Photo: Andrew Franciosa

Laurel Halo at EMPAC: Recap

This past Friday, upstate New York was gifted with another performance from an artist proudly of the Hyperdub roster. Laurel Halo is a brilliant producer and live electronic musician whose music gets you thinking as much you get lost in it.

I first saw Laurel Halo at TURRBOTAX®, a monthly club night in New York City that had first exposed me to some of my now-favorite producers over the past several years. In the city, it was a fully loaded dance set packed with the purest techno (read: actual techno) imaginable. Her performance at EMPAC on Friday was the complete opposite. Halo’s set was full of heavy, mysterious synths and samples that built towards one direction, and then shifted into a completely different, but not so distant direction. It was difficult to catch the rhythm or nod along but that seemed to be the clear intention of the artist.

Her set was a curious presentation of sound, as opposed to being engineered for a dance club setting like I had experienced in the past, and was somewhat expecting. I’d almost consider this set to be a total tease, knowing the type of music I’ve heard her capable of creating in the past. I enjoyed her performance with my eyes closed and my thoughts drifting, while seated in the venue’s main concert hall. There’s something to be said of being able to sit down to watch an artist with Halo’s talent and unique approach to sound. It was truly something different.

Halo’s music is meditative and pensive, while also aggressive, sharp, complicated and simple, all at once. It was all about the build with Halo controlling chaos and creating intricate patterns that seemed both illogical and perfectly on point. Whatever Halo is doing seriously works for her, as Friday’s performance had us all completely captivated.

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Sean Rowe ‘Madman’

Local hunter-gatherer turned world traveling song-man Sean Rowe has a new album out, and will be performing locally in support of his new album.

The new album is called Madman, and is available via iTunes.

Tickets are currently on sale for Rowe’s local show, which will be at CAC Woodside on Friday October 3. There will also be a pre-show reception with artwork from Scott Ackerman as well as food and drinks, which you can buy a ticket for as well.

Check out the video for Desiree and a short interview with Sean Rowe over on GQ.

Kode9 at EMPAC: Recap

Last night at EMPAC, Kode9 showcased that he is a humble performer. The iconic DJ and producer has been influencing the electronic music scene since the early 90s, and it was a truly special occasion that he was able to share his sounds with us on the absolute best sound system in upstate New York.

Kode9, known for founding the record label Hyperdub, started the evening off with a series of experimental works and slowly built into his signature styles. Throughout the night, a heavy fog filtered through the dance floor and at times even reached the knees of those in the audience, completely burying the floor and what lies beneath, providing a cool atmosphere to get lost in the music.

With such mastery of the lower, deeper end bass frequencies, Kode9 proved that he is more than worthy of having control over EMPAC’s epic sound system. Any other venue would have been a sub-par system for what Kode9’s sounds are capable of. Normally, one would have to travel three hours to a major city to be able to experience bass music that you can feel from your feet all the way up to your nose hairs, so needless to say it was a blessing to have this opportunity locally.

Kode9’s sound ranged from experimental soundscapes to jungle to footwork, including a footwork edit of “On Sight” from Kanye’s Yeezus and Biggie’s track “Dead Wrong,” among many other DJ Rashad tunes. Kode9 is an intelligent performer and kept control over the audience with seeming ease for a full two and a half hours. No gimmicks, no yelling into a microphone, no visuals – just pure, unfiltered sound that forced even the hesitant ones to dance. Needless to say, it was absolutely fantastic.

If you have never been to an event at EMPAC, simply go to the next one that your schedule will allow, regardless of if you have heard of the performer or not. For example, this Friday, EMPAC will host Laurel Halo, also from the Hyperdub family, as part of celebrating the label’s 10th year.

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Richard Barone and Bell’s Roar at The Low Beat

WEXT 97.7 is putting on an awesome show on Saturday September 13th. Richard Barone will be performing songs from his solo albums, The Bongos catalogues, a few tributes and stories as well. Bell’s Roar will be opening up the show.

Richard Barone has a crazy long history and it’s super interesting. I’d recommend flipping through his Wikipedia and learning more if you’re unfamilliar.

You can grab a free four song sampler from Richard on his website and you can buy tickets on the event page.

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Cymbals Eat Guitars tonight in Kingston

Cymbals Eat Guitars are playing BSP Kingston tonight at 9pm.

From the NPR preview of the new album, Lose:

Lose, Cymbals Eat Guitars’ third album, finds the band sticking to its old structural modus operandi — namely, stitching thunderous vamps together into rambling odysseys, then interspersing those numbers among marginally more focused songs — but also mining a rawer corner of the musical landscape. (At times, it recalls the clamor and squall of groups like Titus Andronicus and At The Drive-In.) That edge doesn’t displace the pop sensibility that underpinned prior albums, nor the habit of flitting between moods with little warning; see the way the reckless, rootsy “XR” gives way to the spacey freakout “Place Names,” which summarily cedes its ground to the keening balladry of “Child Bride.” But the exploration has a more deliberate cast.

You can still grab tickets online until 5pm, or at select local spots (Outdated Cafe, Jack’s Rhythms, Darkside Records & Gallery and Woodstock Music Shop) to avoid online ticketing fees.

For more info head to the event page and head out to BSP Kingston tonight!

Barons in the Attic – You Can’t Front on That

Barons in the Attic recently called it quits. They’ve released all their music for free on bandcamp and have just well as publishing a career introspective video into their band.

The (partial) description from the YouTube page

Barons in the Attic started in 2008 as many bands do; just some dudes messing around in a shitty house. In 2014 they decided they were tired of messing around in this formation so they changed course and ended the band. What plays above is a video homage to ourselves, a career retrospective on something too short to be a career, and a nice way to find some closure, at least for myself. I made this video, with help from some amazing friends and feel it (at least for me and hopefully the band and our closest friends) sums up a truly amazing part of our lives.

I’ve seen BitA few times and it’s always sad when a band calls it quits, but at least there’s this great video to revisit in years to come.

Living room concert with Eef Barzelay

The lovely hosts from Eef’s last living room show are throwing another one. If you missed the last show, or have no idea who Eef Barzelay or Clem Snide is, watch the video above to get familliar.

All the details are available on the ticket site. See you there!