Unsound Festival New York at The Bunker at The Wick
Unsound Festival New York at The Bunker at The Wick 260 Meserole Street 21+, 9p-5a
Techno isn’t a genre that has birthed many consistent albums, and the dub techno subgenre even less so, but one indisputable classic is Porter Ricks’ debut ‘Biokinetics’. Originally issued on the legendary Basic Channel sub-label Chain Reaction in 1996 following a trio of 12”s, ‘Biokinetics’ was the first of the label’s album releases, and still stands as its crowning achievement. The duo was made up of dark ambient pioneer Thomas Koner and sound engineer Andy Mellwig, and between them they re-framed the techno sound, imbuing the spacious ambience pioneered by label bosses Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald with a frosty, isolated experimental bent, and combining it with the sort of haunted minimalism of early Plastikman.
What separated ‘Biokinetics’ from other albums at the time was its unwavering narrative – the exact sound has been interpreted countless times since, but the immersive qualities of this singular record have rarely been touched. Maybe it is down to the silvery underwater concept that ties each track together – the bubbling pads, sub-aquatic basses and muffled kick drums. But as with any great album, it’s hard to exactly put your finger on what makes it a classic. Simply put ‘Biokinetics’ is one of the most important records in the genre, and it’s pleasure for us to make it available to the world once more.LISTEN TO "BIOKINETICS" ON SOUNDCLOUD
Miles has forged a formidable reputation alongside Sean Canty as Demdike Stare, and with Andy Stott as Millie & Andrea, beside his operations in the hardware field as Suum Cuique, solo excursions as MLZ and shadowy involvement in the HATE project - all the while building upon his in-demand skills as a DJ of twenty odd years experience, accumulating and absorbing far flung knowledge of hardcore UK jungle, Chicago house, Motor City Soul, the obscure UK techno of labels like Radioactive Lamb and Irdial, Italian concrète, Synthwave and contemporary noise.
Tonight he closes out the party with an extended DJ set like only he knows how.STREAM MILES' ALBUM ON MODERN LOVE
Leisure Muffin’s modern take on kosmische music is not easy to pin down. Influences and reference points are extraordinarily wide-ranged, but include early Warp (Seefeel, Autechre, and Aphex), Drexciya, Skinny Puppy, Meat Beat Manifesto, Coil, and Perrey and Kingsley. He was also deeply influenced by the sound of The Bunker (and other) dancefloors. A former audio engineering educator, Hopkins has a mastery of both Ableton Live and modular synthesizers. After drooling over, and even borrowing some key pieces of gear from Sarah Lawrence College and Charles Cohen’s studio over the years, the recent advent of more affordable modular equipment meant that he finally has a dream setup of his own.
“The fact that modular synths have become affordable now has really helped,” he says. “I always wanted to be writing using that stuff and after waiting for a really long time, I finally have the kind of setup I always dreamed of.”
It makes sense that someone with Leisure Muffin’s broad tastes makes music that is hard to classify. When most people tell you that they love all forms of music, further examination of their claim usually leads to disappointment. This isn't the case for Leisure Muffin. If you join him for tea, you could end up listening to an accordion record as easily as you might hear electronic music. He spent most of his life working in some of the best and worst record stores in the USA, for the pure joy of being able to hear new sounds every day (before the internet put all music at everyone’s fingertips). If you talk to him you might hear about the pleasures of attending the symphony after eating a pot brownie or how you should listen to African Juju records from the 1930s. .
"I don't know what to call it--I really just make the kind of stuff that I want to hear,” he says. “And honestly, if I didn't love dancing and playing at dance parties so much, I'd probably just be locked in a room somewhere torturing synthesizers or playing boring whale sound guitar solos for hours. Actually, I suppose I do a fair amount of that anyway. Maybe that's why it's taken me almost 20 years to actually release something that anybody is interested in putting out."
In the mid-90's, he was playing shows in clubs in the Lower East Side (Den of Thieves, Unity Gain, Tonic) when he was too young to drink. He pulled off a lot of great sets over the following years and built a reputation as a live electronic performer during an era when that was far less common. Live recordings of both his solo sets and his duos with Charles Cohen made the rounds among good friends (including The Bunker New York bossman Bryan Kasenic), but finishing a studio record had, until now, eluded him.
With the encouragement of Kasenic and The Bunker New York family, Leisure Muffin finally managed to finish an EP in the studio, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.SOUNDCLOUD
Fractured house music renegade Ital (who has two acclaimed albums on Planet Mu) will be jointed by shadowy producer Aurora Halal (of Mutual Dreaming) for their worldwide live debut performance as Ital & Halal.STREAM ITAL & HALAL'S FIRST TRACK ON SOUNDCLOUD
Newcomer Le Petit Garçon will present his take on isolated Ambient Techno using a vast expanse of distant shoegazing guitars, awe-inspiring ambient synth harmonics and churning, ice-breaking bass.SREAM LE PETIT GARçON ON SOUNDCLOUD
Also appearing in place of Vladislav Delay who cancelled his US tour is acclaimed New York based electronic, drone, experimental producer Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (aka Lichens). His unique electronic music can be sampled on albums like "Timon Irnok Manta" (Type, 2012)." Lowe has also been reaching new audiences far and wide via his lead performance in the new film "A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness".STREAM "TIMON IRNOK MANTA" ALBUM "A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS" TRAILER
9:00 - Doors
9:30 - Le Petit Garcon LIVE
10:30 - Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe LIVE
11:30 - Leisure Muffin LIVE
12:30 - Porter Ricks LIVE
1:30 - Ital & Halal LIVE
2:30 - Miles DJ
On Saturday night, The Bunker, who have partnered with Unsound Festival New York since its inception will present an evening including a long overdue live appearance of the phenomenal German dub techno duo Porter Ricks (Thomas Köner / Andy Mellwig). The duo were been brought back into the spotlight following the reissue of their rare but acclaimed 1996 debut album “Biokinetics” (a Techno classic if there ever was one) on the Type label as their 100th release in late 2011 (the record was originally released on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction imprint). Porter Ricks came out of live gig retirement from Germany especially to perform at Unsound Festival Krakow last October, so it seemed only fitting to bring them to New York this spring. Joining these two titans of European electronic music in delivering stunning live music will be three homegrown Brooklyn / New Jersey based talents - fractured house renegade Ital (known for two acclaimed albums on Planet Mu) will be joined by shadowy producer Aurora Halal for a worldwide live debut performance as Ital & Halal, while Leisure Muffin, fresh off the releasing his first ever 12” on The Bunker’s new record label will perform his hard to pin down modular synth infected take on Kosmische music. Also appearing in place of Vladislav Delay who cancelled his US tour is acclaimed New York based electronic, drone, experimental producer Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (aka Lichens). His unique electronic music can be sampled on albums like "Timon Irnok Manta". Lowe has also been reaching new audiences far and wide via his lead performance in the new film "A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness". Looking back to Europe, Miles one half of Demdike Stare, who also records solo works under the name will take to the decks for a unique DJ set and making his New York debut is another Norwegian addition to the festival, Le Petit Garçon, presenting his take on isolated Ambient Techno using a vast expanse of shoegazing guitars, synth harmonics and churning, ice-breaking bass.