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  WINDY & CARL w/ Paik and Antasten  
  Atlanta, GA  
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I like Eyedrum -- it's an interseting little place. The music space is pretty cool, just a huge open room with some amps set up at one end and some chairs strewn about.

Of course it is an art gallery, so sometimes you get strange things placed about. At the time of this show, the art was pretty minimal. Basically, there were some squiggly lines painted on two walls in flourescent colors. It looked like there had been a terrible highlighter accident. Not bad i guess, but not particularly interesting either.

But of course, i was there for music not art. The first act tonight was Antasten. They are members of the booming Vienna, Austria free jazz scene. Supposedly there are normally 3 keyboardists making up the band, but only 2 of them were album to make it across the Atlantic this time.

Their performance started with an explanation. I don't know how i feel about that. On the one hand, i think that if your music is so intellectual you have to explain it to your audience, perhaps you are going to far. On the other hand i liked hearing about what they were going to do. So i dunno.

At any rate, the two members of the band played various keyboards, including the ubiquitous Mac Laptop. One of the members sat at a piano, and he played the whole thing. That is, at times he played the keys, at time he hammered on the strings with various things, and at times he rattled stuff about inside the piano. I kept wondering: is that bad for the piano? It doesn't seem good....

Their musical output ranged from agressively avante jazz to glitch to beautiful minimalist classical. It was an interesting set, but in all honesty i was bored with it about half-way through. I wonder, why does avante-garde music have to be free of melody? At any rate, not too bad really.

The second act was Detroit rockers Paik. I was not too familiar with them going in to this show, but after seeing their performance i would describe them as "ponderous stoner instrumental rock". They even played to a video loop of strange images -- marching soldiers contrasted with blood vessels. How stereotypical of the stoner rock genre....

They are a three-piece, and the drummer had one of those copper-bottomed kettle drums. He didn't play that anywhere near enough, in my opinion. For the most part though, they were very competent. They were also quite loud. The Eyedrum positively echoed with guitar noise during their set. On the whole they were not bad really, but again it wore on me after a while.

Paik tore down their gear, and Windy and Carl set up. There are only 2 of them, but they have a pretty complex setup. There was lots of electronic gear, and the guitars had to be fed into that and then into the amps. They fiddled with stuff and tuned for a few minutes, and then Carl went seamlessly from tuning to creating a drone. People were still standing around talking when their set started, which was kind of neat. At any rate, they proceeded to create a long textured drone from their two guitars. It went on for 25 minutes or so, during which the Eyedrum again echoed with sound. This sound was a little more subtle than Paik's, and i felt like i had been dropped in an ocean of sound waves. It was an amazing experience.

And it ended when Carl blew some piece of equiptment. So he spent a few minutes tweaking gear, and then they started up again. For the second half of their set Windy and Carl played light dreampop. Windy even sang a bit. Their non-drone stuff reminds me a lot of the work of Landing. It's pretty good light airy pop. And of course, Carl is a masterful guitarist, so it works really well.

Windy and Carl played for an hour, ending their set around 1:30 AM. Very late on a work night for this Minion, but after seeing/heaing/being immersed in that one drone piece i was very happy i came.

Windy and Carl are on tour with Paik right now. If they come through your town, i recommend you go.

Related Links:

Consciousness, Windy & Carl's wonderful 2001 drone masterpiece.


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