An excellent lineup at the Umor Rex night at Antje Öklesund in Febuary with 3 excellent local acts all providing live performances that span the fields of electronica, drone and experimental. With The Human Elephant DJ, this is guaranteed to be a top night.
Announcing the onset of night, Driftmachine —a Berlin-based duo comprised of Andreas Gerth (Tied & Tickled Trio) and Florian Zimmer (Saroos)— have created Nocturnes, a psychoactive, dream-inducing stimulant of sorts: Evoking and maintaining a trancelike state, the duo’s six-part journey into the dark was originally inspired by reading The Rest Is Noise and listening to the music discussed in Alex Ross’ seminal book. The resulting soundscapes, written and recorded since 2012, redefine the lines between insomnia and slumber, between wraithlike dub grooves gone awry, the dancing flicker of a slack-joint bedside lamp, and eerie electronics.
Nocturnes is essentially comprised of six studies in precision: perfectly symmetrical structures that slowly spread their bass-heavy wings, sprawl like digital fungi, shift shape and – paradoxically – seem to drift and to obey the two captains at the helm. It’s an album of hypnotic and mesmerizing electronic landscapes based on various interlocked layers of rhythm. “Getting deeper into the world of modular systems introduced us to new ways of creating music,” they say, and it also allowed Gerth and Zimmer to redefine and rearrange styles and genres they generally feel drawn to – dub, riddims, anything with bass really –, so the heavy bass and percussive elements of Nocturnes don’t come in the colors you’d expect them to: Driftmachine’s palette stays true to the colors of night, a massive scale of gray.
With its meticulously displaced details and intricate harmony layers, Nocturnes also evokes the electronic avant-garde of the mid-70s, think Cluster during the band’s Zuckerzeit era. Nocturnes keeps the balance between intense, dramatic metrics and rather complex, modulated melodies. Also nodding to Krzysztof Komeda’s compositions (especially his score for Rosemary’s Baby) and the haunting, uncanny vibes of Raime, Nocturnes won’t let you sleep: “To us, the album sounds like staying awake the whole night; it unites all the different moods one might go through.”
B/B/S/, formed in 2012 in Berlin, Germany, is a trio of Aidan Baker (Canada – of Nadja, Caudal) on guitar, Andrea Belfi (Italy – of Il Sogno Del Marinaio, Hobocombo) on drums/electronics, and Erik Skodvin (Norway – also of Svarte Greiner, Deaf Center) on guitar/violin.
While each player is active with several other projects of varying musical styles, as B/B/S/ they combine the similarities and explore the disparities of those other projects – bringing together drone, noise, polyrhythms, and experimental sounds – to create improvisational music which verges and touches on, both is and is not, free-jazz, drone, psychedelic, neo-classical, and spacerock.
B/B/S/ released their debut album Brick Mask, along with an accompanying 7”, Half Moon, in February 2013 on Miasmah Records. The live document Coltre/Manto was released January 2014 on Midira Records. The group is currently at work on a second full-length studio album.
Formerly known as S ND Y P RL RS, Rvnes is the experimental music project by Berlin-based artist Malte Cornelius Jantzen that blends drone ambience with noise soundscapes. Mixing field recordings and organic sounds, instruments and tape loops – all processed to the point of abstraction – into lengthy tape collage performances that drift and push and hover.
Sometimes quiet, calming and meditative; sometimes dark, mysterious and rumbling. After a few strictly limited, exquisite releases on imprints such as Umor Rex (MX), Colpa Press (US), New Wedding Avant-Garde (GER) and An Out Recordings (AU), a new tape – and the first under the new moniker Rvnes – titled Rest/Relief is coming out in May via Jehu&Chinaman (UK).
Driftmachine & B/B/S & RVNES LIVE
Sunday, 15 Febuary 2015 | 20:00 CET
Antje Øklesund | Rigaer Straße 71 – 73 | 10247 Berlin/Friedrichshain