Friday October 12
After a quick and easy drive from our Ann Arbor retreat to Kalamazoo, we were greeted by Joel from the Red Room, who was kind enough to get the pizza factory rolling right away. It seems that Joel and Miles (in NYC for Wolf Eyes and Ramleh) have been beefing up the PA/amp situation in their basement, because we were presented with a wall of opportunities that definitely shaped the outcome of the night, sonically, at least.
Things looked pretty grim, audience-wise, when White Leather got started. This Villa Valley/Haunted Castle offshoot oozed out the perfect sort of basement analog ambience... almost death-industrial in its pulsing near-beats... dark, murky, and rather heavy, especially coming through the aforementioned sound system.
Our hometown friends, Locrian, played the most intense set that I have seen from them, channeling traffic woes and malfunctioning equipment stress into a wall of sound that I have not heard them create in Chicago. Acoustic and electric guitar - keyboard and voice - built up into an ear-punishing tidal wave of sound, that maintained all of the nuance and subtlety that I expect from Andre and Terence.
Happily, I saw that a few more people had arrived at the space, even as some unfortunately had to leave early.
I was up next, and plugged into so many different amps, it was clear that the feedback that I generated was going to have a lot of gradation. I tried to build things up slowly, but even two microphones at lower volume were spewing out vicious waves of sound. At one point, after things had built up to a full level of sound, I turned back to face the audience to do vocals, and I saw literally everyone trying to shield their ears. It looked great from my perspective. Even with this small audience, I got some perceptive and thoughtful "feedback" from people, which was great.
David was up next, and although his sound was not as blown out as it was in Ypsilanti, this was still an extremely forceful Envenomist set. The range of speakers/amps still allowed for David's full sound to come through, even if the three distinctly different synth voices quickly careened off of the wall in front of him. Envenomist is as suited to dark basements as it probably is to large halls, abandoned factories, and movie theaters. Head music that you can feel in your gut. Another amazing set, indeed...
Thanks to Miles, for getting the show sorted out. Thanks to Joel, for keep us fed and for making us LOUD. Thanks to Joy, for her aerobic input. Hi to Pat Yankee. Thanks to those who came out, including those who have been in and out of contact for years!