Saturday, May 18, 2013

Featured releases: IndustrialDeath, Speaker for the Dead, and Denzer

IndustrialDeath - B4 the ArtParty [Out in the Woods Records]
IndustrialDeath, is a legend in the Philadelphia art and music scene as the founder of Panadelphia, a project that has endured for over a decade capturing the creativity of strangers and friends alike throughout the region.  In short, Panadelphia travels to different events and festivals with empty canvases and art supplies, encourages any passers-by-standers to contribute sommething big or small to the project.  Dozens of these canvases exist and are fixtures in many homes, businesses, and venues.  IndustrialDeath is also a prolific electronic music producer who mainly composes in Reason.  He released this full length album with Out in the Woods Records, entitled "B4 the ArtParty" (Art Party being a term coined by Paul early on in his Panadelphia mission) on April 21st.  IndustrialDeath's sound is marked by sophisticated song structures that evolve into entirely different beasts by the end of each track, with dense layering, rapid fire arpeggios, and pounding beats.  If one had to use an easy-to-digest, general term to describe the sound, it could be dubstep, but this is much more than that with varying styles of composition, rhythm, and sound design.  "B4 the ArtParty" is available in streaming format and can be downloaded for $7.
Denzer - Abductive Response [18+ Recordings]

The Denzer is a Koudekerke, Netherlands based producer who has delivered an experimental electronic release that can be classified as IDM, ambient, and minimal with drum-n-bass, breakcore, and trip-hop tendencies strewn throughout.  "Abductive Response", a free LP release on the Dutch internet label 18+ Recordings is an atmospheric experience that plays like a science fiction story of a UFO sighting, abduction, and hypnosis using many UFO and Alien documentary samples to drive this concept home.  These soundscapes create an emotional backdrop to the story, encouraging the listener to contemplate the possible realities proposed by the samples.  "Abductive Response" is a relaxing journey through electronic composition whose strengths are the unexpected rhythmic structures, a staple of the IDM genre, with particular attention paid to the manipulation of tones through synthesis.  Where a lot of electronic music nowadays is so focused on making a dancefloor react, this is the more intellectual end of the electronic music spectrum (not to say that dance music isn't intellectual, but much of the current day fodder is) where the focus is more about utilizing technology to step outside of the boundaries of organic instrumentation.   
Speaker for the Dead - Earth Eyes EP [Independent Release]

Returning to American producers, we have Philadelphia's multi-talented, electronic music mastermind Speaker for the Dead with a new two song EP called "Earth Eyes ".  He was featured in a recent article on Interdimensional Galactic about his monthly event Real Time.  "Earth Eyes" possesses all of the trappings of a Speaker for the Dead production - variation, strong dynamics, and suspenseful progression in the songs' arrangements.  Both songs are marked by powerful lead synth tones with equivalent, powerchord-like riffs. which could easily be identified as the "hooks" of the tracks.  The eponymous opening song thrusts the listener head first into the aural action with little relent and the B-side Escape Velocity (nice, alliterative song titling) follows suit with all the more fury of bass, drums, and synths.  Mastered by Starkey, every frequency is crystal clear and undoubtedly flourishes on subwoofer-heavy sound systems with little or no distortion or clipping.  It's a nice quick listen and surely fits into any electronic dance music (EDM) playlist or DJ set.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Featured artist: Get Up [Painting at the Electric Factory Part 1]

This is the first part of an ongoing series that has no projected end, because the subject lacks a dead line and is based around an artist's free will and a canvas that is larger than many artists will ever have chance to work.  The artist is Get Up (@GetUpArt) and the canvas is the entire Electric Factory, one of the largest venues in Philadelphia. I've seen the likes of The Prodigy, Skinny Puppy, Shpongle, Insane Clown Posse, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, to give you an idea of the kind of venue it is.  If you have been to Philly at all within the last few years, and especially if you live here, you have seen Get Up's work.  His most popular piece is an image of Ben Franklin holding a boombox.  Other images like the Philly Phanatic spray-painting a Philly's P, two swing era dancers with bandanas masking their faces, and more deliver an impeccable juxtaposition of Philadelphia's historical culture and its modern, urban culture, heavily informed and influenced by hip hop.  The street art scene in Philly is thriving with eye catching artists whose bodies of work play out like sagas with character development, plot twists, and topical content that serve as an explanation of the city's social, economic, philosophical, and spiritual climate.  Get Up has been on the frontier of this movement for some time, as his work has come into high demand for its witty representation of Philadelphia culture.

He is in the process of doing extensive renovations to the Electric Factory with his signature pieces as well as some new ones created just for this project.  His work is on both levels of the venue, in the bathrooms, corridors, and even back stage.  This is a long running project that is developing nicely and will silently add to the euphoria of the live concert atmosphere for generations to come.

Here are few shots of the work in progress and so far.
Entrance to downstairs restrooms
Skyline + speakers stencil
Upstairs area

Upstairs bar
Upstairs bar [detail]
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes stencil in progress [Women's bathroom]
Questlove, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince [Men's bathroom]
Downstairs men's bathroom
Tammi Terrell [Backstage entrance to stage]

Entrance to downstairs's men's bathroom

Future parts of this series will include a more in depth look at the personalities captured in this project.  In the mean time, here is a video of the process of creating, cutting, then painting a stencil of the late Philly-born Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes:

Stay tuned for more.