Latitudes focuses on a contingent of composers, improvisers, and musicians working in underground forms of contemporary music. It was started in response to the dwindling number of venues in San Francisco presenting artists operating in the liminal space between serious avant-garde music and rock and roll. Precious few venues regularly present music that falls in between these cracks. That in mind, the hope for this series is to help fill a gap that’s glaringly obvious in San Francisco music scene—and do so with the input of the community of music makers and enthusiasts living in the Bay Area.
On this installment of Latitudes, Other Minds teams up with the San Francisco Art Book Fair to present vocalist/composer Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, sound artist Chris Duncan, and the electronics and percussion duo IMA at Center for New Music.
Utopic folk dreamer Andrew Weathers visits the Bay Area from his hideaway in rural West Texas with a set of guitar-driven ambient folk works that drift seamlessly between rigor and flexibility to deliver a message that’s at turns weary and optimistic. AMMA ATERIA presents a dense sonic menagerie of distant and closely mic’d subjects forming an unsteady equilibrium hovering above a bed of luxuriant drones.
What if Captain Beefheart had cut his teeth listening to The Fall instead of Howlin’ Wolf and Bo Diddley? The result might have sounded like Receptacles—a joyfully shambolic deconstructionist collision of rhythms and riffs. Kyle Bruckmann’s DEGRADIENT gleefully collides elements of skronk, fried analog noise and dark prog, adding significant heaviness to his signature polyrhythmic clatter, formal complexity, and black humor.
On this installment of Latitudes, Guitarist, polymuse, and serial collaborator Alan Licht joined Latitudes to perform his solo electric guitar meanderings at Center for New Music while Bay Area local Danny Paul Grody opened with a set of gauzy 12 string guitar and synthesizer soundscapes.
The New Haven, CT duo Tongue Depressor perform trance-inducing fiddle music that seethes with beating overtones and a high lonesome sound. The unlikely pairing of lap steel dobro and koto makes up the L.A.-based duo of Caspar Sonnet and Kozue Matsumoto. Together they scrape, bow and pluck their way through an investigation of the versatile sound palette and extended possibilities of their instruments.
Other Minds’ Latitudes series continued with The Master and Enigma: Paul Metzger, a bonafide American folk outsider, performs his entrancing hymnprovisations for modified 23 string banjo. Minneapolis’ mercurial mystery man John Saint Pelvyn makes an ultra-rare Bay Area appearance performing on solo electric guitar—barely harnessed feedback, f-hole howling, mid-jam retunings and whammy bar abuse all-included.
Gabriel Mindel Saloman, known widely for his work in seminal noise band Yellow Swans, joins Latitudes to present his ongoing investigations into music of the liberated body. Composer and instrument-builder Ashley Bellouin is joined by guitarist Ben Bracken to conjure a sound equal parts spiritual, mental, and physical—minimal by design, maximal in spirit.
William Fowler Collins gave a voice to a spectacular chroma of dread with a performance of works from his most recent full-length record Field Music. “Geneva Skeen evokes Californian vistas and the corruption festering behind them with the same uneasiness as Lana Del Rey’s West Coast or Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.” (Wire Magazine).
Arrington de Dionyso conjured utopic zones through ritual trance and the high spirits of electrified rock and roll. The iconoclastic duo DunkelpeK transmited an amalgamated soundworld through percussion and electric guitar, chopping their many influences to bits and reassembling them in a quest for new musical possibilities.
Pedal steel guitar player Chuck Johnson’s western-tinged ambient works drawl out slow and stately, like disappearing shadows on the desert floor while the sun rises overhead. Again the light changes with trumpet player and vocalist Leila Abdul-Rauf whose blurred melancholic songs obscure the day’s memories in a mesmeric haze.
On the second installment of Latitudes, Bill Orcutt performed his convulsive blues on four-string electric, while composer and former Black Spirituals guitarist, Zachary James Watkins sketched an aural map of the C4NM through walls of feedback.
All the way from Tokyo, Japan, guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama brought his motorik “infinite boogie” and graveside blues minimalism to the Center for New Music. Ecstatic music aesthete John Krausbauer opened with a trance-inducing exploration of amplified violin and stroboscopic lighting.