Excellent show at the Piano Craft Guild on Tuesday night. Was very taken by Brendan Murray’s set. It was my first time hearing him. Murray started by generating a basic tone. He would then derive new tones from that first one and layer them, creating a massive and sustained harmony that filled the room. He repeated this process a couple of times, generating a complex wall of sound from a series of very basic tones. Eventually a series of glitched up rhythms made an appearance; they would bounce about the room as Murray manipulated a current of digital sound beneath their hypnotic pulses. He finished his set with washes of ambient noise and rhythm that brought groups like Mirror and Troum to mind. The whole set felt very deliberate and controlled and it was my favorite part of the night. Keith Fullerton Whitman and Geoff Mullen played a set completely different from the one I saw at the Middle East. Far less menacing, their set also featured some rhythm, but of a much more distorted and primitive kind. Mullen played with an unidentified device, bending and destroying his beats while Whitman pulled a barrage of bird sounds from his synthesizers. Their set seemed a lot quieter than last time, which ended up being a problem for each of the performers. There was a lot of low end happening, but it didn’t quite reach the gut-rumbling levels I recall from the Middle East show.
Point Never’s set was not at all what I expected, but engrossing nonetheless. I’m used to Daniel Lopatin’s marriage of soundscapes and Vangelis-esque melody, but for this show he created a massive body of sound with his keyboard, some basic drum sounds, and his voice. The set began with some manipulated percussion, which was looped and distorted in a multitude of layers. I was surprised by how nakedly identifiable they were. He stuck to mixing these drums sounds up for a short amount of time and then switched to his emblematic, keyboard-based sound. The arpeggiated melodies immediately developed into a swaying rhythm and Lopatin used that element as a foundation for the rest of his set. He slowly added vocal effects, percussive hiccups, and random tapes noise to his already full sound, eventually producing a wall of shifting noise. Everything culminated in this mass of frequencies, which was eventually replaced by little more than an organic whoosh.
The low end at The Piano Craft Guild could have used some more oomph and I would’ve loved to have heard everyone on a bigger sound system, but the space itself handled all the big sounds very well. Would love to see more shows played there.
Here’s some photos from the show. Thanks for reading. Expect another mix to hit the site this week.