Decades after their brief yet influential career first ground to a sudden and mysterious halt, the Silver Apples remain one of pop music’s true enigmas.
A surreal, almost unprecedented duo, their music explored interstellar drones and hums, pulsing rhythms and electronically-generated melodies years before similar ideas were adopted in the work of acolytes ranging from Suicide to Spacemen 3 to Laika.
The Silver Apples formed in New York in 1967 and comprised percussionist Danny Taylor and lead vocalist Simeon, a bizarre figure who played an instrument also dubbed the Simeon, which (according to notes on the duo’s self-titled 1968 debut LP) consisted of “nine audio oscillators and eighty-six manual controls … The lead and rhythm oscillators are played with the hands, elbows and knees and the bass oscillators are played with the feet.”
The Silver Apples | Oscillations
Although the utterly uncommercial record – an ingenious cacophony of beeps, buzzes, and beats – sold poorly, the Silver Apples resurfaced a year later with their sophomore effort, Contact, another far-flung outing which fared no better than its predecessor. After the record’s release, the duo seemingly vanished into thin air, perhaps returning to the alien world from whence they purportedly came.
However, in 1996 the Silver Apples mysteriously resurfaced, as Simeon and new partner Xian Hawkins released the single “Fractal Flow.” American and European tours followed, and a year later, a new LP, Beacon, was released to wide acclaim. The follow-up, Decatur, appeared in 1998, and was soon joined by A Lake of Teardrops (a collaboration with avowed fans Spectrum) as well as The Garden, the long-unreleased third and final effort from the original Simeon/Taylor partnership.
Black Dice | Kokomo
For over fifteen years, the highly influential Black Dice have continuously reinvented and mutated punk music into new sonic stews. The New York based trio of Eric Copeland, Bjorn Copeland, and Aaron Warren have released scores of albums, EPs, and singles on iconic labels (Gravity, 31g,Troubleman, DFA, Paw Tracks), that document their musical travels, from raw brutal thrash to inside-out pop anthems from way out.
A decade and half of evolution has seen the amplification get larger, and the instruments more enigmatic. Drums and bass guitars have been replaced with mixer feedback, processed vocals, and alien sounds that seek to seduce and repulse impressionable ears. Using videos, live projections, and printed ephemera, the band has developed an over the top psychoactive audio-visual aesthetic that twists the useless pop sights and sounds we are bombarded with into infectious new strains of music and imagery that ooze a rock and roll spirit.
MV & EE | The best it ever was
A hand-built PA and analogue visual environment is going to be installed into your local club to beautifully twisted effect by contemporary American blues visionaries MV&EE for this one-off tour, and it’s time to welcome them in (special guests and kitchen sink included).
Blending and bending acoustic folk jams with rock and psych, the Vermont-based couple of Matt ‘MV’ Valentine and Erika ‘EE’ Elder graze upon the fields laid down by The Grateful Dead and Gene Clark, and swim in the depths with Loren Connors and The Dead C. Heroes who have blazed through all kind of colourful scenes and tags like a hot knife through space butter, they have created a body of work that has warmed many a soul through their releases.
This event is highly recommended by Digital in Berlin! We are giving away 2 x 2 tickets. Just send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Silver Apples” as the subject.
Silver Apples, Black Dice & MV&EE LIVE
presented by Festsaal, Digital in Berlin, ByteFM, Play & Vice
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 | 20:00 CET
Festsaal Kreuzberg | Skalitzer Str. 130 | 10999 Berlin/Kreuzberg