The mighty Adderall Canyonly is never one to rest quietly for too long. The sound artist and musician is slipping back into the conscious world with a pair of cassette releases on Rubber City Media and Tranquility Tapes. It is the tape coming out on the latter label that has captured my attention the most. Like this sample track from it here, I was reminded of the love Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois collaboration Apollo as it has that same feel of floating in the darkest reaches of space, with only a few shoddy controls at your disposal. This track especially keeps expanding and expanding like a multi-colored supernova that eventually spills apart and flickers away.
As much as I find the whole “steampunk” thing a lot ridiculous, I am however disappointed that I missed out on whatever children’s theater staged an adaptation of one of my all-time favorite yarns James & The Giant Peach, with, yes, a steampunk theme. Especially now that I know that the music for it was created by Elias Foley. The electronic artist has just released the music from this show on Bandcamp under the name Fuzzy Logic and the whole eight song cycle is a delight of gently unfurling beats and huge sloppy kisses of reverb-heavy melody.
Labels come and labels go, and goodness knows we have a glut of them in this musical universe of ours. But the fact that Ju Suk Reet Meate, of the West Coast collective collectively known as Smegma, is bringing Pigface Records back to life is welcome news indeed.
Mr. Reet Meate has been a part of the area’s experimental scene since the ’70s and has a great ear for music that’s mind-expanding, cockles warming, and hunger satisfying. The label was part of this world from its first release in 1978 – the Pigface Chant cassette by Smegma – and through other great vinyl and cassette missives like the ’82 compilation Flies Like Holidays and EPs from Rancid Vat and the Hellcows. But since the late ’90s, the label has been on the shelf, collecting dust and racking up collector’s prices on Discogs and eBay.
With Mr. Reet Meate and Oblivia making all kinds of waves with their band The Tenses, it seems the perfect time to bring this imprint back to life. And he is wasting no time with five cassette releases already on offer.
There’s two Tenses releases – one a collaborative effort with Giggles and the other a split with fellow art splatter joyriders MSHR, a collection of Reet Meate’s solo works, and two cassettes of material by the late great Lee Rockey.
As far as I can see, the only way to nab these bad boys here in town is to hit up the good people at Clinton Street Record and Stereo, but hopefully they will expand their reach or even offer them up via mail order in the very near future.
When last we heard from composer Nat Evans, he was in Portland taking people on a collective listening experience at Mt. Tabor Park. Ever exploratory and forward moving, Evans will be returning to our fair city this coming Thursday for a performance of Space Weather Listening Booth, a “northern lights inspired sound installation,” according to the man himself.
Details on where the event is taking place are scarce, as Evans asks you to e-mail him directly for directions (firstname.lastname@example.org). But you can read below all about the piece, which by all rights sounds absolutely mind-altering. Then check out the piece “In A Shifting Landscape” further down, a composition Evans wrote for viola, cello, and electronics.
Space Weather Listening Booth is an immersive acoustic and electronic performance piece based on the aurora borealis, by Seattle composers Nat Evans and John Teske. Listeners hear the collision of the different space weather events that cause the aurora borealis, realized through an electronic track in surround sound and live performers encircling the audience. Premiered as a sound installation with miniature private performances at Seattle’s ONN/OF Festival, Space Weather Listening Booth has since been adapted for live performance.
Teske and Evans used geomagnetic data, information about solar wind and other phenomenon, and interpreted this data through a series of sounds that interact and slowly change over time. Additionally, to represent the auroral band that rotates around the poles of the earth, the composers plotted a course for the sound to migrate and turn slowly around the listeners. Combined with live performers, Space Weather Listening Booth is a unique sound experience that allows one to hear and feel the movement of these great forces, and experience time and physical space through a new lens.
In case you were unaware: Experimental Portland Presents… #7 is happening TONIGHT at Record Room with an amazing trio of sound artists performing for you. The cost to get in is a nice sliding scale of $3-5, but if you can’t afford that, talk to me at the door and we’ll work something out. As with all the shows I do where money is taken at the door all of it goes into the pockets of the artists. Not the venue, nor myself, are taking a dime for this.
Tonight’s show came together in, I think, one of the best ways possible. Rinus Van Alebeek, the Dutch sound artist who currently resides in Germany, got in touch with me via e-mail, looking for someone to help him get a show together in Portland while he was on the West Coast. I’m so lucky he reached out to me first and I was able to nab him and his incredible collages of found sounds, self-made noises, and cassette buzzing and howling for this event.
The seventh installment of this series not only features my first international artist but also, much to my shame and chagrin, the first time I will have a female artist on one of my bills. I know this might be a touchy issue for some, but there’s still this huge bias towards male artists in every genre, including experimental music. And I didn’t realize I was playing into that until I was booking the last two events. So, I made the call to people via Twitter and Facebook for suggestions of great female experimentalists that live here in town. One of those names was Brumes, an ambient artist whose work is filled with quiet storms of emotion.
Sun Hammer was someone I tried to book early on in this series as I was instantly shaken by the strength of his glitchy, low-end rattling compositions. But it hasn’t been until now that I’ve been able to lock him down for a performance. If the last performance I saw by him at Townsend’s Tea is any indication, this set will end up leaving a huge and inviting impression on your amygdala and send some nice jolts of warmth through your weary joints.
If you’re not attending the Creative Music Guild’s regular series of shows at Revival Drum Shop, you are missing out on some of the most exciting local experimental artists around, playing in a cozy space that allows you to get entirely surrounded by sound. This clip comes from their most recent event which featured Matt Hannifin performing an interpretation of Philip Glass’s “1/1” and then some improvisational work.
If you want to see what CMG is up to, visit their website or get yourself out to The Gallery at Port City tonight where they will be hosting A Series of Solos featuring Danielle Ross, Dr. John C. Savage, Madelyn Villano, Ken Ollis (as part of the March Music Moderne).
If you haven’t been able to attend any of the Experimental Portland Presents… showcases we have been putting together for you over the last few months, allow us now to give you a little taste. This is a clip of ALTO! performing as part of the fourth installment of this ongoing concert series. It features the trio performing “Piece 11” and generally blowing the minds of everyone assembled.
You like this? Check our Event Calendar for our upcoming EXPDX Presents shows including next week at Record Room with Rinus Van Aleebeek, Brumes and Sun Hammer, and the next show at Mississippi Studios with Doldrums and Strategy.
UPDATE: Check out another video from the same show. It’s, dare we say, even better.
If you live in here in Portland, you know of Reed College, know someone who attends/attended the school, or at least have heard of the institution. Hopefully your knowledge of Reed extends to you making your way out to deep southeast to see a concert or performance there. The school has hosted some of the most mindblowing classical concerts and lured a wide swathe of rock, pop, hip-hop, and experimental acts into its midst.
One of the most exciting events in their cultural calendar is Reed Arts Week, a student-curated celebration of visual art, music, dance, theater, and more. The 2013 installment of RAW is geared up to begin on March 6th, and the schedule is chockfull of concerts and installations that should thrill regular readers of this blog.
The biggest names on the docket belong to Grouper and John Wiese, artists that make music that is, respectively, lulling and jarring. The former is set to do a multi-media performance in the school chapel on Saturday the 9th, and the latter will be performing live in the chapel on the 6th as well as featuring an installation of his “battery instruments” throughout the event.
The other performance to pay close attention to is that of Oneirogen, a New York-based musician who is making his West Coast debut at RAW. He will be premiering some of the guitar and effects processed madness that will be featured on his upcoming album Kiasma. As well, one of our favorite local installation and sound artists Brenna Murphy will be on hand with a new multimedia project available for viewing through the week.
Will Watts’ work under the name Oxfist is decidedly rooted in the mutually beneficial worlds of downtempo electronic and hip-hop, but there’s something wonderfully denatured about his approach to it. The beats and melodies disintegrate as they move forward, but somehow never lose momentum. You could dance to this, but it would have to be some Audrey Horne-like shuffle while staring off into the middle distance.
Watts put together this video using his iPhone, stitching together pieces of footage from his commute between here and Gresham. It’s an often unforgiving drive that he has managed to find the beauty in. I’m quite pleased to say that Watts is letting us premiere the video here at Experimental Portland.