Fast Forty - My annual trek (all of 2 1/2 miles) to the Sonic Circuits Festival has a busy line-up tonight. First off is a one-man band of electronics and percussion with some vocals. The first cut creates a decent atmosphere with electronics and samples, while the second one goes a bit industrial. It's all fair enough, although there is not much visually to cue in on. The third cut adds even more bold variety as it is a protest song complete with lyrics and percussion on a cymbal and hi-hat. Not a bad little opener.
Ghosts of the Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood - This trio features two percussionists and one guy on odd horns that feature a sax and a horn similar in sound to what you would hear on 'Brian Jones presents Pipes of Pan at Jajouka'. The percussion is far too much rubbing on the skins creating that annoying noise of rubbing on a balloon. Sure enough, after I make that note, they actually pull out a balloon and make noise with it. I like the horns as they manage to create a mystical bed that is comfortable enough, were the percussion more interesting.
hBar - One guy on flute and one guy on computers slowly build up into some intriguing music while videos show off even slower builds of colors into forms. They played for 33 minutes straight and it never got dull as they managed the pace extremely well and had interesting sonic components that kept me involved.
Semisolid - Ah yes, this is Chester Hawkins, who used to work under the name Blue Sausage Infant, but now that he is all grown up, he is semisolid. Thankfully, nothing else has changed much, as he always managed to pull me in to his fine music in the many times I have seen him here or at the Velvet Lounge. He has visuals, the seizure inducing kind he says, so at times I do close my eyes and drift off with the music. Drifting off is easy to do as he has some nice melodies worked into drones and trippy spacey sounds. Everything flows and is easy to grab on to for the novice experimental music listener or the veteran. His thirty-minute set was a pleasure the entire time and I would highly recommend seeing him some time, when he plays around the DC area. And he did not even need the bonus points I would give him for the Motorhead t-shirt.
Richard Pinhas - I enjoyed his recent album on Cuneiform (reviewed here), so I was looking forward to the guitar stylings he would give to us tonight. I was not disappointed as he quickly laid down several loops of varying tones, while nimbly moving about the frets in clever ways. It was more about the sonic structure than any fiery fingerwork, however. Everything was smooth, but firm with a lot of structure to grab on to. While I was glad the set did not head off into ridiculous watch glancing lengths, this set felt a bit short at 23 minutes. His playing and layering techniques were of the quality, that he could have kept this fresh for much longer. He is well worth a listen to guitar fans who want to explore well beyond the basic sounds.
Quote of the Night: overheard conversation from someone interrupting a long conversation...
"How do you guys know each other?"
"Actually, we don't."