Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve With Intransitive's Friends

Nerve Net Noise

Hive Mind

Mike Shiflet

Eli Keszler

What's the best way to spend New Year's Eve? Getting drunk with friends and strangers alike? Meh. Getting laid by your one true love? Satisfactory. Going to a concert presented by Intransitive Recordings with the US debut performance by Nerve Net Noise? Fuck yeah.

One of the best parts of last night was seeing all of the local warriors in experimental music converge in room 309 of the Hynes Convention Center. In addition to all of the performers and Howard Stelzer (the man behind Intransitive) there was Ricardo Donoso of Semata Productions, Greg Kelley, Jay Sullivan, Brendan Murray, Al Deaderick of Magic People, Wayne Rogers of Major Stars, and I think I saw Keith Fullerton Whitman at one point. And those are just the people I recognized. But me being the nervous anti-social pussy that I am didn't talk to anyone except Howie.

There was a slight change of plans with Eli Keszler and Ashley Paul performing first instead of last. They dove right in head first and kicked things off with their frenzied noisy skronk. I could listen to Eli's bowed percussion for hours on end.

Columbus' Mike Shiflet was up next. It was really good at the time but I'm having a hard time remembering anything specific about it. There was this weird interlude with a manipulated sample of a guy coughing and clearing throat. That's all I got.

Hive Mind came on wearing sunglasses. Is that a signature thing he does? Like Slipknot with their masks? Kinda lame. I'm not one for stage shticks. But it's all about the music, right? In that sense, Hive Mind delivered. He put down some truly beautiful and terrifying thick blackened ambience. So so cool. Sadly, he cut his set short because the right speaker stopped working. Even with the technical difficulties, though, he was still amazing.

Then it was time for motherfuckin NNN. He came all the way from Japan for this one show. A homemade analog electronics board with two joysticks was pretty much all this guy brought and he made that shit SO loud. At one point, people started cheering because he just kept cranking the volume up. It sounded like 100 people sampling the sound effects from Excite Bike, without the gay music. I just sat there slack jawed. Not that I think it'll happen again anytime soon, but if Nerve Net Noise ever shows up on American soil again, you make sure you do whatever you have to do to see him play.

The full room emptied out pretty quick. A ton of people left and missed out on Hollywood's Damion Romero. Which is a shame 'cause this guy fucking destroyed. Laid out some seriously gorgeous drones and it built up into a fucking loud as fuck gorgeous cacophony. You know how Sigur Ros' untitled #8 song just keeps building, and there's that cathartic release when it just explodes? Well, this was the explosion. He just kept adding layers upon layers of static, it became a moaning wall of sheer exquisite noise. I couldn't move, just closed my eyes and let it envelope me. That, my friends, is how you ring in the new year.

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