The Bunker, No Fun, and Weird at Northside Festival present Silent Servant, Peter Van Hoesen, Rene Hell, Xeno & Oaklander, Laurel Halo, Carlos Giffoni, and Shawn NoEQ at Public Assembly
The Bunker, No Fun, and Weird at Northside Festival present Silent Servant, Peter Van Hoesen, Rene Hell, Xeno & Oaklander, Laurel Halo, Carlos Giffoni, and Shawn NoEQ at Public Assembly 70 North 6th Street 21+, 10p-6a
One of the longest running weekly music parties in New York City, the Wierd Party was established in 2003 by artist and DJ Pieter Schoolwerth and has long been NYC's premier showcase for artists and DJs working within the Cold Wave, Minimal Synth, and Industrial/Noise genres of alternative pop and dance music. The party began as a small group of friends spinning records weekly at the Southside Lounge in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who in 2004 began staging larger, roaming monthly live music events in lofts and warehouses nearby. By the end of 2006 the party had outgrown its Brooklyn home and relocated to Home Sweet Home on Chrystie St. in Manhattan where it is held every wednesday evening to this day. In addition, with the move to Manhattan Pieter expanded the party into a record label, Wierd Records. Since 2003 the party and label have produced 25 releases and over 400 parties and live music events and continues to represent a tightly knit underground community of artists, musicians, and DJs that is a vital part of the energy of both latenight downtown New York City and the outermost recesses of Brooklyn.
Through it's world reknown festival and record label, No Fun Productions plays a central role in the exposure of experimental sound arts practice, representing artists from various cultural backgrounds and experimental music styles. Presenting the most innovative sound artists, No Fun Productions contextualizes artists’ works at a national and international level and facilitates professional and philosophical exchange between music artists and music professionals globally.
Currently, The Bunker is a monthly electronic music event at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the quest to entertain ourselves and meet the artists we admire who no one else would bring to New York, we've hosted over five hundred guest DJs and live acts over the past eight years. In our mission to discover new talent, we've presented countless New York City and even North American debuts. Newcomers to the party often wonder how the events got to this point. There really is no quick answer, as The Bunker is an ongoing night of musical exploration, constantly evolving since it started in 2003. The Bunker is a party for music obsessed people who want to dance to interesting sounds in a room full of likeminded folks, thrown by people who live to do just that, and strive to perfect the experience.
Rene Hell is the latest and possibly greatest moniker of US noisenik Jeff Witscher. Over the last handful of years Witscher has made a name (and possibly a cult?) for himself under a plethora of different pseudonyms exploring various disparate styles. He has been known as Impregnable, Secret Abuse, Marble Sky and as part of Roman Torment and Deep Jew among others, and now he’s settled on Rene Hell. With this project we find him focused on synthesized kosmiche sounds – but unlike many of his contemporaries, instead of delving into nostalgia there is something decidedly modern about Witscher’s compositions. The bubbling, effervescent synthesizer sequences and percussive patterns seem to twist and turn over each other with a near-techno precision, and at times you might be forgiven for thinking that his sound has more in common with Basic Channel than Cluster. Electronic music has been much maligned in recent years and its contemporary rediscovery seems almost too rooted in kitsch to be taken seriously, but Jeff Witscher’s synthesizer gospels are more than just a flash in the pan. This is analogue exploration at its best, and once it digs its rusty talons into you, it refuses to let go.
The careful, melancholic, and complex songs of Xeno and Oaklander are the product of the brightest duo in the contemporary minimal electronics world. Merging the cold, cinematic aesthetics of artist Liz Wendelbo with the architectural exactitude of Sean McBride (a.k.a. Martial Canterel), Xeno and Oaklander have been the flinty, sharpened spearhead of twenty-first-century electronic pop since their formation in 2004. Using analog synthesizers and instruments exclusively, the duo record all of their songs live in the studio, a defiant challenge to the common practice of artificial, overdubbed, computerized music. Their intensely melodic, mournful, and emotive oeuvre is an invocation of a lost future that was abandoned years ago in favor of something less human.
Brooklyn-based Carlos Giffoni is a Venezuelan noise and sound artist. Often cited as a central point in the experimental music scene in America, Giffoni is known for both his own music and his work as a curator and label owner. Giffoni is the curator of the renowned No Fun Fest in New York City and also founder of the No Fun Productions label. He has released a large body of music, much of it made in collaboration with other artists including Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline, Alan Licht, Jorge Castro, Smegma, Ryfylke, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke, Marcia Bassett, Aaron Dilloway, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Hive Mind, The Rita, Lasse Marhaug and others. Giffoni’s music involves various types of synthesis, extreme modular manipulation, rewired instruments, improvisation and live re-sampling. His latest solo album “Severence” was released on Hospital Productions last year. The album took the melding analog drone colliding tonality of his past expressions and introduced minimalist sequencer details to create a pure electronic landscape cultivated and informed by influences from both experimental and 20th century synthesizer music. At Unsound Festival 2010 in Krakow, Carlos not only performed but also curated a No Fun-related event.
We first became aware of John Mendez in 1998 when a series of amazing records on a new label called Cytrax began appearing in NYC. Mendez founded the label, and recorded for it under his Jasper alias. The label produced tons of amazing records, mostly from new (at the time) west coast techno producers like Kit Clayton, Sutehk, Safety Scissors, and Twerk, all with a very unique and strangely psychedelic take on the sounds coming out of Detroit and Berlin. We cannot underestimate how important this label was in eventually steering us in the direction of founding The Bunker. Jasper also mixed the "Rauschen 15" CD for Force Inc, which made him into a successful international touring techno DJ for a few years. From 2002 to 2006, we heard no new music from Mendez, and thought he had given up on production. Then, in 2006, he started releasing under a new alias, Silent Servant, for the red-hot Sandwell District label. He has also taken on the duties of creating a visual identity for the label, which you can check out on their Where Next blog. So now Mendez finds himself once again an extremely well recognized and respected DJ and producer. Tonight, he digs a bit deeper into his crates for a set that will incorporate industrial, EBM, synth punk, and other sounds.
We are very excited to add Peter Van Hoesen to this lineup. His New Beat / Industrial / EBM set at Kiss & Tell last year was the stuff of legend, and this is the perfect party for him to do it again. Peter is one of the artists who really defined techno for us over the past couple years, and it's doubtful that a single edition of The Bunker has gone by in the past year or so where at least one of his tracks wasn't played. Peter is pretty prolific with pumping out amazing tunes and podcasts, and in many ways his music really speaks for itself, so check out some of his sets in the links provided below. We'd also highly recommend buying a copy of his excellent "Entropic City" album released earlier last year, which proved he can make a cohesive techno album and not just dancefloor 12"s. You can buy this wonderful piece of music directly from Peter at a very reasonable price. Peter is now considered a resident at the Labyrinth festival in Japan, where he will be appearing for the fourth time in row this September. He also regularly appears at Berghain in Berlin and has a residency for his label, Time to Express, at the legendary Fuse club in his hometown of Brussels.
While the washy synthscapes and peppy drum-machine beats of her debut EP, King Felix, underscore Laurel Halo's place in the current class of Brooklyn bedroom producers turning out leftfield electronic pop, her music is also marked by a sheen and wondrous nature that recalls vintage 4AD. Maybe it's the many years she spent training and playing classical piano, the time spent in various orchestras, free-improv ensembles, and noise groups, or perhaps the lengthy stint as a college radio DJ, but the 25-year-old artist born Ina Cube displays real songwriting maturity and an ability to deliver emotive material without venturing into tortured-art-school-student territory. Initially self-released, King Felix was recently reissued with a new edit from Oneohtrix Point Never on the Hippos in Tanks label, which will be releasing another Laurel Halo EP this spring. A debut album is in the works, as is a split 7" with CFCF and a few other odds and ends.
Covered in Dust, the debut LP from Louisiana's Kindest Lines due out on Wierd Records June 15th, opens suitably with a beat that sounds a lot like an industrial rendition of The Ronettes' "Be My Baby." Brian Wilson cited that song by the legendary New York girl group as the greatest pop recording ever, and many refer to it as the perfect example of Phil Spector's "wall of sound" production. Those artists established many of the templates for how modern music is made, but what still stands out is the sense of that music having been simply dreamed-up. With organic washes of layered melodic guitars and lush songcraft, this New Orleans-based trio is definitely doing some dreaming of their own. Kindest Lines are blazing a unique path into an enchanting realm of darkened electronic indie pop that is at once welcoming and foreboding.