Friday, December 11, 2015

Recording: Scott Hardware

Artist: Scott Hardware

Song: Gertrude

Recorded at Smiling Buddha (Silent Shout Festival – Night 2), December 5, 2014.

Scott Hardware - Gertrude

Although they'd stepped away from presenting live music, Silent Shout returned for a two-night celebration to mark their fifth anniversary. Taking over the Smiling Buddha for two nights gave the site's designer Roxanne Ignatius a chance to re-imagine the space, with a deconstructed disco ball twirling above clouds and webby fabric tendrils. Plus, downstairs there was a gallery of her consistently-excellent show posters, going right back to the series' beginning when it had to spell out its mandate of "EVIL DISCO / GLOOMY ELECTRO / DEATHLY SYNTHPOP". And though there was a retrospective element to the whole affair, the music was decisively forward-looking, including a couple bands making their debuts. The second night even upped the ante by adding lasers!

Having now closed out the cycle that brought Ken Park's You Think About It Too Much, word is that a new album is already in the can and Scott Harwood formally re-launched the project with a short tour that ended with this hometown show. Harwood's pivot includes not only new songs and a new band but also a new moniker — I don't know if the use of "hardware" was a subtle hint that his music remains software free, but his vision of no laptop dance music has expanded with the presence of sax and piano giving things an analogue edge, and shifting things from Berlin disco to early 90's British house — there's a little bit of Happy Monday's "Step On" (and/or EMF's "Unbelievable") in the sound. Still eminently danceable and still based on strong songwriting, this looks like the start of an exciting new chapter.

[Scott Hardware will be playing at Wavelength's "Class of 2016" showcase at the Silver Dollar on Friday, January 22nd.]

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