Harsh Industrial & Playful Electronic
auralgamiSOUNDS – February 3, 2017
ATOMO’s The Evaporated Life is an EP I find myself going back to fairly often – it’s great driving music, work music, or accompaniment-to-just-about-anything music. That release was described as relentlessly optimistic (a fitting description, I think).
Here, ATOMO is paired with another Louisville electronic musician, TonyRobot, whose music is stark contrast to the bubbly beats I had heard before. TonyRobot’s music is in your face, washed in pulsing, distorted synthesizers – even when the synths die down, the beat pounds on in the foreground. On “Doom Stick” the music seems to phase in and out of itself, disorienting the listener and making it difficult to find the top of a phrase. “Death Adder” is my favorite of TonyRobot’s three tracks on the EP – a plodding beat grows until it busts into an echoey wash of moody electronic sounds that would fit perfectly as film music.
ATOMO’s first of three tracks, “When I Met Her Dog,” starts with a palette cleansing chunk of pop organ with no beat before it leaps into a fast-paced, nearly silly tune set around pentatonic tones. ATOMO’s second track is the longest of the EP, a multi-part song called “Tangata Manu: Go Shave Your Head/Sharkbait/Vertigo.” The track is constantly morphing into the next section of the song, interjected with quick spurts of contrasting ideas – the final section is a spacey bit of music and features vocal notes from auralgamiSOUNDS label-mate, Cher Von.
YAWNKILLERS is a quick release with lots of good momentum – TonyRobot and ATOMO play great contrast to each other’s distinct brand of electronic music, and the EP is a fresh, energetic listen from the beginning to the end.
Tracks I Liked: Doom Stick!, Death Adder!!!, When I Met Her Dog!!!, Tangata Manu: Go Shave Your Head/Sharkbait/Vertigo!
Ben Southworth – High Street – March 12, 2017
August 28th, 2015 – auralgami SOUNDS
It isn’t easy to describe the sort of music that Cher Von makes. It was recorded without previous concepts, but it doesn’t sound that way – in fact the music here might even seem more thoughtful and aware of itself because of this sort of ‘realizing-the-music-as-it-comes’ approach to things. It’s the sort of approach that makes many musicians nervous to even think about, and the fact that it is done here in such a pleasant way seems like a testament to Cher Von’s musicianship and inventiveness.
Kuhh Duuh is a rich collection of six semi-improvised songs – each making extensive use of the voice, loop and effect pedals, and found percussion. The tracks here are very atmospheric, feeling thick and hazy while maintaining a distinctly directed groove. It’s not a kind of heavy, driving, four-on-the-floor kind of groove, though – it’s more like that built in background groove that you feel when you’re driving by streetlights at a steady speed on a quiet night. The music refrains from being domineering, but rather allowed me to walk to class on this wet Autumn morning without excess thought as I let it go by. It was almost meditative.
Tracks like “Anywhere (Kilik 2)” and “Nimm-Mumm (Wood. Chant)” pull in some extra instrumentation – guitar and bass – and have more melancholic, even distressed feels to them. The fifth track, “Loop: Goh-Kuhht,” is an incredible amount of fun, and one that most anyone should enjoy – as the name implies, it builds layers and layers of loops (mostly voice, with some effects) and can easily put the listener in a trance. Another great release from auralgami SOUNDS this year, Kuhh Duuh is a thoroughly enjoyable listen – it stays fresh across several listens, as you find more and more surprises buried in its textures. The music is able to be simultaneously calming, entrancing, exciting, and playful – it’s something I would most certainly recommend.
Tracks I Liked (though I would more recommend listening to this all as an album): Anywhere (Kilik 2)!!, Nimm-Mumm (Wood. Chant)!, Loop: Goh-Kuhht!!!
Ben Southworth – October 27th and 28th, 2015 – Park Avenue and Kenwick Place