Gigs, dance, art

March 15th, 2010: No Fun Acid / Oneohtrix Point Never

@instants chavirés

Part two of the gig that was scheduled for Saturday. First up was Dan Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never. Too bad the original plan had to be scratched, because I suspect I would have enjoyed both his and Ningengoukaku’s sets better had they been part of the same show. As it was that set was just too New-Waveish leaning into New-Ageish for me. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for something that mellow.

Carlos Giffoni has been a frustrating character for me. I’ve heard some great stuff on the station, but this was my second time seeing him live and it just didn’t rise to that level. There was a very fun part in having him play a techno set in this venue, but it still made me think I was on the outside looking in to an inside joke. I did like the set on face value though, despite the cheesy video. There were a couple of instances of noise overtaking the driving beat that kept it less predictable, but still, I’m wondering whether these made the set better or worse. I guess the ambiguity could have been great at another time, but not for me at this point.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , , | Leave a comment

March 13th, 2010: Ningengoukaku / Fred Nipi

@instants chavirés

Fred Nipi did a short-notice fill-in because Carlos Giffoni and Dan Lopatin were held up because of a plane mishap. Good for me, because it ended up being my favorite set of the four. I really liked his sound, I thought it was less harsh in that the initial onslaught was easier to brush off, but it still retained its edge. Then again, it had been way too long since I last heard him live on his own. His record is nice, but it’s no substitute for the real thing. I don’t know whether the record or the long dry spell were a factor or just canceled out. Anyway I liked the set and there’s still something unique about a music that uses technology that just wasn’t available not that long ago but that connects to something instinctive. Sure, that particular technology is already obsolete in a way, but that very fact makes it ride a thin edge.

Ningengoukaku would have been a shock for me a few years ago. Unfortunately, it was too exactly what I expected right now. I’m just so spoiled. Still, they’ve got that Japanese punk thing down right. I expected a surprise that didn’t come up, but I’d still highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t a clear idea of what I’m referring to. They’ll fill you in real quick. But for me, though the first half or so of the set was really nice, it kind of grew too predictable after that. There is such a thing as knowing too much.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , | Leave a comment

March 12th, 2010: Baramgot

@musée guimet

The Korean material in Emmanuelle Gibello’s recent piece made me realize how little I know about Korean music — which is a weird gap indeed. This show was a perfect opportunity to start fixing that.

Baramgot‘s first set felt more traditional, while the second mixed in other elements, mainly Indian music which was present through a sitar but more generally throughout one the later songs. I wasn’t all that convinced by this influence when it was that strong, but I think it found its place in the last piece, a rather long one with many ideas and patterns that still had a narrative cohesion, and a thoroughly enjoyable piece for me.

The first part of the show was the most interesting for me, as it introduced me to several instruments I had never heard — the main exception was the hourglass drum. My favorite was definitely the geomungo. A long zither with relatively few strings and big frets, it is played with a short stick in a quite percussive way. Its sound had the same pleasing roughness as its looks, but I quickly made out the many subtleties that the free hand could add by varying pressure on the strings. In a way, that’s close to my first impression of Korean music: parts of it were close to Japanese or Chinese music, but with a very different approach, it seemed more direct and rough than the neighboring court styles at first, but with a little time I could figure out that there was just as much going on.

The gayageum was another nice instrument, another zither but with a diagonal of bridges. It was less unusual, looking close to a koto. The playing style made all the difference there too. Maybe it’s because I’m not familiar with it, but I thought the nuances were less strongly asserted. They used other instruments, including a flute and a reed oboe called Piri that has a very nice sound, but I’m just not so much into wind instruments these days.

It was my first contact with this music, so I guess I can’t expect more from that first step than getting a rough idea of the sounds. Hopefully some insight into the music itself will come later. It definitely sounded worth pursuing.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Music | , | Leave a comment