With all of the back and forth recently in electronic music circles stemming from an interview given by Deadmau5 (that dude with the giant mouse head), the concept of button pushers within electronic music is again pretty controversial. The buttons we’re talking about are ‘start’ and ‘stop,’ a live show that consists of playing an ipod and getting paid half a million dollars. A Guy Called Gerald recently weighed in with a nasty ill thought out rant outing Deadmau5 as a failed record company hack before inexplicably charging him with wanting to nuke Palestine. Slightly insane yes, but it highlights the sensitivity and confusion for many in electronic music circles. With most of the work done in the studio with a mouse over many hours, it’s just not feasibile or interesting to replicate this live.
“Yeah its a tricky one these days,” offers Melbourne audio visual artist Kit Webster, who alongside Chiara Kickdrum and Bevin Campbell (host of The Blend on PBS) is starting a new live electronic night called Movement.
“Back in the 90’s you would see the artist jump from one machine to the next, each tweak you can literally see what’s going on, and you can see the intensity on their faces, then I guess you really understand the true meaning of 100% live.”
Movement doesn’t discriminate between styles or scenes, but they want facial intensity. “We want to push boundaries with sound by showcasing the best artists from sound art, electronica to dubstep, techno and drum and bass. 100% self produced music.”
Movement will be launched on Thursday August the 9th at The Order of Melbourne with the likes of Voitek, Mindbuffer, Kloke and a gaggle of cutting edge musicians and visual artists.
Back in 2000 Fragmented Films has fond memories of fronting up to a grimy Punters Club to witness an electronic artist with rudimentary electronics, a trombone and a mandolin craft these beguiling textures of sound. The artist was Nightswimmer and he self released three albums between 2000 and 2003 before promptly relocating to the UK, in pursuit of his other more shoegazey pop project The Sound Movement. He’s recently returned to Melbourne after 8 or so years abroad with a new album The Sound of Disconnect. Whilst there is some similarity in mood and aesthetic with his earlier work, there’s a greater complexity in composition and execution. Nightswimmer gives the music plenty of time and space, allowing sounds and emotions to drift gradually into earshot, vocals whisper, guitars jangle and before you know it your transported back into his incredible world.
Percussionist Will Guthrie, co founder of the Make It Up Club has been living in Nantes France for the last five years or so. A regular improvisor, he is equally adept with junk percussion and contact mics as with a full blown kit, having performed with jazz, flamenco, and African bands as well as improv troupes like Anthony Pateras’ Thymolphthalien. His new album, Sticks Stones & Breaking Bones (Antboy) sees a return to the kit. “I was a little tired and frustrated with what of I was doing with electronics,” he offers via email, “it was time to change. I also felt a need to try to bring in more ‘pulse’ elements into my music.”
It’s a remarkable album, recorded, mixed and mastered within two days, with Guthrie setting up little experiments to push himself out of his comfort zone.
“The idea for the piece ‘Breaking Bones’ was to push my physical limits, and play repeated patterns at a very high volume until the body can continue no longer, and change happens regardless of a mental decision to change. The idea is that after awhile of pushing the body the mind plays second to the body, so the results can be unexpected and different to what I would normally ‘decide’ to play. It’s almost like a chance piece, but the outside element is my own self.”
He’s launching the album at Monkey Bar on the 12th of August at 4pm.