they adapt when they incorporate a third player as a random element; for the Fugue State performance they will be joined by Andre Foisy, one half of the up-and-coming drone/noise act Locrian.
Saturday, June 30:
Recent Chicago transplant David Daniell (Antiopic, Table of the Elements), formerly of improvisational out rock trio San Agustin, has in recent years become a favorite guitarist of the minimalist rock/drone set, collaborating with stalwarts such as Rhys Chatham, Jonathan Kane, Thurston Moore, Loren Mazzacane Connors, and Tim Barnes, as well as releasing several sublime solo albums. For this performance, Daniell has assembled a contingent of stellar local musicians mining similar veins of deep sound, including Jim Becker (Califone), Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc), Matt Clark (White/Light, Ambulette), Ben Vida (DRMWPN, Bird Show, Town and Country), Josh Abrams (DRMWPN, Town and Country), Steven Hess (Haptic, Fessenden, Pan American), and Kevin Davis to help him actualize an extended, big band version of the piece "Sunfish" off his most recent Xeric/Table of the Elements release, Coastal.
The Fortieth Day + Noise Crush
The Fortieth Day is the duo of Mark Solotroff and Isidro Reyes, both key players in the power-electronics outfit Bloodyminded, a local unit known for its confrontational live shows. Here, Solotroff and Reyes show off their kinder, gentler side, using guitar, bass, and synth to improvise "sustained, withering blasts of high-pitched noise that are as distinct from one another as spotlights sweeping across the night sky; jackhammer clatter, jet-engine whines, and forlorn keyboard melodies dart in and out of those huge sounds with the grace and impunity of plovers picking a crocodile's teeth." (Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader)
Video artist Noise Crush will perform a second night, adding real-time computer-manipulated visuals to The Fortieth Day’s live set.
Formed in 2003 out of a dual concern with illumination from ecstatic improvised sound, Goldblood is the core of experimental filmmaker and musician Amy Cargill and psychedelic Svengali Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow of Plastic Crimewave Sound, Galactic Zoo Dossier). Call it what you will--imaginary soundtrack, sun-blindness music, noise-ambient, or the new new age--Goldblood’s treated keys, guitars, samples, drone-machines and wordless voice ebb and flow and merge into walls of sound that can turn suddenly inside out at a moment’s notice. Goldblood have performed with Peter Walker, Eugene Chadbourne, Jah Wobble, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Magik Markers, Sightings, The Coughs, Lichens, DRMWPN,, among others.
The Zoo Wheel
The Zoo Wheel is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Liz Payne (Town & Country, DRMWPN, Pillow, Everyone(d) ). As The Zoo Wheel, Liz builds hybrid pieces of acoustic timbres using voice, field recordings and various musical instruments (stringed and otherwise), coaxing them into complex and shimmering patterns with a life all their own.
Estesombelo is a contemplative collective based on ambient soundscapes along with minimal drone. By creating unique compositions for each subsequent performance, Estesombelo seeks to challenge not only themselves as composers, but their audience's listening capabilities. Live performances range from intensely abrasive to delicately lulling sounds, while at the same time keeping the overall aesthetic fittingly referred to as 'this beautiful sound.'
Labels: music_commentary, number_none, personal, rebis
Saturday, June 16, 2007