Next up in Watery Starve's Butterfly Batch is solid dose of loopedelia from Chicago's Colin Blanton. As Ant'lrd-- antlered? ant lord?-- Blanton works some sampler magic to transport listeners to that blissful space right between dreaming and waking up. It would seem from his work as Obsolete Gangster and Awkward Silence that Blanton arrived at ambient music from making beats, a progression that is not only logical-- considering each genre's heavy reliance on the sample-- but also more and more common place, with dudes like ahnnu and even knxwledge staking out similar territory. In other news, you can watch a short video about Watery Starve's production process over at Tabs Out.
Ant'lrd's Extra Domicile is out this June in a very limited edition of 75.
Ad Hoc Man of the Year, DJ Rashad, has announced his next Hyperdub release. As Fact reports, it's hard to tell if it's going to be the full-legnth follow up to last year's Teklife Vol. 1: Welcome To The Chi, or just another 12" in the vein of Rollin'. But let's not get too picky about new Rashad right now. The release will be titled I Don't Give A Fuck, much like the video he released back in April.
Boyd Rice cultivates this air of being a real-life super villain. As one of the innovators of noise music with his industrial project, NON, Rice worked on pushing sound to the same edge of taste as he has his image. His grand persona encompasses Nazi regalia, a love of '50s space age culture, and a stint leading the Church of Satan. He once released a 7" that was entirely made up of locked grooves. He was also the subject of one of Mute's earliest releases, a label with whom he is still close today. As evidenced by a recent four-hour documentary about him, he's a complex figure who demands attention. His most recent album, Back To Mono, was his return to noise music, and it saw him collaborating with Wes Eisold of Cold Cave. They'll both be playing at 285 Kent, Brooklyn on June 29.
Ad Hoc: How did you get involved with Wes Eisold from Cold Cave?
Boyd Rice: We got introduced by this guy named Howie Pyro, and he used to be in Danzig and he’s a character everybody knows, everybody loves... And he said, “hey if you ever wanted to work with these guys, I know Heartworm Press and I’m sure they’d be down.” So I got in contact with Wes Eisold and Max Morton, and they were totally up for doing something with me, so they put out a book of mine called No, and then they put out a book called Twilight Man. I went to do a signing for No and I stayed at their house in Philadelphia, and it was full of taxidermy and weird paintings and stuff, and that’s when I first got to know Wes.
AH: Wes worked on Back To Mono, but have you two been involved in any other sort of collaboration?
BR: No. Wes just did this stuff while I was staying in his house to do this book signing at the Strand in New York. I’d been working on this album for a number of years, and had some recordings he’d done with me, and I crossed paths with Wes over and over again.
Fade To Mind bro and Qween Beat label head, MikeQ could be called a revivalist. The tradition he champions-- Ballroom and Vogue music-- was most significant in the '80s, at the time the beat to drag parties all across Harlem. But just as with the rest of the Fade To Mind crew, the New Jersey-based producer takes halcyon strains of dance music and overclocks them with vibrant sawtooth waves and aggresively bright drums. Much like label comrades Fatima Al-Qadiri and Nguzunguzu, MikeQ manages transform typically marginal aesthetics into bangers that are welcome on seemingly any dancefloor. His remix of "Nite Birds" is filled with flutters of fashionable sub-vocal samples as well as some good old fashioned house organ stabs. Dance your way into the weekend, people.
Keith Fullerton Whitman is one of those genius types with an overclocked mind who has no choice but to cram as many words as possible into a single breath. Luckily for both us and for you readers, he gave us about an hour's worth of interview material in only 27 minutes. Hence, we're publishing our conversation in three parts, with the first-- this one-- focusing directly on his forthcoming split with Floris Vanhoof on Shelter Press. Since last decade, Whitman has been exploring the potentials of the modular synthesizer. His process nowadays is one of exploring minute shifts with massive sonic implications, creating self-contained butterfly effects through electronic wittling.
Ad Hoc: We should start off by talking about this studio recording on the split you have coming out on Shelter Press. Is there a bifurcation between your live and your studio material? There seems to be this somewhat academic element to this work, academic in the GRM sense of the word. There's the this methodical progression from tone to rhythm to, for lack of a better term, song.
Keith Fullerton Whitman: That one track with the drums is a nine-minute, more linear kind of thing. I don’t see it as a division, no-- It’s all continuous. It’s funny, because that whole side is the exactly the same set up. It's all the same patch actually. Do I turn the clock station on or do I leave it turned off? The first three tracks, they’re more free-form, but it's literally the same patch, just recorded in four slightly different configurations, in four different ways. It’s funny to make stylistic distinctions because they’re all wrapped on to the music-- all kind of similar. It’s just what you hear that’s very different. It’s funny how the mechanism that makes the music is almost identical.
Perhaps you'd call Date Palms a drone band. In the past few years, "drone" has basically come to signifiy the ever-growing taint that links ambient and noise, a linguistically unfaithful term to the minimalism that birthed it. But if we're going to talk minimalism, then in fact the duo of Gregg Kowalsky and Marielle Jakobsons is among the truest to the tag. Their approach is to merge Eastern modes and Western technologies in an attempt to lend form to the abstract-- not unlike minimalism originator La Monte Young. The Dusted Sessions is the group's third album-- their first on Thrill Jockey-- and sees them infusing their meditational style with electric-- notably, not electronic-- catharsis.
Ad Hoc: How has Date Palms evolved since your 2010 debut on Root Strata?
GK: Our first record was a learning experience. We both come from backgrounds in electronic music with our solo projects. I thought it would be interesting to explore something completely different with Date Palms. We wanted the music to be anchored by repetitive bass patterns, with Fender Rhodes lines locking in with violin lines as the main voice. Throwing bass lines into the mix meant we had to work with time signatures, which I have never really done with my solo work. So we learned how to keep things in time without using click tracks, for better or worse. We knew from the beginning we didn't want to use drums on Of Psalms. The bass line held everything together, but we had no drums to play in time with. We realized that this created an untethered or loose vibe, which we liked. The time signature in our heads would slowly shift over the duration of the track. This gives the music a human, organic quality-- playing the tempo that feels right, slowly shifting over time. So, learning how to record the bass and compose the bass lines took us awhile for Of Psalms. Since then, we work much faster and understand our process much better. It also helped that on Honey Devash we used drum machines on each track, which made the writing and recording process much easier.
MJ: Our first two records were recorded in our home studio by overdubbing everything. It was a challenge to take those tracks and perform them live because of all the production. I would switch between violin and bass during a track live, which was a limitation because I couldn't focus on either instrument completely. Over time, we started having friends play bass during shows, and I could focus just on violin. After a while, we expanded into a five-piece, with tanpura and guitar. We had been playing shows around town as a five-piece with friends and we decided to record The Dusted Sessions live in a proper studio, as a live album.
GK: I look at the The Dusted Sessions more like Crazy Horse, which to me is an imperfect band with guys that aren't amazing players (besides Neil) but play with feeling and vibe, and that translates. So, the recording and mixing process was completely new for The Dusted Sessions, and a bit of an experiment.
Hot on the heels of Tabs Out announcing her remix cassette, Rachel Evans bears the good news of a coming split with Lynn Fister, better known 'round these parts as Aloonaluna. The two have something of a history, with Fister's Watery Starve releasing that insane four-way split earlier this year featuring both Motion Sickness of Time Travel and Aloonaluna. Constellation Tatsu is assuming the dubbing duties for this one. The "zenana" of the song's title refers to the womans-only room in a Muslim or Hindu house, suggesting a celebration of a feminine territory in experimental music, continuing a project that Taxidermy of Unicorns helped define. The track itself is less focused on the synth drone than it is on Evans' vocal manipulation, which is often makes for her most compelling work.
Kenneth Goldsmith is a prankster, at least deep down inside. As a host on WFMU, he used to pull stunts like whispering Karl Marx while wearing a $1400 suit and playing several covers of Yes's "Roundabout" in a row. Of course, Goldsmith is more widely reocgnizable for his helming of UbuWeb-- the intensive compendium of avant garde sound and moving images-- uploading copious material with little regard for copyright. The man himself just contributed a fantastic essay to Dazed and Confused about his strange path to UbuWeb and avant garde poetry. It's definitely worth a read if you have any interest in errant art world figures, people who "masturbate incessantly" until they pass out, or the image of Barack Obama digging some conceptual art. A video of Goldsmith at the Whitehouse can be seen below.
Gather 'round for the heartwarming tale of disintegrating marraige. South Florida social media communications advisor, Dianne D, chronicled how a recent Waka Flocka Flame concert helped her realize that her marriage was a sham, a thin excuse for the status quo which keeps us running on this old hamster wheel called life. It's the charmed story of a shitty husband and a hard-in-the-paint rapper who is genuinely stoked to meet a twitter follower. There it is.
Doing his best Hunter S. Thompson impersonation, John Fell Ryan is followed by a lone camcorder as he wanders through the living detritus that is Las Vegas. A traipse across a highway and through a casino is the perfect visual accompaniment to this Excepter dirge, or rather, this song is the ultimate alienated soundtrack to late capitalism's Mecca. Either way, when the climax distorts and the fast cuts kick in, you feel just like you're in Vegas, full of anxiety yet empty of the will to continue living. This is the second taste of new Excepter material as of late, and the taste is good.