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Ridiculously dark photos from "Low Level Allstars," a performance night at Jeffrey Deitch curated by Cory Arcangel and Radical Software Group, highlighting demoscene graphics and new music made with old computers. Below: crowd pleasers Bodenstandig 2000
, from Germany, with their beautiful, all numerical MusicMon
interface in the background. The sounds they wring out of three square wave generators and practically no memory-load relative to current music simply bugger the mind. Their 8-bit drum and bass number would have had any club audience in the world screaming "rewind!" A mock rock video featuring Bernhard Kirsch (right) zipping through city streets on his scooter (you had to be there) also drew shouts of adulation. (Update: from his website it appears he designs these scooters and this was a promotional video? Sorry, my German is nonexistent.)
Performing earlier were Nullsleep of the 8bitpeoples crew, who specializes in that tuneless Gameboy stuff Malcolm McLaren likes, followed by Tree Wave (below), previously discussed here
. Excellent drone-rock, as in John Cale, Faust, Kevin Shields, all done with Ataris and other vintage computers, and a hacked dot matrix printer. Lauren Gray's vocals work best when woven into the restricted tonal range of the music, as on "Sleep," a song as haunting live as on CD. The more expressive she is the more incongruous. On their cover of Eno's "Needles in the Camel's Eye" she almost sounded like a country singer--which turned out to be a very odd and good choice, though. The song should always be done that way!
The event included artists' talks and some fairly subtle music but the audience topped the charts for rudeness, issuing a stream of loud chitchat that didn't stop the entire night. Maybe it was the cases of free Red Stripe, or possibly the same swine that invaded vertexList a few months back
moved to Deitch en masse. I mean, boogeying during Bodenstandig doesn't offend but there's a time to stand still (or sit) and shut up: like, when there are people on the stage talking into microphones. The worst club in Baltimore wouldn't treat performers this poorly. Art poseurs and moronic Deitch scenesters, kiss my ass! Okay, I feel better.
A final note: you can catch the same lineup of performers again tonight (Thursday) from 7 -10 pm. Also in photos: Dragan Espenschied (top photo, left); Paul Slocum (bottom photo, right). More thoughts on Bodenstandig here
, and here