review: oorutaichi single

something happened this year. the endless feeds, links, and forkcasts have estranged me from digging intimately into new musicians. while i benefit from hearing so many new songs and bands, i can't help but realize that i'm not at the level of fanboy i usually am. this year, i only have about under five "new" artists i follow closely, the rest of my typical playlist are sentimental artifacts from my back catalog. it's nobody's fault by my own. it's just what happened. lao tsu heeds that "...five tones deafen the ear..", and i think that's what happened to me.

few things feel fresh. few things open my ears completely, but musical intimacy crises can now end, with the new double single release from osaka based, genre fusing master, oorutaichi.

the first release [okimi records] in 3 years since his electronic genre mash up masterpiece LP, "drifting my folklore"; oorutaichi still teases his listener with songs that pull from so many eclectic influences and bold origins.

the song, "futurelina" begins with a bass groove that feels like techno, but then it moves along with synth chord structure and whimsical singing, giving it an electro pop bounciness. the song carries along with more steady groove then anything from "drifting my folklore" but has all the elements that are still very oorutaichi. chaotic breakdowns ala xiu xiu, strange noise pop, and hyper melodic vocal yells (in his own invented language). it's experimental music you can nod to. playful and refreshing.

the second song "moeru himitsu" has guest vocals, from kicell, and takes on a more structured song approach. a folktronica dance groove with synthed gamalan instrumentation and harmonica breaks? the chorus is uplifting with an 80's j-pop/folk nostalgia and probably the easiest part to compare to oorutaichi's avant pop band, urichipangoon, with his wife, ytamo, and another couple.

can either of these singles hint to what the full length album will sound like? that's the funnest part of oorutaichi. i'm not sure. my ear's feel fresh, as i wait the release.

i strongly recommend getting this vinyl, or downloading the singles. in my small handful of new music i'm ingesting this year, oorutaichi is one of my favorite new artists. his music is fresh and awakening.

Futurelina - Oorutaichi by Okimi Records



minimalist casio sk-1 switches for circuit bend

in an effort to keep the traditional tablebeast circuit bend as minimal as possible, i created these removable switches. most togglers or switches break over time, and i don't want to constantly take apart the sk-1 and solder on new ones.

also, a big part of working the sk-1 bends is being able to easily turn on and off an effect, or put on a staccato on/off bend. rca interface is too bulky, and most switches can't handle that kind of wear and tear. these tiny push button switches are perfect. by luck, they also have a metal protrusion that i can use to "clamp" the switch down into the grill speaker section of the casio sk-1. to replace the rca interface for the circuit bends, i basically ripped sockets out of a dip package and glued them in. with this approach, i don't have to remove the speaker for room. it was a cleaner more subtle approach for the bend. this way the casio sk-1 can look like a circuit bent instrument only when it wants to.


performance :: nine inch nails at bowery ballroom

the very first concert i ever went to was the self destruct tour in '94. nin played in tulsa, oklahoma and marilyn manson opened. what can i say? i was in high school, full of teenage angst, and battling identity issues and conformity in the midwest. i remember blasting 'broken' in my room when i got home from school, and it just felt so good to use that music as a release for those feelings of alienation. some of the first guitar pieces i learned were nine inch nails guitar solos: i 'm pretty sure i can still play the solos in 'last' or 'the ruiner.'

the downward spiral is still a masterpiece to me, even in my current music interests and endeavors. nine inch nails will definitely be a big influence in my solo project, alias pail, as i am underway recording the LP. for twi the humble feather, i derive inspiration from their live performance and on stage synchronicity.

i just d
on't know anyone out there who writes lyrically and sonically as well as trent does when it comes to expressing anger, frustration, sexual aggression, alienation, social criticism, etc. using strong lyrics just don't seem part of the scene anymore. people call it emo now? not sure. it's all about sonic layering and atmosphere. i've never stopped being a huge nine inch nails fan; even if i am alone in this brooklyn world of avant garde, prog, tribal, experimental undergroundess.

i was lucky enough to have tickets to see
nine inch nails perform to a crowd of 550 at bowery ballroom. the rarest event; perhaps my single most amazing live experience. the only debate would be boadrum 77. but boadrum 77 was more a spiritual trance experience, where nine inch nails was total fandom and celebration. the crowd of fans was amazing. hearing them chant along with trent and the gang was amazing. the drummer, rubin, was so tight and nonchalant, and of course, robin on guitar is such a pleasure to watch. to me, he embodies what i think a 'rock star' should be and look like. i want his haircut! ha. my friend and i were maybe only 5 feet away for the main stage most of the time. absorbing everything and point blank. trent gave 100% for 2.5 hours almost. a true gift to his fans. i'll have this concert in my mind for a very long time. i screamed my heart out to the lyrics i knew, and all the fans did too; eyes full of admiration and good vibes. thank you trent and nine inch nails. i was really happy to hear 'reptile' li ve. here's a taste of what i experienced:


performance :: oorutaichi

oorutaichi [photo by hako hosokawa] played a scatter of shows for the first time in nyc. i caught him playing his last song at the yoshitomo nara opening to a boisterous gallery crowd, but was able to catch him full effect at glasslands gallery when twi the humble feather, played with him and rings. he passed his most recent cd, 'drifting my folklore' to me at the gallery show, and i've found his mixture of experimental electronic music fascinating. He combines gamalan music with electronic and dance on 'yori yoyo'.

:: listen to yori yoyo

seeing his live show, i'm reminded what a challenging medium live performance must be for a solo electronic music artist. i think by around 10 years of focus, oorutaichi has found a way to convey his audio onslaught into a thrilling live spectacle.

most solo electronic performances are subdued live, even seeing four tet or momus live before, it's hard to watch someone on stage watching a laptop screen, or shuffle an iPod. perhaps their audiences simply want to be in the presence of the aritist? they are not seeking a live show, just an intimate monologue, a musical preacher? i guess the solo electronic act has gained speed a little more in usa, with dan deacon's ability to send crowds into a frenzy with a microphone, some fx, an iPod, and lots of showmanship (oh and a green flashing skull). but then does that make solo performer's the carrot tops of the music world? relying on props and wit tactics to mask the fact that you won't be seeing a drummer sweat on stage?

[ watch video of beshaby from drifting my folklore]

it is a struggle of concept through medium; however, oorutaichi's live act dominates because rather then him trying to be a cheerleader for the audience, his live electronic performance completely demands all his talents and focus.

the nature of his music also lends to this satisfying live style. listening to the album, it's very hard to classify. it's an assortment of many influences all at once. in some points, it reminds me of the clamorous juxtapositions that artists like xiu xiu uses. it has experimental aspects, dance music aspects, hyper melodic pop, and even hip hop approaches. in it, he is extremely playful with his voice. during a live show this becomes the highlight. watching him twist out singing melodies at hyper speed, it almost hints to sing rapping. It is whimsical and playful at time, perhaps hinting to his T REX influence, but at other times it is robust and abrasive, cutting through his electronic layers and fluid knob fx twisting.

:: listen to MISEN Gymnastics

his overall dimeanor is modest and engrossing. you can't help but feel he's enjoying the other world he's created with his music on stage. he's playful and each song brings him into a different performance routine. even a little james brown dance, i joked with him later.

he's ambitious and i'm sure this past week won't be his last foray to nyc to perform. if you ever have a chance to check him out live, do. he'll change the way you think about solo electronic live performances. check out his album!

oorutaichi - drifting my folklore


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stocking stuffer album review : 1-bit music

back from the blogworld deadlands. consulting with utanapishtim and hunting for the boxthorn, i came up empty handed. but serious: blog time has shrunk, the master distraction, the important piece of procrastination in a stacked pancake of delicious duties, this once weekly blog has become a petrified tree.

so now i'll live vicariously through belated intentions with a present tense child post. vicar of the ghost of blogging past. that means i get to experience what it would be like posting as if i posted regularly, and this was an 'active' blog.

in that spirit, i always intened to write about tristan perich's release on cantaloupe records, 1 bit music.

i met tristan orignally through his rag tag projector martha stewarty audio IC cooking show, the loud objects, when alias pail shared the performance night at bent festival 2007. For anyone never exposed to loud objects, hmm. how to describe. not a band, a performance installation? education by example? man a
nd machine sharing the same paris spleen? their performance content varies, but here's a taste when we played together opening up for lullatone.[ watch video]

going back to being a vicar, i'd say the same about tristan perich. i do have a level of envy for his works. myself having an electrical engineering background, i always debate about what i could have done with that career path if it was more related with my passion for music, rather then defense contracting. music for me, now serves more as an escape from that world. in tristan, it feels like the alternate path in which those two worlds are fused. i mean, sure, i circuit bend, but i don't think it can compare to the level of intellectual involvement in his music/art pieces. i romantically view circuit bending as a caveman curiosity with electronics and found sound. curiously strong.

the sheer concept of programming some IC's from assembly code scratch and putting them in a cd jewel case is mind boggling. originally i thought he must have written the music first in some software, and found a way to translate it to assembly. tristan said, nope, everything is written originally in assembly. that's insane. now i'm scared. very scared. for loops and shit in assembly to create compositions? i don't even wanna think about it. i've met tristan alot, through shows and parties, all good intentions to rap, but haven't really dive chatted. you know: kicked brewskies, confessed to the pope, unraveled the shrek onion. his head is always spinning, and he's in a rush to get to the next place. in favor to his mystique, i wonder if he's an insomniac.

so, this is like the concept album of all concept albums? i guess, the next question is what is the greater form, a conceptual presence or a emotional impact. i'm not gonna get into that. it's a matter of preference. listening to the whole album straight through is intense though. on the brains and on the ears. some songs a little more melodic, others very noise or rythmic. for his live shows, he humanizes it a little more by playing live drums to it.

it's just a great art piece too. something amazing to behold. thinking about a
ll the kinky collectable electronic toys for christmas gifts this year, it's perfect for any gearhead. it used to be really expensive, because it's something hand made, but now it's alot more affordable at the bang on a can store.


performance :: alias pail and twi the humble feather

sets by alias pail, twi the humble feather, and then an improv set between twi and alias pail w/ tomoyuki kage. curated by liberated matter, cross pollination series. last show for alias pail for awhile as shared members focus on twi. alias pail will play first. bring your grandma. we're doing a "soft" set.




158 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002-2211
United States
Show on Map

Tel: 212.505.3733
Web: www.pianosnyc.com

7:30 PM - Cross-Pol Doors Open + soundcheck/set up
8:00 PM - Alias Pail
8:45 PM - Twi the Humble Feather
9:30 PM - Cross-Pol Set 3-4 songs (twi and alias pail improv)
10:00 PM - Guitar Hero



interview :: love like deloreans

i admit it, i have a local band crush on love like deloreans. i'm kinda scared about the honeymoon phase ending, but we'll just fly for now. for a brooklyn band, LLD is a refreshing diversion from the scene, sporting a 3 person synth/keyboard onslaught rather then the neo-no wave, tribal avant psyche attack i'm used to for brooklyn [which i love too, no haters]. their music is a keyboard synth dream. instrumental and uplifting, i find myself strangely happy after every set. their sound conjures the dreamy traveling vibes of krautrock, evoking comparisons to cluster and old kraftwerk. other songs take on a more direct synth pop vibe via gary numan's tubeway army, or peter's current closet admiration for 80's italian funk. [ watch video]

:: listen to how to get along with others [DEMO]

we sat down with lorna, derek, and peter to catch up with an alias pail / love like deloreans brunch. i sported english muffins and lorna made this unforgettable keesh. band history, escaping the neu music school, and derek's father's notable korg career were of topic:


[ap]: originally, you guys are from wisconsin right?

[lorna]: peter and i met in music school in milwaukee. we were score reading partners. he brought candy to class, so i'd sit next to him and we'd read stravinksy scores.

[ap]: so your backgrounds are in classical?

[lorna]: he's compositional, i'm piano performance. we were both into the neu, experimental music classical scene at the time.

[ap]: but you're kinda burnt out from that now...

[lorna]: definitely. i just felt there was a limiting aesthetic to it, i felt uncomfortable going to concerts and being careful about stripping the brochure away from my palm, fearing it would make any noise.

[peter]: it's more fun to drink be
er and yell loud and bump into people and sweat.

[ap]: a little too proper i guess. in your songs so far, i pick up the krautrock vibes, and yet it other's it's a little more synth pop derived, is there intention to choose one over the other or a direction?

[peter]: we're just having fun with it.

[lorna]: all our influences come in. peter has more of a funk background, i like the sugar poppiness, and he likes the drones. it all mixes up. minimalism is definitely a huge influence for all of us.

[derek]: i have a neu music background too. my dad was always involved in synths and electronic music. this now, makes a lot of sense for me.

derek's father's job was a designer at KORG USA. he's credited with writing a lot of the preset demos in old korg synthesizers.

[ap]: how did you meet derek?

[peter]: lorna got into banglewood, bang on a can, and steve reich was the mentor.

[lorna]: it's this intense training on neu music. we played a 6 hour marathon. i played steve reich pieces for steve reich. that's how i met cool new musicians then decided to move to nyc. there was a whitney birthday celebration for steve reich and that's how i met derek.

[ap]: are you specific about the kind of keyboards you like to use for LLD? any favoritism?

[derek]: i'm interested in any instrument, they all have their own quirks.

[peter]: we get to a point where we program one sound on one keyboard for one song, and yet we bring the one keyboad for the whole set.

[lorna]: peter's obsessed with mini-keys now.

[peter]: there's no fucking way i'm taking a fafisa to play in a club. it's retarded. we're tailoring it down.

[lorna]: the instrument that brought us together was my first keyboard, the casiotone 701.

: the band name? love like deloreans?

[lorna]: that's derek's genius.

[derek]: i like deloreans.

[ap]: hektor said he was researching john z. delorean, and said he was a real punk rocker in the automobile industry. the kinda outsider / genius character. since your song are instrumental, are they story line based? one of my favorites is 'how to get along with others,' what's the story behind it?

[lorna]: we were recording on a shoe box cassette tape recorder and ran out of cassettes. we pulled out my old tapes from high school. i had a cassette, from when i was skipping out on church. mom made a recording of the sermon and fed me the tape, "how to get along with others."

[peter]: if we'd pull out the original, you could turn up the other tracks and hear this sermon in the fuzz.

[lorna]:it's pretty funny. it's a very spacey sound, and i'm really into ufo's, so it takes a new meaning for us.

+ + +

we finished with other off topics, coffee, cigs, and mimosa's. filled our bellies on home cooking and lazied the rest of sunday away.


preparation :: bent festival 2008

many of the alias pail circuit bends are very primitive on the technical side of circuit bending. but that's what's great, most circuit bending is very simple. just takes a couple of tools and a little curiosity. the real jewel is finding the right toy to bend. i found this little tikes toy drum off of eBay for a really low price. as the subject of a circuit bend, it's perfect. easy access to the inside and tons of empty space. the color scheme is already perfect, no needed improvements for product design.

the cool thing about the toy is that along with individual electronic sound for each of the four buttons, there's an alternate mode in which each button plays a programmed beat. some subjects for circuit bending don't allow too much variance on tweaking the pitch or the processor speed, but for this one, i was able to find the highest and lowest variances. on the high tip, the beats sound really aphex twin-ish, and the low level, you can hear and follow the low fi sound bit processing come to a grinding halt and stutter. the lfo circuit adds a little choppy start and stop effect to the beats.

fitted with a quarter inch output, if you send the signal into a delay or reverse pedal, it's amazing. the toy is also a fun showpiece for younger kids, since it's made as a necklace, inspired by flava flav's obnoxious clock wearing habits. feel free to ask to play with it after our performance at bentfest 2008 in nyc.



performance :: true primes

true primes took home court advantage last night at glasslands gallery, opening up for samara lubelski. this will be the last nyc true primes show for awhile as che is traveling abroad for a couple of months to help save the declining bee population in europe. go che! che's last appearance will be hosting his o'sirhan o'sirhan zine release party at PLNYWN, april 2nd.

their set is always a suprise, not one ever repeated. lately, their development seems to be more song oriented with moments of improv, where before, it seemed like pure improv. rolyn's fx were keyboard and building abrasive atmospheres from looping. her prominence as a vocalist in true primes is becoming more evident. che's fragmented trash can beats pumping in and out through her layering. their music is adventurous, primal, dark, and sexy.

:: listen to first song*
:: listen to second song
:: listen to third song

*fragmented recording my MD shut off

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video release :: dollboy

alias pail's first music video is officially out for viewing. directed by jim turner and camy lee, the video is for "dollboy," an unabashful, joyful twee alias pail rendition of my pal foot foot's original. warning! total tweeness. as twee as alias pail will ever be, i promise. "dollboy" is on the upcoming split cd release by alias pail and my pal foot foot, called "my pail split split."

of course i want to thank camy and jim's hard hard work. making this video was harder then i ever thought, and i'm happy it's finally completed and ready to share. of course thanks to my friends who showed up to be my imaginary band: julianna, andrew, and anthony. [at the time i had no real members]

:: watch video ::

if you view the youtube version, and like it, rate it!

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