THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
While downtown art space Gallery at Avalon Island
regularly presents music each month with the truly excellent In-Between Series,
it occasionally opens its great and under-utilized upstairs theater whenever special engagements come along. And any time Silver Apples
visionary Simeon Coxe
comes to town would certainly qualify as special.
This time, he came with current collaborator Lydia Winn LeVert as Amphibian Lark
(July 15). Unfortunately, he brought just a laptop instead of his legendary self-made musical technology, and it wasn’t the most active or vigorous set of the night. But their combined spirit was requisitely left-field.
At its most salient, the performance offered minimalist transmissions that channel some of the original frontier of electronic futurism
that Simeon anticipated way back in the ‘60s. Add in a curious chanteuse-pop edge and you’ve got an act that blends weird innocence, outsider edge and otherworldly frequency.
The openers of this avant-garde showcase were also of particular note. Representing Orlando was Unbliterati,
the side dish of recently revived, locally legendary free-dance band Obliterati
(who have some recording history with Simeon Coxe).
In this iteration, the art freaks
broke up the perpetual groove of their flagship sound and injected a little more nerve and improv. With their collision of No Wave, post-punk, jazz and electronic, however, they were still like a virile conjuring of the seminal NYC art-rock scene
of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
I’ve seen plenty of loopers
but almost none as based on vocals as intriguing Sarasota artist Voice Hoist.
It’s a bewitching project that weaves tapestries from layers of voice that aren’t simply waves of ambience interacting incidentally but whole melodic structures
with design and aggregate effect.
Finally, there was ambient tape act Proud/Father.
Sonically, the New Orleans artist showed the ability to scale monolithic summits like Fuck Buttons,
something I don’t say lightly. But it doesn’t take a drone aficionado to be swept by his multimedia show.
Visually, sonically and conceptually, the performance was set in the context of his current muse of Latin-American revolution,
employing video from the ‘80s and reworking the audio from it into his sonic composition. Together, his escalating noise and images of real strife coalesced into a powerfully evocative and consuming experience.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
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