signal to noise

the bunker has become one of the most consistently enjoyable nights i've been to since angel's own late, lamented dogs blood rising. ok, so i partially found dbr enjoyable because ben and i were often spinning, but the other elements were good too.

when halcyon was on smith street i used to go to the experimental/chillout night undercity. the early part of the night at the bunker is sometimes a bit like that, depending on the dj. undercity alumnus spinoza hosts and spins, and a rotating set of guests man the decks (and/or laptops) the rest of the time. if you're thinking it's just another boring "techno" night, think again. danceable electronic music is the focus, but all kinds of crazy things get thrown in the mix. one great night had small change hitting us with stereo mc's "connected" and suicidal tendencies' "institutionalized".

every few months the bunker takes over both floors of tonic starting the upstairs acts at midnight. i figured i'd go since the last time i went was so good. keeping the tradititon of unpredictability this past friday was charles peirce, better known as end. i've been into his music since i picked up his debut CD on hymen a few years ago. i met him at remote lounge last summer after a mad ep show, while handing out flyers for one of my own. turns out he's a really nice guy, although the music he's done since his debut gives lie to his reserved personality. twangy surf guitars, maddeningly singsong melodies, and breakcore beats dominate his sound these days. i'm partial to the tongue-in-cheek, quasi-"easy listening" style of his recent percussions disc on tigerbeat6, but live he just goes insane. musically, anyway. physically, he spends most of his time in intense brow-furrowed concentration. this night i unfortunately arrived late, but caught the last part of his set which ended with some kind of manic children's tune. he was dressed as a long lost member of either kraftwerk or tubeway army. the place was packed and rightfully appreciative of his skills.

i was also downstairs for smartypants & local fields and david last, who pumped up the floor to ben and bianca's delight. in fact it was pumped up so much it sounded as if one of the speakers was starting to go, but it just added a raw edge to the already bleeping and farting synth workouts. giles hendrix did his usual great visuals, augmented by the presence of share mastermind ilan katin and others.

meanwhile upstairs, safety scissors pushed a slightly raw, updated retro-electro vibe. ben and i agreed that his instrumentals worked much better. dj olive seemed to take us all over the map with his set, which i enjoyed. i never liked we very much, but as a dj, he's great. monolake came on pretty late, unfortunately announcing something about a short set, which i was told had to do with the planned overseas live collaboration with deadbeat not working out due to internet connection problems. his music was definitely the highlight of the evening, several levels of musically-created ecstasy being reached by new sounds and themes at the onset of a new measure. the show exceeded my expectations based on the two CDs i have. i guess ableton live (which i assume he was using, since he designed it) really is all that.

the title of this post comes from an album by monolake's robert henke.