Monday, May 21, 2007

A Word About Electronik Warfare (by Defensive Listening)




The Electronik Warfare show at House of Tinnitus the week before last completely exceeded my expectations. When I first heard about the group, I pictured the sometimes awkward on-stage marriage of a laptop and a vocalist, which is something that always seems difficult to successfully pull off in a live setting due to the typically numerous technical difficulties that tend to plague overly ambitious electronic shows. Needless to say, my expectations weren't extraordinarily high based on past experiences with such groups, even though I was intrigued by the musicians involved in the project. But instead of having to sit through an onslaught of awkward technical delays and misguided technique, Elektronic Warfare's set ended up being one of the best electronic performances I've seen in sometime.

Andrew Michael of Oveo started things off hunched over a mini-Korg playing a Handel piece that was completely warped by the synthetic strains of the faux symphonic setting. Michael's demeanor on stage appeared immediately to be the opposite of his low-key presence in Oveo, complete with sunglasses-at-night and audience interaction. As the Handel piece segued into the white-noise tinges of "The Requiem," Michael wandered into the audience passing out flowers to various female audience members. That sort of behavior usually screams dickery but Michael was just charming enough to not come off as an annoyance. This went on for some time until the stirring dramatics were completely interrupted by something else entirely. As I stood tip-toed to try to catch everything that was happening up front, I was pushed really hard from behind, and as I turned around to shoot a scowl at the offending party, I caught the dust of Lars Larsen storming to front of the room. And I mean storming, too, because he looked like a storm trooper with a massive motorcycle helmet, black gloves and a bull horn. Andrew Michael went into the first vocal track shortly after Lars' arrival, and when the Korg drum machine beat finally kicked in, the place went fucking crazy. The keyboard parts had the menacing groove of some of Tuxedomoon's darker moments without sounding overly cold, and the crowd's enthusiastic response to such unusual sounds was quite easy to get swept up in.

One of the most impressive parts of the performance was the simple fact that most of the music was performed in real time. I don't care if someone is singing along to a CD-R, but I enjoyed the organic lock of the drum machine beat over the keyboard parts, and the performance as a whole seemed to benefit quite a bit from the live set up. There were some pre-recorded bass sequences in there to, and much of they pay off came from simply watching the crowd as they waited for the minimal beats to collide with the intro for each song. As the music continued to impress throughout the set, Lars spouted off the kind of Post-Futurist lyricism that both he and Michael are known for through comments on We Shot JR and Andrew's New Century Media blog. These seemingly positive words either come off as a warning or a Utopian promise, depending on your personal view, but none of it would have mattered much if it wasn't for the excellent basslines, beats, and synth attacks tying everything together. I was expecting Electronik Warfare to be an interesting and predominantly intellectual exercise, but it was refreshing to see that people can dance and have fun without compromising either of those qualities. I'm looking forward to seeing what these guys do next.

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, EW is the muthafuggin' shizzz!!! Buck buck!

"The Requiem" is such a beautiful song. Andrew Michaels stuff keeps getting better and better. Great show!

And you can thank me for taking the very annoying whistle from the mouth of a very drunk Craig Welch at the beginning of the set and throwing it in the very far corner of the room. Somehow it ended up in Craigs mouth by the end of the set, but mission a-fucking-complished. :)

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a load of tripe. utterly, mind-blowingly, dung drippingly boring. but enough about lars...

8:06 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

it must be tough talking shit in this thread and trying to start fist fights in the other thread...

you're actually about to start being funny .

8:35 PM  
Blogger Lars said...

Thanks for the write up. Electronik Warfare CD coming in late June.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know you're doing something cool when someone has the time and energy to get on here and post something about it, be it praise or pan.

I think it's hilarious how the first post is praising EW, and then IMMEDIATELY someone comes on here and tries to shoot it down.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh... another DL review. Slightly better than the last one. Did your parents help this time?

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...organic lock of the drum machine..."

You are kidding right? I'm mean how retarded can you possibly be?

8:42 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

841-42 is one of the regular bitches that comes on here and complains all the time.

Would you like to submit something for us to post, seeing as how you're such a good writer and everything?

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's DL = "I think... I was... I I I I I I...."

You on the other hand are much better and should keep up the good work.

I hope you are having fun pointing out every time I make a comment.

Kisses.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

SOLID!

as for the lone douchebag:

I hope you can now feel the marginalization that you so deserve since we all know that you are the only person talking shit on this thread.

now please, do us a favor and go home.

9:38 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

well I just want to make sure that everyone knows when one of the regulars is complaining since it seems pretty dumb to come on here and bitch about every single post.

It becomes obvious that you have some sort of personal issue with the blog itself rather than legitimate criticisms.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I generally enjoy your posts Mr. SR.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want to see part of electronik warfare's set at the house of tinnitus, visit: thedentoncatalogue.com

and quit talking smack

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Wanz said...

um OK!!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Lars said...

8:42 - I think he's referring to the manual tempo synchronization of the analog drum machine with the micro korg, as opposed to pre-recorded, perfectly sync'ed playback.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Lars said...

10:29 - Denton Catalogue looks fucking great!! Jonah of 8th Continent (who has hundreds of archived tapes) and I are about to launch something like this soon. Please get in touch with us, we'd love to share ideas. E-mail... creatorlars AT hotmail.com

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Wanz said...

go to a Laptop Deathmatch. There is a whole scene of truly underground electronic music you and a lot of other people are completly missing. I saying this as a fan not as a performer. Really. If we could do it at a house show we would. Give me a DIY venue with subs that will take us and I will put a Deathmatch there. I promise.

10:39 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

who does dentoncatalogue?!

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thedentoncatalogue.com was created and is maintained by garrick c

contact: someloudnoise@gmail with corrections, and comments...

...or if you dont want people to see yer face in the internets

11:08 AM  
Blogger BaZing! said...

i talked with jonah about setting some stuff up.

would love to work with you guys.

- garrick

11:09 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

pretty cool... but am I the only person that can't see any labels on the videos?

11:09 AM  
Blogger BaZing! said...

if you cant see the labels on the videos, its cause you dont have the right font installed. i forgot to embed that shit, will be fixed in the next update.

sorry for the endless plugs, weshotjr.com

11:23 AM  
Blogger Lars said...

Glad to help, if you need any assistance with code or whatever-the-fuck. I do this shit all day at work. I'll shoot you an e-mail.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is anyone else having problems watching the videos at thedentoncatalogue.com? looks awesome but i can't watch without glitches in the sound every few seconds.

11:33 AM  
Blogger BaZing! said...

i'm a working code-monkey too.

know actionscript to php to database? would like to build a 'subscribe' function to update people when new videos are posted.

but muh brain-hole doesn't know the syntaxes

11:33 AM  
Blogger BaZing! said...

your raping my server.

thats why the videos are so slow.

11:34 AM  
Blogger blixaboy said...

elektronik warfare is awesome. I can't wait to see them live.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous M-. said...

thedentoncatalogue.com

Completely awesome!

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy shit, thedentoncatalogue.com is SEXXXY!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

no kidding. Wow. THANKS! I'm pissed I missed the early Lines, probably due to it being in North Dallas. Now I get to enjoi it nonetheless ...

1:28 PM  
Anonymous -|zs|- said...

PLUG ALERT!

HOUSE OF TINNTIUS
TONIGHT, MAY 22
BYOB, 9pm

Monsters of Pot (MN)- DRONE/POWER ELECTRONICS DUO FROM THE FROZEN NORTHERN WASTELAND CALLED MINNESOTA.

The Jason Wade Experience (MN) - This will be a Collab. between Video/sound artist Jason Wade and Monsters of Pot!

Eiliyas (GA) - Solo Psychedelic Noise "sounds like theoretical physics professors on a combination of drugs"

Club of Rome (GA) - Straight up fucked up blues rock noise freaks!

Zanzibar Snails (TX) - abstract drone noise to the XTREEMEEE

Church of the Apocalypse - EPIC SPACE DRONE DOOM THAT WILL MAKE YOUR HEAD IMPLODE!!

1:38 PM  
Blogger Lars said...

bazing! - affirmative, i can do the code. actually, we need to talk, because i'm already setting up a database application like this -- but also expanded to include, in addition to clips from live shows: video-blog/mini-doc style entries and an archival database of tapes -- so that they can be requested and dubbed for people who may want them, but may not know that they exist.

2:07 PM  
Blogger BaZing! said...

i've heard of jonah's tape collection and considered buying a capture card to convert them, if he'd let me.

we will talk.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't mind their music, it's pretty damn good actually, but if you keyboards, laptops, etc etc, please don't use the word electronic, or even worse, electronik, in your name. thanks.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the poster above:

go 'electronikly' fuck yourself

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kind of agree with 241. but ew is a sort of cool name. no need to be so agree, brah.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spoon tonight @ Granada. Woohoo!

3:26 PM  
Blogger FlappersInNylons said...

thedentoncatalogue.com
Pretty much owns.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Michael said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Maria: There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator."

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the first angel let a queef....and it was good.

8:04 PM  

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