Posts Tagged ‘The Gamut’

Altered Zones “Zoned In” Pick: The Gamut, Ghost Notes

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Ghost Notes, the debut EP by New York electronic duo The Gamut, sounds like something Excepter might have dropped had they emerged from the spirited sweatboxes of North Brooklyn DIY instead of the narcotic haze of post-9/11 LES. The obsession with duration and group ritual is absent, and the offerings pack enough melodic punch to satisfy instantly, but the line of spiritual continuity is hard to ignore. Combining Suicide-era drum machines and real-time digi-percussion, Kosmische synths, and the bass of Berlin techno, the Gamut mobilize the history of electronic music to construct a seductive pre-technological illusion — a return to the primeval beat of the dance around the fire. If there’s one thing that Derek Maxwell and Christian Fuller know, it’s that all that imagined simplicity — that deep-riding boom boom, those two-note Yodel melodies that would lose all their staying-power if they were forced to accommodate a third — is really just the stuff of pop.

Reposted from Altered Zones

Ghost Notes is out soon via CD and MP3 download

Underwater Visitations Sunday Brunch Takeover #2/Episode 10: The Woodsman Episode

Thursday, June 24th, 2010


Heat can be pretty psychoactive. I have suffered through enough late summer DIY shows in this city to know that it can make you feel drunk when you are dry, induce dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, tunnel vision — and, on rare occasions, even predator vision. It can dull your experience of the most bad-ass jam you’ve heard all year while heightening its impression in memory. I am actually pretty glad that I missed Woodsman‘s set at Monster Island Basement in Brooklyn last Friday because it don’t think I would have survived to tell the story. When they swung by Newtown Radio last Sunday, the station was probably just as cramped, but the free-standing air-conditioner wheezing dutifully in the corner lowered the temperature to a level that was pleasantly hallucinogenic. Each color and each sound was more saturated than usual, each beat went straight to the temple. Maybe it’s just that Woodsman is so percussion-heavy, but I couldn’t help feeling like was trapped inside my favorite Can video — minus the long and stringy hair.

“Underwater Visitations Episode #10: The Woodsman Episode

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Download the entire episode here

Playlist after the jump.
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Underwater Visitations Episode #7: The Maids Episode

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

When I stumbled upon Maids at a one-off Upstairs CD-R show at Coco66 this Spring, I remember stopping dead in my tracks, covering my ears in pain, and being unable to stop mouthing the words, “Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Enter.” Behind a suffocating wall of smoke, the 2-man rhythm section of New Jersey’s Big Troubles could be seen down on the ground in matching child’s poses, bowing in deference before a projection of a giant floating head — not unlike the Wizard himself, pictured above. I could barely make out what type of gear they were using, but the squall they produced was so debilitatingly loud that I couldn’t help remembering the one time I saw Whitehouse play and actually experienced the sensation of my ear drums being stretched to the ripping point. Funny thing, is Maids sound like nothing like Whitehouse. As I learned when Sam Franklin (also of No Demons here) rolled up to Newtown radio last Sunday, they simply layer purring drones and lackadaisical pentatonic keyboard scales until the room gets so saturated with sound that you actually end up getting a little scared. Probably all the more so because they are clean-cut surburban dudes who play in indie rock bands and show up on stage with their shirts tucked in.

Underwater Visitations Episode #7: The Maids Episode
Download the entire episode here.

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Playlist after the jump.
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Sightings: The Gamut, “Distantland”

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I can’t help noticing that a lot of the people I’ve been talking music with in the past few months have been voicing the same philosophical observation on the electronic music of the present — namely, that it seems simultaneously to be moving forward and backward in time. I’m not talking about retrofuturism here, how a bunch of Y-Generation artists spontaneously developed synthesizer-related eBay addictions and started conjuring a vision of the future once inscribed in the sounds of the past — though that story is certainly a related one. No, I’m talking about using the musical technologies at our disposal at this moment in time — whether they be straight out of our parents’ garage or straight from Guitar Center — and using them to dream up an equally fantastical prehistory: one as far removed from modernity and technology as retrofuturism is embedded in them, the primeval beat of the primeval dance around the primeval fire.

If there’s one thing Brooklyn electronics duo The Gamut know, it’s that all that imagined simplicity — that deep-riding boom boom, those two-note incantations that would somehow lose all their staying-power if they were forced to accommodate a third — is really just the stuff of pop. In “Distantland,” the centerpiece of their dangerously addictive five-song EP, Ghost Notes, Derek Maxwell and Christian Fuller hold this wisdom taut between four knob-twisting fingers. When they sing to us of “distant places” and different lands,” we cannot avoid the sensation that they are singing out to us from the opposite side of time — be it the extreme past, the extreme future, or even an alienated present. The heart-wrenching part is, it feels like their voices would never reach us if it weren’t for all the reverb, itself technologically orchestrated. The fun part is, this is really dance music — though it runs way deeper than dance music ever thought it could.

The Gamut, “Distant Land” (Ghost Notes, FM)

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NY Eye & Ear III, Told from Start to Finish in 43 Tweets

Monday, May 24th, 2010


@MaxBurke just hacked the VR twitter! Greetings from the NY Eye and Ear Fest. View from the record fair/ chill zone.
3:55 PM May 22nd via OpenBeak
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Sightings: Return of the Eye & Ear

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Todd Pendu’s massive gathering of underground musicians and artists, the NY Eye & Ear Fest, is preparing for its third installment at the newly christened Knitting Factory space in Williamsburg. Last year’s Eye and Ear Fest was held in July, and before that in December. Perhaps seeing a hole in the city’s calendar due to the dispiriting departure of the No Fun Fest, the event is set for May 22 and 23 and promises over 12 hours of music each day. But that’s only part of the attraction, which also includes a massive record fair with vendors and labels (including VR favorites like Abandon Ship and ESP Disk) selling the usual tapes and LPs alongside art prints, comics, zines and more.

It’s no small feat to keep the public’s interest over three consecutive large-scale events, although this particular festival’s audience tends to be less fickle and hype-oriented than your average Brooklyn indie rock enthusiast. Those with the stamina will be rewarded by what amounts to a nearly comprehensive overview of the current New York underground, including headlining performances from mainstays like Blank Dogs and Xeno & Oaklander along with a slew of up-and-coming acts like Effing and Hunters. One of NY Eye & Ear Fest’s greatest attractions is the sheer diversity of acts on display. No matter your taste for the subterreanean, they’ve got you covered, from dark disco – à la Pendu’s weekly dance parties at Glasslands – to sloppy, snotty rock and everything in-between.

The official NY Eye & Ear Fest site has done a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of getting you acquainted with all the music on display, offering sound samples of every group and a mixtape for each day of the fest for your perusal. Visitation Rites will be on site for the entirety of the event and will have extensive coverage in the days following. This will be the premiere underground music event of the season in New York. Don’t miss it for the world.

NY Eye & Ear Fest takes place May 22 and 23 at the Knitting Factory, Brooklyn. Tickets are on-sale now for $17/day or $30/weekend pass (less than $1.00 a band!) For further information on Todd Pendu and background on the festival please see the interview VR head honcho Emilie Friedlander conducted with Todd Pendu for Arthur Magazine last year.
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