$6 in advance/$8 at the door
9:30pm doors/10pm showtime
Featuring DJing by Birch/Visuals by Chris LeBlanc
Taking influence from early Warp Records releases and vintage psychedelia, ORM-D rides the border of Acid House and Dark Techno, combining the classic lysergic resonant squelch of the TB-303 with spastic, jungle-influenced drum programming, and ambient soundscapes of detuned nightmares. In the process of establishing a consistent local presence, they have performed elsewhere, including the burgeoning Trans-Pecos venue in Brooklyn, playing with Machine Girl and Minneapolis native Nomenclatures. Now, after 2 releases on Cleveland based electronic label Virtual Urban Records, ORM-D is preparing to unfurl “Daigoro" a new EP on Minneapolis label Always Human Tapes.
When I met Feng Meng Vue, he mentioned that he had never found a real electronic music scene in Eau Claire. It’s possible that’s all about to change. Vue – who releases music as sloslylove – just put out Tendencies, a ten-track tape and digital album that carries a level of polish that is nearly unmatched among local, short-run releases.
Tendencies moves deftly between modern production and throwbacks to the glamorous 80s, with heavy synth lines, shimmering transitions and Phil Collins-esque drum fills, and mostly maintaining a steady, danceable pace. But sloslylove is just as good in his more ambient, emotional moments, such as album closer “*summer is forever.” Voice samples from old TV shows or audio books are peppered throughout the record, adding a cinematic feel to the tracks. Vue began making music – not counting earlier attempts at piano lessons – in 2005 in his senior year at Memorial High School. “At the time I started, I would make really bad melodies and resample them and slice them up to recreate new ideas and melodies,” Vue said. “From there I started sampling found sounds from other sources.”
Since then, sloslylove has put out a variety of digital releases (many of which are still available for free download) leading up to Tendencies, which is digital and on cassette tape. “I put it on tape because I wanted to see if I could do it,” Veng said. “The designing, beat making, printing, folding, ordering blank cassettes, dubbing, all that stuff. It’s definitely not easy doing it all yourself.” And that design is another perk for Tendencies. The casing of the tape –and the tape itself – are beautifully orchestrated and match the jovial music inside. Besides sloslylove, Vue also plays in a new Minneapolis based project, Vandaam. “It’s a different sound from my current project, but it still holds many of the same elements I use.” Currently, sloslylove isn’t active as a live project, but Vue says there could be shows in the near future. As for recording, Vue will keep busy. [Volume One]
Following a string of well-received cassette releases on his own Valhallic imprint (in addition to fruitful collaborations with the likes of Dosh and Kill The Vultures), Anticon-affiliated multi-instrumentalist / producer Jon Davis (aka Ghostband) offered his most recent album Colder. Elaborating on the braindanced eski aesthetic of Grime Synthesis (while simultaneously integrating the throwback jungle vibe of Glory), Ghostband’s latest is an action-packed sequence of hard-knocking breaks and shady synths quaking ominously atop cavernous subterranean basslines. Forays into dystopian techno, glitchy breakcore and ambient minimalism add many a twist to an hour-long stepper’s dream. Strictly hardware to the core, Davis backs up his compositional prowess live, demonstrating the difference between what’s merely cool and what’s ice cold.
American Cream Band:
Flexing its inexorable huh, The American Cream Band's new album RIDE HARD FOR MYTH taunts the overly muscular syntax of trad-rock chronologies. Here, the past is a mirror poked with an index finger: the glass dimples, warps your shitty visage, but refuses to budge much beyond this. Equally vexing is the record's blasé refusal of contemporary predictions about post-apocalyptic music: instruments were plugged into walls; computers used that both did and did not fit conveniently on one's lap. The record is pure surface folding helplessly inward, and with serious regret — just like anxiously fingering the receipt for a lunch you can't afford, bought for the boss you really want to impress.
Good news: every boss will be dead someday, but RIDE HARD FOR MYTH was never really alive. If the inflatable coffin has room for only one vampire, who gets it — Dracula or Bryan Ferry? Certainly the latter. He and his old band's bat drone around the record's claustrophobic arrangements like an Aus-Rotten ass-flap. Does this make it crust-glam, posthumous punk, or post-pomp? Doesn't matter. These options are just The American Cream Band's way of asking how best to get inside the unutterable space beneath whatever it is currently sprouting out of the Now™.
Entangled the fecund-rot of the eternally profitable Then™, songs like 'Astral Weakness' and 'wild.gif' sound parodic, titles tonguing the cheek of works that are — depending on whose blog you read — semi-canonical. The hallmark of every failed escape act is an out-of-reach key, and this one’s no exception. Harsh in its gauziness, cottony in its scree, RIDE HARD FOR MYTH isn’t really looking for a way out or a what’s left behind, so much as it’s imagining a what’s underneath.