Saturday, January 16, 2016

Recording: E ADI

Artist: E ADI

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Smiling Buddha (Casual Drones 14), January 14, 2016.

E ADI - [excerpt]

Having outgrown the small-scale confines of its former home at Milk Glass, the Casual Drones music series has landed at Smiling Buddha. Shifting to the larger venue has come with a definite sense of scaling up, with the shows taking place between two stages upstairs and down and the visuals (always a big element of the series) getting amped up even further. The main floor saw most of the stage removed to make way for a large lighting rig that resembled a sort of post-apocalyptic tanning bed and gave Romar L. Johnson a huge range of luminosity to paint with. So, to the good, there's a definite sense of ambition here — and the full house that was on hand showed there's an audience for this kind of experimentation. To the bad, however, this night did manage to live up to the series' derisive nickname of "Casual Bromes", with seven sets (and, by my count, ten musicians) but no women on stage. (And, for my money, I'm not sure why a night with that many acts needed to wait 'til almost ten to get started.)

The least "drone" (and "casual"!) set of the night, this new pairing saw Elliot Jones (ex-Ell V Gore) exploring further directions in electronic music than yet seen with his recent synth-pop reinvention. Joined by drummer Rob Gordon, this started with the industrial-strength blurts heard here before pushing into straight-up dystopian dance territory — which was given a visceral push by the intense volume and near-physicality of the lighting design.

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