Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Racer Sessions June 24, 2012, with Ross Hammond

This last Sunday Racer Session was hosted at a space in Ballard by Ross Hammond. Ross is a guitarist from Sacramento who seems equally at home with Hendrix and Frith. His curator's description stated "Don’t think too much about the right notes or the right rhythms or the right textures.  Don’t think about the timbre of your instrument or exercises to play.  Don’t think about music at all.  Instead, take a minute to to think about those you love.  Those who have helped shape who you are today.  Once you have a few in mind who you’d like to focus on, take that feeling and play your ass off. " The improvisations reflected this, ranging widely in mood and dynamic.
If you haven't checked out a Racer Session yet, please do. Bringing amazing players like Ross to town is a great example of the good work these folks do. Some pics follow...

A picture of what I heard.

In the zone.

Neil Welch. Visceral. 

Bad Luck plus "ragin'" Ross H in this pic.

Luke guides the conversation.

Ivan weighs in.

In your face!

REALLY spacious set! Balatero and Swanson push the texture..!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Heady Vibes at the Rat and Raven

Friday night at the Rat and Raven brought some dark and heavy sounds to the north end of University Way. We arrived just as Blasphemous Organ were beginning. This project is a collaboration between Demian Johnston (Undertow, Playing Enemy, Hemingway, Great Falls, etc...) and Timm Mason (Mood Organ, Midday Veil, Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme). A dazzling improv on synths and guitar, these two shook the building with their spacious, rumbling dialogue. This project NEEDS to happen again. Next up was Addaura with a super charged black metal assault-I think they damaged my hearing despite my ear plugs-just amazing! King Dude slowed things down a bit with a candlelit set of doomy gothic folk that evoked Death In June and Darkwood and (A) Story Of Rats closed with their best set yet, a sonic wall of death pinned down by the jaw dropping drumming of Andrew Crawshaw. Another great night at this burgeoning, adventurous venue.

Demian kills it. 

Timm raises a wall of synth noise.

Mr. Johnston manipulating feedback. 

ASOR sounded a bit like this.

Thy candles...

Friday, June 22, 2012

An amazing night of sonic explorations last night at the Chapel in the Good Shepherd Center co-hosted by Gift/Draft Tapes, Debacle Records and the Wayward Music series. Jason, Sam and Steve have done wonders for the avant garde and experimental music scene in Seattle and nights like this demonstrate their curatorial acumen.
     Jason Anderson, playing as Spare Death Icon, wove an entrancing industrial soundscape out of heavy rhythms and textural synthesis. An amazing solo performance. Matt Carlson came off much more abstractly, chopping frantic bits of granular sound into tiny shreds and swirling it around the room. A heady and challenging set that ended too soon. Beautiful. Bee Mask closed with a great set of dark ambient, oceanic dream sounds. The piece ranged widely in mood, from menacing to radiant. Very emotional stuff. I hope to see more shows like this in Seattle, and with cultural producers like these guys doing their thing, I most certainly will. Thanks guys!
P.S. Megabats should have played this bill.

Gateway to dreamworlds...

Sam introduces Spare Death Icon.




Sounded like this looks...

Matt Carlson.