Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category
From Bacteria to Boys featuring Darius Jones on alto sax, Alex Marcelo on piano and Peter Bitenc on bass is a Brooklyn based jazz quartet, led by drummer Mike Pride. I’ll leave it to the fine gentlemen below to fill you in on the details of Pride’s extraordinary craft. Let me just add that any dude pushing the limits of the avant-garde and experimental scene, while rocking a Ministry or Jesus Lizard shirt, is my kindred spirit. (((unartig)))’s live video anthology comes with all original text contributions by Arthur Goldwag (Best selling author of “Isms & Ologies” and “Cults, Conspiracies and Secret Societies”), Charlie Looker, Ben Gerstein, Jacob Wick, Jamie Saft, Peter Nye Kerlin, Byrne Klay, Mary Halvorson, Hank Shteamer, Kentaro Saito, Katie Young, Andrew D’Angelo, Kirk Knuffke, Keesha Mishawn, Josh Sinton, Jason Stein and Jonathan Moritz.
Aktionskunst And Primitivism
By Alexander Nym
Almost unknown to everyone not involved with the West-coast experimental-/post-industrial scene, CRASH WORSHIP (or Adoration De Rotura Violenta, as they called themselves in Spanish) is one of those groups whose cult status looms over its actual period of existence. Allegedly founded as an experimental studio outfit by Markus Wolff and Simon Cheffins in San Diego in 1987, CW soon discovered an all-round artistic hands-on-approach to create more than mere music. Their enthusiasm to produce stickers, posters, and a startling variety of unusual articles (even daggers, according to Wolff, who’d go on to found WALDTEUFEL, an occult/norse-inspired project to explore his German roots) was also reflected in their legendary live shows: besides a powerful array of DIY-drumsets, distorted bass, industrial vocals and weird electronics, audiences found themselves actively involved in the shows when band members would rush through the crowd, spraying spectators with water, cream, wine, honey and, according to certain sources, sometimes blood, urine and other substances. The shows regularly mutated into quasi-dionysian orgies with half-naked people dancing themselves into a trance to the hypnotic tribal drumming reminiscent of masters of the genre like the post-industrial heroes of the MILITIA and TEST DEPT. brand.
‘Do you know what a love letter is? It’s a bullet from a fucking gun. Straight through your heart.’ If said profound lines from Yuppicide’s song “True Love” reflect reality, then our video retrospective, covering the band’s complete lifespan from the late 80’s to the ‘last’ show in the 90′s and the current 2010 reunion, is indeed a raging machine gun operated by Trust Magazine’s Jan Roehlk. Singlehandedly and with a great deal of enthusiasm he conducted and compiled interviews with Don Fury/Producer & Recording Engineer, Pavlos Ioanidis/WreckAge Records and all four members of Yuppicide. A German translation of these interviews appeared in the June/July 2010 issue of Trust Magazine. Additional praise and thanks goes to Alicia Osborne and Rachael Guenther for their highly valued editorial services. This retrospective furthermore would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Yuppicide’s own Jesse Jones, who alongside Patrick Baclet/Out of Vogue provided exclusive liner notes for the videos and also opened up his personal archive from which the retrospective draws most of its footage. Uncharacteristic of what one usually finds on this site, our Yuppicide video anthology features mostly non (((unartig))) recorded material. For those videos for which source info was available credits can be found at the end of the corresponding clips. Furthermore, please keep in mind that this project was started and completed back when a Yuppicide reunion seemed totally out of the question. As a result some of the interview questions are slightly outdated. Nevertheless, we decided not to nick ‘em. We hope you’ll enjoy what is the visual account of a band that changed the face of New York Hardcore forever.
“Music was my first love – and it will be my last. – Music of the future – and music of the past. – To live without my music – would be impossible to do. – In this world of troubles, – my music pulls me through” (John Miles). All cheesiness aside, thanks to Skeletons for reminding me of this simple truth. There was a time in my life during which I had forgotten what music means to me. But along came Skeletons, a band that is constantly exploring, evolving and rearranging itself – both compositionally and constitutionally. Sometimes a duo, sometimes an orchestral big band but mostly a quintet, the only constant in this gleeful Brooklyn outfit remains a never ending procession into the artistically unknown. Skeletons create pop songs for people who recoil from simple structured shallowness. Songs that exercise a lust for riveting creativity and songs that evaporate a colorful bouquet of styles and influences through a gazillion pores with every note played. If there is beauty in music – and I’m talkin’ unconditionally transcending beauty, not just some superficial pretty surface – then Skeletons are right at the heart of it. It is a very special gift that this band calls their own. Matthew Mehlan and company are able to reignite long lost sparks in self-proclaimed oversaturated burnouts like myself. Being talented alone hardly does the trick. To elevate mind-boggling craftsmanship to a higher level of seductive artistry one must also be part of the dedicated and rarely found few to whom music is their first love, and to whom it will be their last. In Skeletons’ case said dedication over the years intertwined with communal aspects such as the creation of their own independent and free-spirited art space, “The Silent Barn”, and taking upcoming Hip Hop crew Nine 11 Thesaurus under their guiding wings. If you will, Skeletons are 21st century hippies, a fine group of people who have overcome antiquated fashions and styles while keeping the general idea of a community driven sensibility for working with one another very much alive. Over the course of the last five years (((unartig))) documented the many faces of Skeletons both in New York City and Europe, the highlights of which are presented with this anthology. Alongside these A/V capsules come words by Jonathan Pfeffer/Capillary Action, Jocelyn Soubiran/Zebulon, Charlie Looker/Extra Life and Andreas Schnell/Trust/TAZ.
Black Dice D2
By Nick Sylvester
There is a song by LCD Soundsystem called “Losing My Edge” which, if you’re reading this website, I imagine you’ve heard before. Tucked between “The Trojans” and “Todd Terry”, a band called “the Black Dice”(they still had the “the” then) was namechecked in James Murphy’s laundry list of personal records, proof of his cool. Other bands included PiL, Scott Walker, Juan Atkins, the Sonics, the Sonics–point being, a lot of old, hip, influential big deal type acts, and Daft Punk of course, and then this aforementioned “The Black Dice” entity. Who were what exactly? Shortly after “Losing My Edge” came out, I remember finding some Black Dice seven-inch at Twisted Village in Cambridge, buying it, playing it, etc. This was an ornery time in my writing life, when I handed out my “gorilla taking a shit into a microphone” metaphor with considerable frequency, so chances are high that “The” Black Dice got the Sylvester treatment. I remember being confused–not by the music but the suggestion that it was at all important.
Darius Jones Alto sax, Jason Nazary Drums, Travis Laplante Tenor sax, Andrew Smiley Axe
While on the surface one might perceive a Little Women performance as chaos and mayhem, it is really the band’s very soul to let emotions run loose. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Little Women don’t hide under the ‘head music’ umbrella. “My Heart isn’t healthy” for example is easily the most beautiful piece of music coming out of Brooklyn in the last five years. My calling it the ‘emo song’ brings a big fat grin to Laplante’s face every time the subject matter comes up. What makes this particular composition so remarkably outstanding is its courageous use of melody. Not in a cheesy popular music context of course. Radio-conditioned mainstream listeners will still run screaming from anything this band will ever produce. What Little Women have so skillfully overcome are the limitations of abstraction by infusing an unfiltered stream of heartthrob into their catatonic onslaught. This is music that deeply moves me, to a level that is almost too pathetic to admit.
Below are a/v time capsules ranging from the early years all the way to the present. Additional text narrative comes from Charlie Looker/Extra Life, Weasel Walter/Flying Luttenbachers, Hank Shteamer/STATS, Matthew Mehlan/Skeletons and MV Carbon/Metalux.
Under what rock have I lived for the past 20+ years? That was the primary question circling around my head when I saw Seven Sioux killing it on Saturday, December 19, 2009 in Frankfurt, Germany. Of course I had come across these Austrians before but apparently never bothered to pay close enough attention to this diamond in the rough. It took the 40th birthday bash of one of my best friends, nearly 4000 miles of air travel, two and a half days without proper sleep and a gazillion liters of beer to finally get enlightened. Having been up since Friday morning, Seven Sioux laying ashes to the Exzess felt like… like taking speed, I can only guess. Their emotionally charged DC sound, reminiscent of all time greats like Rites of Spring and Gray Matter, won me over in a whirlwind and kept me going all night. Actually I didn’t go to bed until 7:30am on Sunday morning after having shot the shit with Seven Sioux’s drummer Pezzy all night. Talk about an adrenaline rush.
Below are impressions of said show, as well as words by Rainer Krispel/Seven Sioux and Daniel/Lay Screaming.
An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when one celestial object moves into the shadow of another. The term is derived from the ancient Greek noun ἔκλειψις (ékleipsis), which is derived from the verb ἐκλείπω (ekleípō), “to cease to exist,” a combination of prefix εκ- (ek-), from preposition εκ, εξ (ek, ex), “out,” and of verb λείπω (leípō), “to be absent”. When an eclipse occurs within a stellar system, such as the Solar System, it forms a type of syzygy—the alignment of three or more celestial bodies in the same gravitational system along a straight line. [Wikipedia]
Coming to think of it, it’s probably safe to say that I’ve always been drawn to the ‘darker’ side of the sonic spectrum rather than finding much joy in the ‘happy camper’ corner. Like everyone else I of course occasionally do branch out to dip my beak into warmer waters and sunnier soundscapes. Although in the big pictures, the dark, the aggressive, the desperate, the tormented, the raw and the grim ruled my world in various ways from the get go. Consequently it comes as no surprise that with Bloody Panda it was love at first sight for me. No other band that I saw in the last 20+ years comes closer to being the artistic embodiment of a fully scaled eclipse, complete and utter darkness, cold and mysteriously ferocious. When these high priests of doom strike their first chord it feels as if they have the ability to switch off the sun with an organ note or a simple bass string. Yet their earsplitting compositional onslaught defies categorization. It is heavy but not metal, it is dark but not gothic, it is complex but not math, it is unorthodox but not experimental, it is atmospheric but not ambient. It is, frankly spoken, a monstrous beast on the loose, impossible to pin down, let alone classify with known musical genres.
Having followed the band around New York City since 2006, (((unartig))) is pleased and proud to finally present a selection of brutally magnificent performances, alongside an exclusive interview conducted for us by Fred Pessaro, Metal/Punk Editor of BrooklynVegan. Additional text contributions come from Aidan Baker/Nadja and Jan/Black Shape of Nexus.