What’s up with avant-garde music
Published: November 6, 2013
Jason Sloan, a MICA professor of interactive media and design, has a decade-long discography of minimalist sound art that leans toward sonic landscapes that feel like field recordings of imagined places. With his debut release as L’Avenir, however, he’s transported Booed’s ears back to sneaking into Dallas’ Starck Club in the mid-1980s, when the dancefloor was arty and the ecstasy was legal. The Wait, out this week on Barcelona’s Cold Beats Records, will be a seductive flashback for anybody who has a soft spot for Low-Life-era New Order, the sangfroid grooves of late-1970s/early-’80s Mute Records, or Foyer des Arts and the “Neue Deutsche Welle” bands from those few years before dance-oriented New Wave became full-blown industrial thump. The Wait’s 12 tracks lovingly capture that era’s inviting coldness, the ricocheting beats of “Breathe” and “Bardo” hitting the ears with that angular crispness of early synths. Sloan adds just enough echo on his vocals to suggest coming from the bottom of a well, and the overall mood—see tracks titled “The Day Is Over,” “Death in the Air”—nails a mentality that has one foot in carpe diem decadence and the other in the awareness of mutually assured nuclear annihilation. It’s also an album that’s exquisitely sequenced, with opener “Umbra” setting the invitingly permafrost tone. Standout “God’s Memory,” which creates a robotic, clicking grooveout slap and a buzzsaw-in-the-distance growl, comes near the album’s end and casts the sort of hypnotic spell that could keep an MDMA’d mind bobbing and weaving well into the dawn. For more information, visit l-avenir.us.
Booed fave Curse is currently touring the country, but Jane Vincent and Logan Terkelsen were able to finish a new recording before heading out. You can pick up the three-song, limited-edition cassette via its Bandcamp page (cursebaltimore.bandcamp.com), and if the new “Between the Wardrobe and the Wall” is any indication of release, it’s a doozy.
November is jam-packed with left-field shows to bend the brain. Entropa, playing the Windup Space Nov. 12, is a trio featuring pedal-steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, drummer Jason Cohen, and vibraphonist Blake Cramer, and its This Is Water (entropa.bandcamp.com) showcases a group reaching ethereal heights via honky-tonk timbres and free-jazz textures. SOLENOID—trumpeter Mike Cerri, bassist Jake Leckie, drummer Will Redman, and guitarist Anthony Pirog—lights up Windup Nov. 13. Clarinetist Todd Marcus, whose impressive 2012 release Inheritance Booed shamefully didn’t grab until this year, brings his quartet to An die Musik Nov. 8. The consistent sophiajacob gallery presents a free music program Nov. 9 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, where performers Liz Durette, Rod Hamilton, Elena Johnston, and Peter Tran link music and visual arts via the library’s collection. Jeffrey Kent’s Unexpected Art Space brings Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, to Baltimore Nov. 20, for which Miller will present a multimedia show in conjunction with his study of Antarctica, The Book of Ice.
Finally, Ehse Records hits the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center Nov. 16 for Roller Ehse 2013, featuring the space-age love grooves of Chiffon, Karl Ekdahl and Zoe Burke’s Myconids, DJ Potionz, and DJ Dafalla. Trust Booed on this one: Few things are as sincerely gleeful as experimental artists on skates.
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