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Acid Seven: Missed Shows, Bootleg Tapes - AKAMFDM Trio, Collidescope, Bit O Honey

First, an expression of regret: I've missed a lot of really great shows in the past month -- shows I really would have liked to talk about. Between jobs and classes, I have very little free time during which I'm not exhausted. I'm still kicking myself, though, which tells me I should probably suck it up and go anyways. Before I get this thing started, I wanted to comment briefly on a few of these shows so that you might not regret missing them in the future.

HANNAH, taken by Mason Andrew Kilpatrick
In the Thomas Kinkade article that inaugurated this column, I mentioned that for weeks, I had heard whispers about the act in question. As a result, it took on this elusive, mysterious quality. Now this project, featuring collaborations adjacent to the TK Duodectet, exists in the same light. But this is entirely irreducible to comparisons. HANNAH is a project metamorphosed many times over, each time more open, experimental, collaborative -- striking at something vital in communication by ripping up and re-mapping language entirely.

(2) Tatsuya Nakatani Kansas City Quartet
still from video documentation via Shawn E Hansen
Tatsuya Nakatani is a legendary avant-garde jazz percussionist. A while back, I found a wonderful performance of his Nakatani Gong Orchestra, and ever since I've periodically returned to his collaborative efforts. This one stings especially because the free improvisation set was accompanied by the Kansas City Quartet (Shawn E Hansen, Jeff Harshbarger, Mike Stover).

(3) Rosé Perez, Unicorns in the Snow, Jacob John, & J. Martin
Setup, Dress-up, and a song from Rosé Perez at Eastwing in Kansas City, 2019 from cameron jones on Vimeo.

(Bless you, Cameron).

From Unicorns In The Snow (Julia Vering)

I have never seen any of these acts, and I very badly wanted this to be the night to see Rosé Perez for the first time. In the past, Carrie Wallen's projects have struck a perfectly strange balance. With the help of two similarly prolific KC artists, 2007 and Lina Zemaite, I can only imagine an intensification of this in Rosé Perez. The other KC act, Unicorns In The Snow, is one that I have learned about only very recently. The brightly-projected performances seem almost dreamlike. I've only recently seen a recording of her "Essentially You" performance. The pairing of these acts makes perfect sense; both take on different angles of absurdist comedy.
(4) Techno Chapel

Techno Chapel Recital from Colin Mosely on Vimeo.

Y'know, I tried this time. I showed up late, and everyone was already shaking hands. By all indications, everyone seemed ecstatic at what they had just experienced, and the performers proud of what they'd accomplished together. Above I've embedded a performance of a previous iteration of Techno Chapel, but from what I gather this was much larger, incorporating the group's performance and Colin Mosely's visuals with choreographed dance.


This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I think I'll cap it at four out of embarrassment. I had a pretty simple idea that might (1) ameliorate some of this regret for others, and (2) offer artists a tangible object to have in the absence of merch. I've noticed a lot of performers carry only their gear with them -- no records or anything! While this is obviously fine -- and I get artists not necessarily being thrilled about selling stuff -- I still thought it'd be nice to cook up some bootleg tapes that they could even just give away for free. Another component is that the recordings on these tapes will all be available online: tentatively, the Acid Seven bootleg archives.

The inaugural recordings on the acid seven bootleg series are sets from (1) Tim Harte, Seth Davis, and Lorenzo Gatapia, (2) Collidescope, and (3) Bit O Honey. I'm very happy with how the recordings turned out and I'll spend a little time discussing each of them.

(1) AKAMFDM trio

This was a treat: midway through the set, Lorenzo walks through the door -- Tim had informed me earlier that this was how the set was to be sequenced -- and they just keep playing. Suddenly, there emerges a gorgeous muted trumpet, bouncing from Seth's shimmering guitar to Tim's collage of sampled instruments. You wouldn't guess by the recording that this was improvised. Tim cuts in: "I've been waiting for this moment," referring to Lorenzo and Seth's meeting, and then snaps back into the performance. Thinking back, this opens up so much for what it means to perform (not to mention Tim's improvisational lectures, also included). So much of this set is experimental in the most literal sense: they're trying out new techniques, like live-sampling instruments and using non-percussion instruments to that effect -- just as they're trying out playing together for the first time. This is a very dynamic recording, as is typical of their previous projects. There is always this refusal to be determined absolutely, and there is something so exciting and new about this each time.

(2) Collidescope

The subversion of/play between ambient space and structure we hear in the AKAMFDM trio is always present in the music of Collidescope. Their incredible attention to detail in the mix is clear in this recording; each song contains its own atmosphere threaded together by tight drum samples and sharp, textured synthesizer leads swimming alongside their shimmer reverb. Madi's guitar enters in the same dreamy register, adding instead of imposing its presence in the mix. What really leaps through is Hadiza's singing; the explosive confidence it carries is undercut charmingly by her occasional soft-spoken banter. Their impressive sense of atmosphere -- and I'm thinking particularly about the section beginning roughly at 4:19 -- is the result of a comfort with working alongside the existing musical elements present, however sparse. This is a perfect example of that sort of generative process, and it's certainly a welcome one given the narrative nature their lyrics take on.

(3) Bit O Honey

I see very few acts working well in the mode Bit O Honey channels. By this, I mean to say that this sort of synth punk sounds deceptively simple, but it's very difficult to do effectively. I should add, dear prospective listener, that this set also contains some good ole country, and concludes on a particularly affecting cover (I won't spoil it, but I cried). Part of me wishes that I had gotten video documentation of the set, but I think that the energy carries over well -- it came in spades. Here again, we have very distinct textures, this time emanating from a heavily modified PortaSound, looped recordings, and (I think?) a drum machine -- all pressed thru a fuzzbox. The result is a loud, abrasive performance calling to mind the best of the minimalist synth scene: think Suicide, Xoris Perideraio, Metro Decay. Like all of these performers, there is something here that is distinctly theirs in this: "I've had a baaaad day," they say, "the kind that makes ya want to--" they drop the microphone, and the song begins.

Return to Shuttlecock on the seventh day of each month (give or take) for a transmission from Patrick’s ongoing journey into the experimental and genreless music of Kansas City. Follow him on Twitter.

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