Last night the Rat & Raven venue in the University District played host to a killer lineup. I missed Particle Being Trio as I had to leave early but I did pick up their new release on Debacle Records. The Rat & Raven has been a real blessing for the Ave., hosting a variety of diverse shows, and last night's was one of their best yet.
Karnak Temples took the stage first. This newish project by Adam Svenson of Dull Knife and Little Claw is getting a lot of respectful attention from a lot of discerning ears. On solo electric guitar, Adam crafts whirling psychedelic storms of sound. Sitting in a chair, hunched over his guitar, Saucony clad feet rocking him back and forth in response to the immense physicality of his playing, he held the room spellbound with dazzling picking married to sheets of amorphous feedback and distortion. A lot of people mention Tom Carter in the same breath as Karnak Temples, and with good reason.
Mood Organ played next, sporting some sleek new gear. His 25 minute or so set was a compelling journey into the depths of sound synthesis. It started out minimal and clear, repetitive rhythmic motifs rising and falling . Soon more layers emerged, filling out the piece with a dense, abstract collage of bleeps, drones and shrieks. At one point it sounded like a male voice screaming as the crescendos built and built. From head nodding rhythmic pulses to squalling Merzbowesque cacophony, this was a wide ranging and challenging set. Superb!
Geist and the Sacred Ensemble continue to hone their craft and their live sets get better and better. From free improv to tight, tribal breakdowns, their mixture of bass, electric and acoustic guitar and drums is almost religious in its hypnotic intensity, lending truth to their name. Comparable to none, and playing pretty often these days, Geist are a must see. Below are more fuzzy cell phone pics to dazzle your eyes...
|Mood Organ setting up.|
|Geist raise spirits...|