Sunday, October 21, 2012

Recording: Man Made Hill

Artist: Man Made Hill

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Music Gallery (X Avant VII), October 20, 2012.

Man Made Hill - unknown

Full review to follow. I've seen Randy Gagne's one-man mutant disco inferno before, and I knew he always approached things with a straightfaced focus underneath his glittery makeup. Here, though, everything was cranked up to eleven — and then the dial was smashed with his custom microphone, built into a tin can on its side to make it look like a mallet. Gagne (or, as we were told, his holographic replacement) would occasionally punctuate a line by banging in down in front of him, like a grumpy judge quelling a courtroom.

His faux-horsehair wig could also have come from a Jacobean courtroom as well — or more possibly some sort of freaked-out re-imagining of Amadeus as conceived by The Residents. Meanwhile, Gagne shrieked and high-kicked his way through his set — a pure embodiment of crazy-legged DIY id unleashed.

This recording can't really do justice to the spectacle of the whole thing. I've put up a few photos on the MFS facebook page to give a bit more of an idea, but put simply: Man Made Hill is a big deal, and you need to get out and see him in action.

Afterthought: The fact that Gagne was able to pull together such a theatrical spectacle — complete with live video treatments from Mani Mazinani — is a testament to how the underground benefits from the sort of curation (and, one presumes, financial support) provided by festivals like X Avant. Artists need space and resources to take their shit to the next level, and when they get it we're all enriched.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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