Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sonic abuse rituals

I continue to be amazed by the incredible music I've had the good fortune to take in during the last couple of months. Last Sunday was certainly no exception. Bianca, her friend Ariann and I jetted to the Lucky Cat (former home of the now extinct Dogs Blood Rising... sniff...) to catch a drum and bass/breakcore show of epic proportions. The night was hosted by Society Cleaners as part of their regular bi-weekly Wrecking Ball event. In this case, they were celebrating the arrival of breakcore god Enduser, who has just relocated to New York from Cincinnati.

Things got off to a great start with Migraine spinning some incredibly sick tracks. The great thing about this fellow is that he incorporates speed metal and other craziness into his mix of breakcore and drum and bass visciousness. He threw down some Slayer and Pantera and I think I heard a couple of snippets from Prong and Morbid Angel. A wild, wild mix.

Unfortunately, things got slightly derailed after Migraine's set. The first live act of the evening was Speak Onion and he was... not good. The first tune he did was OK, involving a lot of tweaked beats and squelchy bass lines. Interesting, but not outstanding. However, at the start of his second song, he reached for a mic. I was immediately apprehensive. Bianca obviously had similar thoughts, as we turned to look at each other at exactly the same moment; further proof that we share the same musical brain...

It was just terrible.

I don't know why, but nasal screaming and yelping are great when done over lightning fast guitars and a double kick drum (man, do I love death metal). When done over electronic noodlings, it sounds like crap. So went Speak Onion.

We fled.

Luckily, Ariann's brother was throwing a party just down the street at a really beautiful bar which I will frequent again, God willing. We retreated there and were treated to some really nice reggae and dub tunes by a great DJ (whose name I failed to get). After about half an hour, we judged it safe to return to the Cat. Indeed, when we got back, the evil of Speak Onion had passed and all was right with the world, for The Lab now held sway on stage.

This guy was great. Using a Prophecy, an old MiniMoog and some other keyboard I couldn't identify, he created an incredible sonic stew of sweeping bass lines and twisted breaks. Very, very good. Additionally, he had some amazing visuals spitting out of a bank of monitors he'd set up in front of his audio gear. This mix got my feet moving pretty quickly and I was soon lost in dance land.

Once The Lab had done his thing, Edgey took the stage. This was the first act of the evening that I was already familiar with, being a big fans of his since his days on MP3.com. In retrospect, I suppose I should have brought some of his old discs with me for him to sign or somesuch. Then again, never been much of the fan boi type, so no big deal. Anyway, Edgey just shredded the place with his signature dark beats and thunderous bass. At one point, he created a wall of noise the likes of which I'd not heard in ages (but will no doubt hear tonight at the Merzbow show). No discernable beats or melody, just a mass of ear ripping static and noise. It was a beautiful thing. Most people would hate it, but fuck dem, mon. This was the type of noise that you can completely lose yourself it. Primal, but intricate, containing elements you really needed to listen for to catch. Very cool shit.

Edgey's spectacular performance definitely got the crowd jacked for Enduser. And man, did he deliver. The Man From The Queen City (and now NYC) really brought it, slamming us with cavernous bass riffs, rocket propelled beats and ragga samples. The normally sedate crowd went nuts, bopping up and down like maniacs. This was pretty amazing, given that most breakcore scenesters don't dance (something I just cannot understand). Then again, the reason for this may be because when they do, they do it badly...

Anyway, all insults aside, Enduser really did give us the goods. He played a bunch of tracks I'd never even heard as well as all my personal faves. Unfortunately, the Cat isn't very big, so there was not a lot of room to move. We made due, however. I think Enduser continues to be the premier breakcore artist in the States. Simply amazing. A fantastic mix of speeds and textures. Mind blowing.

In all, this was one of my favorite shows of the year. I'll be completely switching gears tonight with Merzbow (bring on the brain melting noise, baby), but hell...

That's how we roll.

Part of this complete breakfast:

Depeche Mode - Violator
(nine tracks of pop perfection)

Meat Beat Manifesto - Edge Of No Control
(Orbital and Consolidated take a swipe at Jack and Jack smacks back)

Various - Spintrax 9
(another DJ Abstract compilation of the best and brightest)

Headcase - Crosseyedrabbit
(Dean Garcia from Curve shows us the beats and the bass)

Austere - Curio
(mystical, magical, marvelous)


Anonymous b. anca said...

the visuals were done by madame chao..i think.
ask mr derek.
we saw the visuals before with miss robin at some show at the tank earlier this year.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the visuals during Edgey's set were the work of Madame Chao and those during the Lab's set were the creations of the Lab (Stephen Dirkes) himself. Thanks for coming out!

Timm CLeaners

1:28 PM  

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