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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Reviews, Reports and Interviews
Gate to Moonbase Alpha, 2-21-03
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 11:56 am    Post subject: Gate to Moonbase Alpha, 2-21-03 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Several of us went down to GTMBA last night. It was worth the 2 hour drive through the horrendous Philadelphia traffic in the rain.

The first set was by Mikronesia. I have heard him at GTMBA once before and his stuff is very interesting. It's hard to figure out exactly how he creates his music because you can't see a lot of equipment on the stage. I suspect he uses a lot of pre-recorded stuff on computer disk and does real-time mixing and some processing. It would be great if Mike would set up a forum here on Electro-Music.com and explain how he works.

His music has elements of percussion running through it most of the time, with lots of electronic sounds (ear candy). It is related to the techno style, but it seems more evolved musically. The music sometimes uses the sounds of processed human voices that are quite interesting. Rarely can you make out the words. The music often sounds like looping, but rarely is it totally repetitive. Most of time, the "loops" are varied in some way each time you hear them. Unlike many practioners of the electronic arts, Mike understands dynamic range. I find his music quite refreshing.

His stage style is laid back in the extreme. When he starts his sets, it often takes several minutes to figure out the the house CD music has stopped and Mike has started performing. Sometimes he appears to be really into what he's playing, and sometimes he'll walk off the stage for a minute while the music goes on via auto pilot. That said, once the audiance figures out he's "on", they sit down and focus intently. He is well appreciated the the GTMBA audiance, for good reason.

Mike was kind enough to give me a CD of his music. I'd love to offer it one the Electro-Music.com store in the future.

The Great Quintini put on two facinating sets. Be sure to check out the pictures. Quintini is a perfromance artist as well as a musician. He's also a poet; usually reading a couple of works at each performance. His poetry is quite thought provoking, and sometimes has a strong political undercurrent; certainly the case last night. I was affraid at one point the FBI would bust in and take him away, but he assured us that the "Federal Goverment is our friend." Shocked

The Great One did several extended percussion performances on instruments of his own constuction. He dazzeled us with his musicianship. His instruments are visually and acoustically very interesting. I was reminded of the late great Harry Parch, but Quintini is not as stuffy.

There was other stuff last night which I won't describe here. We unfortunately missed Scattered Planets because we had to hit the road.

I wish the people that run GTMBA would take these presentations a little more seriously. They never start on time, introduce the performers, or publically thank people who contribute, including Chef Jeff who sometimes brings free food for the audiance, and the people who consistently put on excellent light shows. Considering the level of artists that pefrom there, I think this is amaturish and disrespectful to the artists and to the audiance.

As usual, I took some pictures with my digital camera. I've posted them on my web site. If anybody wants to have pictures with higher resolution, please let me know. The biggest ones on the site are 750 px wide. The originals are about 2500 px wide.

my music and other stuff

Last edited by mosc on Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:26 am; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I went to the Gate to Moonbase Alpha (GtMbA) with Howard. We both had pretty much the same experience. Any time that the Great Quentini performs at Gate makes the trip worth while. As Howard aluded, one of Quentini's themes was that the Federal Government is our friend. (Tongue held firmly in cheek!) To that I'd like to add one thought. Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed often and for the same reason!

On a previous visit to GtMbA, Mikronesia played in between all of the other acts to provide a continuous performance. He gave me a copy of his CD then. I've been using it on two of my radio shows to promote this episode of GtMbA. [My shows that present electronic music are The AM/FM Show (WMUH) and EMUSIC (WDIY).] I feel that we all should do whatever we can to help spread the word for electronic music events. This is definitely a word of mouth genre of music. There doesn't seem to be a single demographic because I see people from high school age to well past retirement age at these events. The only demographic that I can see is that the people who like this stuff are more open to new, fresh ideas. Those are the people I'd like to see here on Electro-Music.com. We need to be in contact with each other to feed our little community and foster its growth.

There was another act we saw Friday night at GtMbA that Howard neglected to mention. I don't remember their name but I felt that two guitars playing feedback accompanied by a drummer was mind boringly numb. (Or is that mind numbingly boring?) Rock bands in the '60s did that a lot better. But then they could actually play their instruments. It's acts like this that make Gate such a crapshoot sometimes. That fits in with Howard's topic of professionalism. Gate needs more of that. The lack of an MC to give the evening structure isn't much to ask but it would pay respect not only to the performers, but to the audience as well. Booking a more consistantly good quality of act pays respect to the audience. Perhaps it's this anything goes/no structure attitude that gives GtMbA its special charm and I'm missing the point. It works well enough that I continue to attend and urge you to do the same.


Bill Fox------------------|\-------------
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The third act was Big Mind Collective.

I don't care much for drone music either, but I think it's good that gtmba doesn't try to apply "quality assurance" to the music. There needs to be a place where music that is controversial or unpopular can be presented.

Experimental music, by definition, will be pushing some boundary, and therefore won't be liked by many people!
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