Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Crazy electronic music at Kings: Pit Er Pat et al.

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Alphas Wear Grey: "No Emotions"
"Say Something"
Pit Er Pat: "Underwater Wave Game"
(from Shakey 2005. Buy or download)

Well, it's really saying something when loopy Chicago trio Pit Er Pat is the most normal-sounding act in the lineup, but that's the case tonight at King's Barcade in Raleigh. Pit Er Pat layers angular electric piano and a mannered female vocalist over a busy bass and drums foundation. They grabbed my attention when I first heard "Underwater Wave Game" -- its really not like any other music I know of. I guess it's possible that this is more due to my listening habits than Pit Er Pat's uniqueness, but in any case, I always like a band that does their own thing.

So I was curious about the other acts on the bill for tonights show, two of which turn out to be local. They are further along the electronic/ambient/experimental spectrum than Pit Er Pat, which should make for an interesting evening. Alphas Wear Grey is made up of two folks who have studied computers and/or music at NC State and The Problem Child, "a sampling probability drum sequencer." They blend electronics and acoustic instruments in an appealing way that reminds me a bit of the Books without all the field recordings. Phon is more strictly computer based, and more ambient -- less to my taste, but still interesting. You can stream some of his works here. Finally, Lichens is Robert Lowe making slow-moving droney sounds. I've only listened to the excerpts here, but it sounds like it could be pretty involving if you relax and let yourself float along with him.

So: a collection of artists making music that's rather different from what I ususually listen to. I'll need to spend some more time with it, but I can certainly see the appeal, at least for certain moods. Dunno how it will translate to a live show -- Pit Er Pat seems like Motorhead compared to the rest of this crew -- but it's worth checking out.

Photo of Phon by Robert Shanks

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