Helio Parallax — 1
(M.O.D. Technologies MOD0014, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-09-01Somebody attached the phrase "Sci-Fi Dub Noir" to Helio Parallax, and it seems appropriate enough that I'll pass it along. If you'd like, picture a nightclub located in the sub-basement of a grimy building in the Los Angeles of Bladerunner. Lights flash from every corner, slicing patterns into thick mist, and from somewhere, from everywhere, comes music. It's what passes for jazz in this world, but it's been hybridized with more other strains of music than you can name. Much of the sound that meets your ears is electronic, but it all sounds handmade, produced by instruments cobbled together out of parts from other devices. A trumpet joins in, and various singers step up to a microphone somewhere in the mist to add their bits. All of the sounds are inputs to be manipulated elsewhere on the stage, if there is one out there somewhere. Helio Parallax is a project of Josh Werner (basses, guitar, keyboards), Takuya Nakamura (trumpet, keyboards), and Marihito Ayabe (effects, mixing), and they're joined by a number of guests providing vocals, horns, drums, and so on. At times, the music drifts off into realms of space dub, at other times doubles down on the beats and resembles an art-collage version of techno club dance. So surrender to the uncertainty and whatever's in the air. The person dancing next to you may be a replicant, but tonight it doesn't matter.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more