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Messages - Anodize DB

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DATE OF PERFORMANCE: Saturday, December 3


$8 for advance/reserve seating, $10 at the door


Come join us on December 3 for OTP’s final event of 2011, featuring one of New Jersey’s best-kept secrets, the experimental trio known as Serious Fun.

Serious Fun features the original poetry of John Hammel (vocals, harmonica, melodica) supported via improvisational music courtesy of Peter Biedermann (electric & acoustic guitars, electronics) and Anthony Lamort (keyboards, electronics, sampling). This is a trio whose music defies easy categorization: neither ‘jazz’ by any stretch, or anywhere near ‘rock’ music or even something resembling what most would consider to be strictly ‘electronic’ by nature, Serious Fun wipe out in one fell swoop the boundaries between contemporary experimental musics.

Hammel’s gothic homespun, equal parts Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Jim Morrison, and Robert Wyatt, positively aches throughout the guitar-webbed soundworld Biedermann cooks up, spiced considerably by Lamort’s unorthodox synth & mysterioso keyboard accompaniment. Call it ‘avant-Americana’, if you will—this is the stuff of fever dreams hatched by auteurs David Lynch and Derek Jarman, writ into a kind of grand guignol aural noir.

The thrust of Serious Fun can be found on their two recordings, The Red House Panties, and An American Anthem, featuring work penned by Hammel during the early 1990′s in a purgative burst after spending approximately three years immersed in novelists such as James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, and James Ellroy. Hammel channels the seedier undercurrents of the American experience via his smoked voice and ghostly harmonica, while bandmates Biedermann and Lamort sort and sift through varying patterns of near Frippian-guitaroid menace and subversive analog burbles that act like sonic earworms gnawing in to the psyche.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 24, 2011, 07:49:15 PM »
Oy, yet more to buy... :)

Wasn't aware of another bvdub, always good news. In fact, that AN/AY label outta Japan has a ton of good stuff on it, so much so that I picked up 4 of their releases, including Brock's newie. Originally heard of the label via Arc of Doves, and AoD's excellent release on that label, The Light.

Have all those recent Hic Sunt Leones (save the new 5000 Spirits), all excellent, particularly the AD/A collab. Ditto the Maps & Diagrams twin releases & that new Molvaer.

Recent plays:

- Gary Strater Eleven to the Fourth Twice / ebay find...who knew the former (late) Starcastle keyboardist had a good electronic album in him? Dreamy ambient ala (early, Azure-phase) Kit Watkins vying with spunky 'melodies' based on fractals; very nice.
- Mr. Cloudy / Russian ambient dub artist releasing all over the place, on labels such as U-Cover & French label Entropy...all very Basic Channel/Yagya/Echospace-ish. If that sound's your cuppa, these will shift your time perceptions & listening space.
- New Fax discs by Gate Zero, Namlook/Montana, and Namlook's Elektronik, all worthwhile, all variable, from outright deep space excursions to tricky electronica by GZ to the always superb N/M collabs exploring crisp beat structures.

The listening backlist is *always* voluminous: in fact, recent buys include:

- Henry Threadgill Complete Black Saint/Soul Note Recordings (7 disc set)
- new Kate Bush, 50 Words for Snow
- Humcrush & Sidsel Endresen Ha! (Rune Grammophone)
- Pink Floyd Discovery Box (all studio recordings)
- Miles Davis Complete Columbia Recordings (75 discs!), replacing my original Columbia issues
- Andrew Liles The Flesh Creeping Gonzoid (7 disc set)

Also en route is new stuff on the Boltfish label, new Moon Wiring Club, Rinneradio +, two new ones by Mythos (old krautrocker turned Berlin School synthdriver), new one from Aussie improv giants The Necks, Eat Static Alien Artifacts reissue (yay!), Lard Free boxset (Captain Trip) incl. all 4 recordings, Byron Metcalf's Shaman's Heart I, new Ishq Awake, rare stuff from cv313 & Echospace, older title from Japanese fusion band Casiopeia, and on and on...

And Saturday I plan to trek south to a record show in Philly, taking in the local shops as well...more shelving units are in the future, obviously... :)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs, bye-bye
« on: November 07, 2011, 04:23:00 PM »
A further bit of addendum I would like to add regarding this topic:

There's no way of confirming the veracity of the piece on the Sideline mag website - it has not yet been 'corroborated', so it must therefore be viewed with more than a modicum of salt. :)

However, this whole thing with the CD's demise, imminent or not, has been coming for some time, and undoubtedly that will occur. Sooner than later, who knows?

Also: of course, the 'majors' (meaning, big industry labels) ceasing CD production doesn't spell outright demise for indie labels (such as Hypnos, or even Periphery, for that matter). In fact, such labels might well prosper, as the already splintered niche market for electronic/experimental musics is small anyway, and many buyers like myself will continue to prize the CD as their format of choice.

I don't think this is all doom-and-gloom, but the writing is getting clearer on that proverbial wall, to be sure; still won't stop me from supporting the ideal format, as far as I'm concerned, for sound, art, and the marriage of the two.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / CDs, bye-bye
« on: November 07, 2011, 11:10:55 AM »
Not sure if this is under the appropriate forum heading to post this (change it at will, Mike!); regardless:

Not unexpected news, but that doesn't make it any less distressing.

After reading this, I'm not exactly sure how I want to respond; I could go on for a couple thousand words how I feel about this, but have little desire to do it on a forum (perhaps in a more 'formal' venue).

Suffice to say, I think it sucks if/when this moment comes. To those of you who are happy with the faceless download, where music becomes simply nebulous, artless data (I could care less whether it's FLAC, wav, aiff, whatever), with the dissolution of its reach, power, and mandate as a completely audio/visual synergistic art form, where it becomes just another disposable commodity to be digested without passion, I have little commonality.

I know this is a hugely divisive issue. Regardless of my opinions on this matter, as someone who believes fervently that an actual TACTILE OBJECT, an actual SOUND CARRIER containing true sound dynamics & a visual presentation, design & style (and I'm referring specifically to the CD, though I will include vinyl as well) needs to exist (much like an actual paper-based magazine or book, or a painting on a canvas), I know I'm in the minority, and despite such a position, it sure as hell isn't going to stop the CD's demise.

(And, to reiterate, I don't want to hear about lossless files or the ability to print artwork...why that remains a 'selling point' is beyond me. Don't want to build my own car; why should I want to construct my own art for a recording I purchased? Again, I know my ire will draw various perspectives across the spectrum, and from far & wide, but so be it.)

So, when the manufacturing of the CD finally goes the way of all flesh, I will thus continue to enjoy my existant 20,000+ CD library 'til my end of days, technological 'evolution', or whatever, be damned.

That's my op, for what it's worth.

Back to our regular scheduled program, already, regretfully, in progress...

Appearances by renowned UK synth trio AirSculpture are rare indeed; their OTP debut will be their first appearance in the New York City/North Jersey area, an event not to be missed. We hope to see you here Saturday night for this special performance!

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 19, 2011, 06:37:56 PM »
Darren: I will have to try some earlier bvdub. I Remember certainly doesn't work for me.
Recently picked these up a Darla
- Maps and Diagrams :: Lights will call on you
- Maps and Diagrams :: The town beneath the sea

I just picked up those 2 M&D CDs as well, Anthony; haven't received them yet.

Bvdub can be hit & miss, but overall I do like what he does. The new one on Darla (en route in the same pkg w/the M&D discs) supposedly incorporates beats as well.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 19, 2011, 02:18:57 PM »
Wave World-The Winds of Laax.  Fantastic floaty space album from 2005.  These guys are back with two new albums, which I'll have to check out.  All their back catalog is available again, too.

Just got the 2 new Waveworlds but haven't had a chance to listen to them yet. More soon.

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DATE OF PERFORMANCE: Saturday, November 5


$8 for advance/reserve seating, $10 at the door


We’re very pleased to present British synth/sequencer mavens AirSculpture on Saturday, November 5th.

Bridging the worlds of kosmische, classic European space music and Schulzian-inspired Berlin School, AirSculpture has been tripping the neurons fantastique since the mid 90s, part of a rich UK lineage that includes fellow space travellers Radio Massacre International, Ian Boddy, and Wavestar.

A trio comprising members Adrian Beasley, John Christian, and Peter Ruczynski, AirSculpture arose as a reaction to a music scene that no longer reflected their tastes. The energy and edge of 70s EM had become diluted into a melange of clinical digital sounds played over safe pre-recorded backing. Most of AirSculpture’s music is created live on stage, improvised with little or no pre-planning. Over time it has evolved to a unique sound, melding driving Berlin School rhythms with engaging, flowing melodies, sometimes moving into darker ambient realms, or shifting gears with ‘danceable’ beats.

In all, AirSculpture seek to reclaim a heritage that derives its vitality from the pioneers of the past while forging new identities for the future. Across seven full length albums (of those, five are live recordings reflecting the real-time nature of the music), the trio continue to blast out into aural environs unknown, mysterious, and intangible, all elements which empower the very best that synth music has to offer.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 18, 2011, 06:41:38 PM »

- Loscil :: Coast / Range / Arc
  (still excellent)
- bvdub :: I Remember (picked this up because of people talking about it, but I'm unimpressed)
- Bonobo :: Black Sands  (beat driven, some interesting tracks)
- Biosphere :: n-plants (kinda growing on me ... slowly)

that loscil indeed be some good stuff, as are all his recordings. i'm a pretty big aficionado of brock van wey's (bvdub) stuff, and found 'i remember' pretty much as enjoyable as earlier works (in fact, his new one on darla is currently en route). don't care for bonobo. liked the new biosphere as well, as it recalls the halcyon days of 'patashnik' though not quite as inspired.

np: terry riley's 'persian surgery dervishes' - full-on meditative/electronic/minimalist classic, as utterly compelling 30 years on as it would be if released today...resonates particularly well during the evening hours...spellbinding, hypnotic, dreamy, the descriptive adjectives are endless...

lately in rotation:

- kevin braheny 'lullaby for the hearts of space' - cassette dubbed on to CDR and one that kevin does in fact need to release on CD, as it's perhaps his best & least recognized work...two long, minimal, quasi-drones for serge modular, wind instrument and plaintive atmospherics.

- ryonkt 'small conversations' (experimedia) - expertly processed field recordings-cum-found soundscapes...microbial & macroscopic.

- patrick o'hearn 'transitions' - have gone through pat's new one three times and still fairly blasé about the whole thing. his records are always expertly recorded, played & executed, but he seems intent on resurrecting himself as a chamber-music performer/electronicist...this disc could have easily sat on either ECM or windham hill (no problem with either, certainly), but it's all somewhat inert; beautifully well done, yet i find the compositions patchy & strangely uninviting...successive plays? or right mood, perhaps?

- heretic 'yagyoi dreams' (belle antique) - picked this one up used & very rare indeed, on a recent trip to boston, and it's a very experimental & unique amalgam of electronics, asian winds, bells, gongs, guitars, etc. this japanese musician is aligned with the prog crowd, but this is quite far from rock, way too abstract, more of a bizarre melding of (edgier) kitaro with TD's 'zeit' or the more out-there heldon albums.

- thomas kessler group 'untitled' - very little known 'jazz' keyboardist, here firmly in jansen/karn/barbieri / late-period japan (the band) mode, mixing low-end funktronix with some more 'normalized' sax interludes and all manners of rubbery percussives and fourth-world-ish rhythmic patterns...obscure, and damn good (he has others, all of which i recently ordered quite inexpensively via amazon - check him out).

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Doin' the right Thing?
« on: October 15, 2011, 09:17:18 PM »
"Oh, I'm a real light sleeper, Chiles."

"I just don't believe any of this voodoo bullshit..."


Surely what Carpenter & co. did was exquisite visual voodoo...

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Doin' the right Thing?
« on: October 14, 2011, 12:46:41 PM »
Went and saw The Thing today & thought I'd chime in with observations, perhaps a smallish review of sorts...

Bottom line: I wanted to like it, and, in fact, did. I did my best to park any expectations at the door, as I read both harshly negative and fairly intelligent, positive reviews last night. The film, for the most part, walks a strange line between being interesting & flat. The creature effects are pretty cool; I dug 'em, but will say that they are definitely CGI-originated, and, in some scenes, are too digital, where that 'suspension of disbelief' is temporarily shattered. Although I am hesitant to make comparisons to Carpenter's classic, one element missing from this new Thing is a fairly consistent lack of suspense; there is little of that sense of ominous dread & paranoia so much a part of Carpenter's design. It doesn't help that the score is a far cry from Morricone/Carpenter/Howarth's minimal electronic pulsations, which helped immeasurably buttress that film's nightmarish atmosphere (Rob Bottin's god-like creature executions notwithstanding).

There's no doubt that this new Thing is for the most part a wholly unnecessary object that surely didn't need reinvention, but I found it diverting enough in its own right; it doesn't sully the rep of it's 1982 forebear, nor does it attain that film's grand guignol heights. At best, it achieves a respectable middle ground for its rather economical 95 or so minutes. Make of that what you will.

(Oh, and be sure to stay through at least the first half of the closing credits - pretty essential to get the whole idea of the new filmmaker's intentions.)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Movie trailers worth a look
« on: October 12, 2011, 04:58:17 PM »
I will augment my previous post using your comment as well, Mike - *mediocre* CB movies. Truth be told, I didn't see any of the ones that came out this year, as they all looked, well, blah at best. The only one I regret missing was X-Men, but plan to catch it now on-demand; at least it benefited from overall positive reviews, and certainly looked the most interesting of them all.

I again reiterate my anticipation for Dark Knight Rises, but of course it remains to be seen whether Nolan can top himself, as DK was totally completely brilliant, and, IMO, *the* best CB film yet (Iron Man runs a close second), a declaration that, naturally, will provoke (and still does) endless debate.

Unrelated, but speaking of event films, just found there will in fact be a fifth Die Hard, sporting the appalling title A Good Day to Die Hard...oy! (No trailer for this one yet, of course. ;) )

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Movie trailers worth a look
« on: October 12, 2011, 08:22:51 AM »
Where's Steed and Mrs Peel?

Hee, hee...probably at afternoon tea with Honor Blackman...  ;D

I'm burned out on comic book films at the moment, but do have to admit that the Avengers trailer does look damn remains to be seen if the filmmakers can pull it off.

Next year, at bare minimum, we have both Avengers & Dark Knight Rises, both quite anticipated, although I'm betting that Nolan's Batman denouement's gonna be hard to beat.

Still looking forward to The Thing next week.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 06, 2011, 05:48:56 PM »
Vic Hennegan 'Field of Worlds & Mirrors' (self)

Vic passed this on to me, his new one, at last week's Equinoxygen festival, and it's a simply gorgeous, vivid, lush piece of work - could sit easily on Spotted Peccary, as but one example. 'Light' Berlin School meets O'Hearn picturesque 'tronix meets tribalish pulse/gamelan...words become fleeting; I highly recommend this.

Both Vic & cohort Dean De Benedictis also performed a sterling set @ EQ2011 as well, one of the highlights of the festival, in addition to the triumphant return of Neil Nappe, who pretty much brought the house down.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Steve Jobs 1955-2011
« on: October 05, 2011, 07:04:51 PM »
Yep, this is sad, depressing news. As a lover, owner & user of Apple products since the time I first acquired a computer (I am cross-platform, but have *never* owned a PC, and, frankly, can't stand them), it is indeed a blow to the ingenuity of the race now that a true trailblazer is gone. I still have my issues with MP3s & iPods, but I'm a deep lover of my precious iPhone (it's my chief music-making tool), and, someday, an iPad shall be mine as well, after I upgrade my 'top, that is.

This has been a tough year of human losses, on many different levels & scales. Damn...

I, too, have noticed similar changes in my movie-going habits, for some of the same, but also other, reasons. For my wife & I, it's more about not having the time or being able to find adequate baby-sitting that is really the obstacle, for the most part.

However, I'd augment my response by saying that most of the 'major' Hollywood films released in the past couple of years (I'm being kind here) have, frankly, sucked. Most everything has truly degenerated to sequels, prequels, endless remakes (christ, there's yet *another* Three Musketeers bowing soon; what does that make, roughly 5, 8 versions of the same damn story???), variations, in short, crashingly few things that are original, or at least seem worthwhile enough to plunk down $22 (!!!).

As a massive film lover, and writer/critic thereof, this situation does sadden me, and, as a result, I too have more or less gone the on-demand route via my Fios options when I want to watch something. It's still a choice, though, and even then the choices seem nil; I know there are numerous films out there I regret missing (and I'm not just talking about the big event films, most of which this year were *hideous*; I loathe the Transformers series—pretty much detest anything Michael Bay, one of the great hacks of our time, touches anyway—but sorry I missed the X-Men prequel, which is available on-demand now), but, again, time constraints made seeing them about impossible.

All of the above being stated, I have every intention of seeing the upcoming Thing prequel... :)

EQ2011 bows tomorrow - see you there!

Only a week to go to EQ2011. Most of the artists present will be making their Northeast debut; some, like Bernhard Wostheinrich, have never before performed in the US.

We still have tickets available — I look forward to seeing many of you here next Saturday!

WTF?!? Had to do a double-take when I first came across the subject heading of this post. Man, this past year or two has seen some truly sad & shocking & *very* untimely passings in the EM/experimental realm: Dani Long from Celer last year, Conrad Schnitzler recently, and now Barry. I am quite stunned & saddened to hear this news.

I knew Barry sporadically during the publishing years of i/e, back in the early 90s. In fact, we had run an interview with him for the "fourth world" special issue which included Hassell, Roach, Rich, et al. I have loved & admired Barry's work from the beginning, and closely followed his career right up to the recent collab w/Loren, which was superb. Barry's skill & abilities as an artist were unquestionable, and the presentation of his Trance Port CDs then (and now) has held them in fine artistic stead all these years. He should have garnered a far larger audience than he did, one his reputation deserved, but, alas, such is the nature of many a musician in this small corner of the universe.

He will be missed.

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