Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another breath, another reverberation.

I have been trying to learn how to make sample based music in Ableton. Haven't really had the chance to put too much time into it. But I put this short track to a simple video that I made and it could just be a beginning.

The point of this blog is to archive things I do and to reflect on some significant grounding points as they inform the now.

From the 'best day of my life vol. 2'...

I sit up finally and turn to Reg again, becoming aware more now of how amazing the tunes are and how unique and perfectly suited they are to the environment and the overall spectacle. I ask him to come with me to investigate the source, scared and assuming to find some space like machine amplifying the orchestra of the whole groups collective consciousness. This idea brings me closer to the conclusion I am building toward that this whole mess is my own consciousness enlivened and I am lucid to explore it. We walk along the cement path and onto the deck. There is a dj table set up with a very professional looking mixer and two mackie speakers on stands. Besides the actual music the clarity and warmth and spaciousness of the sound is unlike anything I have ever heard. I look to the turntable to see if the needle is touching the record, not yet convinced that this sound could have a beginning and an end. I ask Reg to lift up the needle and he advises against it. When I move around the patio the sound changes and its as though the each speaker is 360. I notice that the sound must be affected by the awning that is hanging above. I move through the house and follow the sound still morphing like an echo through a cave. I come out and Reg suggests I hear it from the grass which is surrounded by a forest and oh how glorious it is! So warm! Like in a womb!

The record ends and I walk over to a record bag where I see a strange record poking out. It is something which I both recognize and have never seen before. I recognize 'The Residents' and I think of how I don't remember what they really sound like and that all the tracks I've heard are very different. I pick it up. The cover is red and green and yellow and purple separate like a screen print and it depicts (the Residents) four men with eyeballs for heads. This strikes me as a powerful symbol because of the eyeball's association to acid. There are two label images, one that reads 'The Diskomo' which is a song by Cabaret Voltaire which fucks with me cause I know that both groups were making similar experimental electronic music in the same era, and the other label reads 'Disko will never die!' which is a motto that I feel deeply. Not only that, the background looks like rolling hills similar to the hills which we are surrounded by and they are jagged like sound waves. To me this a depiction of the music bouncing about the hills like how it is around me. Now I am 100% convinced that this whole experience is from my own mind and that this unique record is a sign of proof. "Reg, we need to play this record!' The dj set up is so professional and intimidating that I get him to put it on.

What happens cannot be described. Only my memory of how I felt at the time can be translated. This is not real. This is from my mind. This is the most perfectly strange music that is totally translated visually by this fucked up cover. This is the musical collage of all of the darkest and strangest audio that has moved me to a point of advancement thought my life. It sounds like it is being played right there, right then. I say to Reg very seriously, 'This is the most perfect fraction of time. And every fraction of time proceeding it is even more perfect. How?' The record is in immaculate condition. There is no noise and it sounds realer than real. I try to find the best spot to sit and listen and move from seat to seat. I have to ask everyone around me if this is real and if they understand how crazy this music is. Athena calls it circus music. It has some circusy sounds I guess. I try to imagine what instruments the Residents are actually playing but it is hard to tell. Synthesizers in perfect patch? Fucked. I go to the sleeve again trying to glean some understanding but It seems more complex still. The track listings give an explanation of where and when they were recorded and released. Most are live and have been previously released on other recordings. Made in Holland. There is price sticker that is stamped 'Danceteria' which confuses me because I believe that is a club in New York in the 80s that played hip hop and freestyle. There are 4 dates from 1970 to 1988. So the record was pressed in 88. That is the only concrete information because the descriptions seem to be written by the weirdos themselves and are sort of sarcastic to my understanding. I go to Greg ' Have you seen this before?'

'Yeah of course its the Residents.'

'Yeah, I know, but this record?'


'Have you seen two?'

'Yeah there are more than one copy'

'But two together at the same time?'


'That's what I thought.' Evidence that this is a magic artifact only capable of being played at one time and never in the same place or at the same time as another copy because it is only to be played for one specific experience and it will never be heard the same again ever as it is now. Sigh. Now the only thing to do is Discgogs it for further proof. The record ends and Jason comes by laughing and picks it up and says, 'Okay, enough of the weird' I try to get him to tell me how rare it is and to tell me that there is some way that I can attain a copy but he wont comply, probably because he thinks I am tripping balls. He then puts on Nina Simone which ends up being way more normalizing and pleasant. I then consider how blessed I am to be in the presence of Jason's record collection at such an intimate affair. This is the best day of my life.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Astoria: a neighbourhood pub for techno geeks

Last Sunday at the Astoria my friend Amberleigh Forsyth put on a friendly show featuring peers who are making music that is strikingly earnest and genuine. Earlier in the week she and I agreed to trade her haircutting skills for my seamstress skills, resulting in her rocking a new costume on her west coast tour, and me proudly sporting a ponytail! (bright orange undercut).

Night Nest jammed on some nice synthy vibes, props for working live with an old school drum machine, Holzkopf brung the noise (as usual). Ashlee played her Zoo set which was new to me although she has been making the rounds at local gigs. Like Suicide vocals and Joy Division riffs backed with doo wop nostalgia (a trend I think...), only with a contrasting execution that has an air of vulnerability = very charming. Gak reminded me once again why I like Gak: its the soundtrack to a movie I would only watch for the soundtrack.

The Astoria has weird karaoke lighting and if I am ever involved in doing a show there I will be bringing additional stage lamps so that I can make a video. I anticipated being able to document the costume in action but due to the back lighting, its basically a silhouette.

Heres flash photography:

Then my camera died.

What you miss is Colby Sparks playing a dance heavy acid frenzy with his xox box, perfectly synched to a flavourful sampling of glitchy, deep and classic drums. Just recently having the opportunity to play alongside with his idol Ceephax (Andy Jenkins), the small world buzz may have just hit Colby, and his confidence is apparent. Evidence of his ability to carve out a set complete with head banging builds was obvious in the tiny crowd of fans jerking it to skronky bass lines. YAY ACID!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Walkin' on the tracks

Today my new friend Celia and I embarked on an adventure to explore the territory of the infamous Mc Barge. Getting there involves a hike along the railroad. We walked along the tracks for hours and talked about things. We had a lot to talk about because we have just met each other and the scenery we chose was an excellent stimulator of concepts and theories about life wide and narrow.

I didn't expect the trains to offer us a symphony but I learned that some of them have a harmonious resonance that is breathtaking. The sound wraps around and penetrates the body. As the cars grind on, metal sounds reverberate through empty hulls like creaking ships. The shear mass and thrust demand respect as the giants shrink my fragile body into its humanness.

Is train hopping a boys only adventure? What remains of the lifestyle that Keroac wrote into a romantic fantasies? In the search for freedom, rules like: don't get crushed make for seductive simplicity. If we kept walking along the tracks, when would we stop relating to the city we left behind? Would our comparisons be only between the scent of the air in one place or another? One day I want to walk so long that the life I left behind is a story being read in my memory.

What really matters?


Maybe why we love them so much is because they are dinosaur era plant life, echoing weirdness, reflecting our state of mind. In bunches they reiterate the humbling infinity that plants have when they are using that familiar fractal logic. Think: Dandilions, Geodesic Domes.

Gigantic Dragon flies existed in pre historic times along with gigantic horsetails the size of trees.

Celia once took a dingy out to the Mc Barge. She said it looks like a ballroom inside. She said there used to be raves on it. Later on I asked my friend Johnny about it and he said he's heard of raves held there as well.

This fire in the sky is a welcomed contrast of red on blue.

Spilled grain will lure wildlife onto the tracks.

Later that evening I went home and listened to Fleetwood Mac. It was a good day.