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 the next installment of Latitudes, Arrington de Dionyso conjures utopic zones through ritual trance and the high spirits of electrified rock and roll. The iconoclastic duo DunkelpeK transmits an amalgamated soundworld through percussion and electric guitar, chopping their many influences to bits and reassembling them in a quest for new musical possibilities.
On the next installment of Latitudes, William Fowler Collins gives voice to a spectacular chroma of dread with a performance of works from his most recent full-length record Field Music—a seething, pulsing soundtrack in honor of the landscape in which the world’s first atomic bomb was assembled. “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. Her genuinely evocative music fully communicates its ideas and intentions even without accompanying data” (Wire Magazine).
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.