Gordon Ashworth has spent the better part of his musical career making sounds that feel like they could liquefy your lower intestines if the volume was just so, either by himself as Concern or as a member of groups like Knelt Rote or Vile Horrendous Aerial Bombardment. For his latest trick, he is re-releasing his limited run cassette s.t.l.a. on vinyl and digitally via Chicago label Orindal. The music on it is, in some ways, his most terrifying work yet, stretching out piano chords and long drones to their breaking point and wrapping in recordings captured during his day job as a taxi driver. This track is an equally creepy ode to American Primitive guitar stylings, with steely melodies ratcheted up in volume until the become almost unbearably fuzzy, each one drunkenly stumbling over the other and fighting for dominance.
The oddball, rarely-used keyboard key title of this EP should give you Autechre/Aphex Twin fans an idea of what’s in store with its three tracks. The jitterbugging beats and slushy electronics that Sun Hammer trucks feel positively life-giving, sort of like Ed Harris breathing liquid in The Abyss. Just heavy enough to feel strange upon your first inhalation, but then it becomes so much easier to let sink into the bronchi. Okay, it’s a strange metaphor, but that’s exactly what I envisioned when spinning these tracks the first couple of times. Give it a listen and tell me what images it dredges up in your mind.
Another PDX Jazz Festival has come and gone, and just as it is most every year, it left me both elated and deflated. The big ticket concerts that I was able to see as part of my day job were, for the most part, just good enough with moments of brilliance sparking up among a lot of lukewarm expressions. With a lot of festivals of this kind, the real moments of inspiration were found in the small shows sprinkled throughout the event – like this stunning avant jazz set by the duo of Elliot Ross and Scott Cutshall. This all improvised performance was captured for posterity at the unusual venue of a hotel bar in SW. See if you can hear the audience getting restless as this pair creates dark tapestries of often-Middle Eastern-inspired guitar, electronics, and marimba.
Here’s a nice treat I tracked down just yesterday – a collection of tunes that sound like the broken remnants of a pop song trying to reassemble itself before getting stomped back into pieces. It’s the creation of a gent named Peter Falkson, about whom I know absolutely nothing. And as a longtime fan of Jandek, I’m very much okay with being in the dark on this. Especially when the music is this good.
Speaking with Daniel Schultz about this project the other night got me terribly excited for its future and its impact on the noise scene. An unapologetic and heartfelt exploration of religion in the modern sphere through the lens of noise music. Schultz, who is the voice and spirit behind the label Apneic Void and the experimental project Troubled By Insects, debuted this project at last month’s Eugene Noise Festival and just unleashed its debut cassette for all to hear and purchase. I suggest you do both.
On a day when a famed fashion designer started his own record label and a certain high profile music festival announced that they were opening their arms even wider to Grammy winning artists at the expense of all the no name, little known bands struggling to be heard above the fray, and on a day when video has been released of art/music collective Pussy Riot being attacked by men with whips in Sochi…I was despairing quite a bit about the state of the world and the art that I love so dearly.
What shook me out of my malaise was this new collection of scatterbrained electronic sun flares created by Phil Rawsthorne under the name Lounge Gizzard. Punny name aside, this is the perfect salve to the system. A fucked up reminder that amid the chaos of our slowly devolving planet, there are sparks of brilliance, beauty, and daring that we can cling on to like a lifeboat. Give it a listen here and grab a hold; we’ll ride out this storm together.
Yes, friends, the wonderfully weird and delightful duo from the UK known as Public Service Broadcasting, an outfit that takes samples from old training videos and educational films and creates delirious and groovy pop tunes around them, are going to be here in Portland at the Doug Fir Lounge on Saturday, February 22nd. And Experimental Portland would like to send you and friend to the show.
All you need to do is visit our Facebook page (and please “Like” us, if you haven’t already), find the post regarding this contest, and leave a comment. It’s just that simple. I’ll pick a random winner on Monday by 12pm and announce it there and here so as to stir up waves of jealousy within the rest of you who didn’t win.
Sound good? I hope so. While you’re biding your time to add your comment to the fray, enjoy this video for the PSB song “Spitfire.”
Former Explode Into Colors drummer Lisa Schonberg spent some time last year exploring the dwindling habitat of the Hylaeus bees of Hawaii, insects threatened by pollution and the ever-encroaching modern world. Part of her efforts included using the trip as a musical inspiration for her current project Secret Drum Band. As you’ll hear from these three tracks, out on cassette via Curly Cassettes, some of that inspiration comes from field recordings of other animals and insects, including the coqui frogs. But the majority of it seems to come from some elemental force oozing out of the earth on the Hawaiian islands and from the percussion heavy rumble of music born of the state’s native population.
Golden Retriever has evolving in leaps and bounds over the past five years, something that is apparent with each successive recording and live set that they do. Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson are the perfect sonic architects, pushing the boundaries of what in other hands would be a very hemmed-in approach to their somewhat unusual choice of instrumentation. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Enjoy this extended clip of the group playing two tracks from their new album Seer live at Mississippi Studios and listen to how their melodic expressions are becoming more exacting and more free all at once.
The good people of Sonic Debris Multimedia reached out to me a while ago about curating a stage at this massive event they are putting on to celebrate the release of another surely amazing compilation album for winter 2014. With an offer like that, how could I refuse?
So, tonight starting at 6pm at Watershed PDX, we will be hosting two stages of amazing freeform sounds and expressions. The complete lineup is below, click here for the Facebook event page for all the details about how to get to the venue, and most importantly THE SHOW IS FREE OF CHARGE. Hope to see as many of you in attendance as possible.
Experimental Portland Stage:
1:20am-1:50am – Transparent Aluminum
11:50pm-12:20am – Portland Bike Ensemble
10:10pm-10:40pm – Troubled by Insects
9:10pm-9:40pm – Asphalt Ocean
7:00pm-7:30pm – Neglect
2:20am-2:50am – Play Human
1:50am-2:20am – Destroyed for Comfort
12:30am-1:20am – Consumer/Muzzy
10:50pm-11:40pm – Stochastic Mettle Union Local #35
9:10pm-9:40pm – Noise Agency
8:30pm-9:00pm – The Translucent Spiders
7:30pm-8:00pm – Cult of Zir
6:30pm-7:00pm – Alien Parkinson Project
6:00pm-6:30pm – Sister Mamie Foreskin