HIGH PLACES

Time No Place Records Presents:

HIGH PLACES

FAY, John Wiese, DJ Frosty of Dublab

Wed, July 11, 2012

8:30 pm

The Echo

Los Angeles, California

$5 at the door

This event is 21 and over

Wednesday 07.11.12: Time No Place Records Presents: SAN GABRIEL / FAY / JOHN WIESE @ Echo

High Places
High Places
igh Places is Mary Pearson and Rob Barber. Mary and Rob met while Mary was completing a music degree in bassoon performance and Rob was working in visual art, teaching lithography and etching at an art school. Both were performing as solo musicians at the time. Mary relocated to New York from Michigan in late spring 2006, and the two soon after began collaborating under the name High Places. The name refers to a place where one has a better vantage point and can gain broader perspective; it references a love for mountains, rooftops, and of course metaphorical "high places." The duo has an "exquisite corpse" style of songwriting where they exchange ideas back and forth, challenging one another's expectations, pushing songs to new places, or more aptly, new heights. They began by releasing a number of singles as well as contributing songs to a few compilations. These early and varied works were collected and released in July of 2008 as 03/07-09/07 in advance of tours with Deerhunter and No Age.

Since its inception, High Places has created a signature sound out of using bass-heavy, yet crisp beats, lilting vocal melodies, syncopated rhythmic lines performed on folk percussion instruments, guitar duets turned into treated samples, and percussive lines created from the manipulation of household objects. The songwriting is expansive and fluid, all the while managing to be concise. Overall, the compositions are settled and assured. High Places gravitates toward the organic over the electronic, and that natural aesthetic adds warmth and intimacy to the recordings.

In a live setting, the band creates their layered recordings with Mary singing and simultaneously manipulating her vocals with various delay and reverb pedals, while playing some hand percussion, recorders, and creating and controlling various loops. Rob handles the drums triggering a variety of percussive sounds with his drum pads, as well as playing hand percussion, wooden blocks with contact mics, and singing some ambient vocals. High Places' self-titled debut was recorded by Rob and Mary in their apartment in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood between January and May of 2008. They employed a wide variety of instruments to make this album ranging from the more traditional: 12 string guitar, banjo, shakers and rattles, bass, bells and Kalimba, to the inventive: plastic bags, mixing bowls, wood blocks and other common household objects. The album has a contemplative and organic lyrical tone emphasized by the themes of goodness manifested in nature, hardship and wonder as necessities to human existence and growth. Additionally, the idea of maturation and development is further accented through the recurring mention of trees and their extending, enveloping branches. Rob created the High Places artwork by using photos taken by both band members. The images are drawn from nature but all have a subtle, mystical, "golden" motif, a fitting frame for the album's recurring themes.
SAN GABRIEL
SAN GABRIEL
San Gabriel is the new forward-thinking beat project from the multi-instrumentalist/producer Butchy Fuego. His upcoming album VOLFE is full of warped and pulsing pan-global club music; a signature marriage of tropical riddims, dubbed out soundscapes, and modern R&B minimalism. Striking the perfect balance of booming bass and tricky rhythms, VOLFE makes for some serious sideways heat. Minimal in their framework yet vibrant in detail, San Gabriel tracks have their own recognizable style.

While many of the percussion samples may mimic the sounds of machinery, the programming is very far from mechanical with impeccable drumwork that only a seasoned drummer can pull off (Fuego also performs and is a touring member of the legendary Boredoms and was a founding member of Pit Er Pat.)
FAY
FAY
Exploring wild, new directions in body music, DIN, the debut LP from FAY is an absolutely stunning introduction with a pinpoint focus on retaining the physical within the realm of machine music. While clearly electronic in nature using synthetic sounds, there is a uniquely raw human element in Her music that reflects the amount sweat, blood, and pain expended throughout the creation of DIN that makes it stand unique apart. The album’s fractured, meticulously composed sonic structures make nods to modern R&B, looping vocal mantras, exotic rhythms (zouk, gamelan), bass music’s pressurized subs, and musique concrete’s time-disorienting arrangements. Balancing sounds both hypnotic and harsh, the resulting album is one with few reference points, shrouded in mystery – a mystery that only deepens and intrigues upon closer listen, even as the music and process unveils itself.

Rhythm is central throughout DIN. Separated by clang percussion, album opener “How It Feels Good” feels like episodes, chapters, scenes on a theme. With the protagonist illustrated by the looped vocal, the song is driven by a thumping body drum, like a heartbeat echoing throughout the body. The droning stop-start rhythm in “That’s The Part” is a catharsis – a void – almost like you become paralyzed when it turns on, or rather, you are within a thickness, physically, there is only that vibration, it becomes the rhythm at which you move and nothing else can come in until the forced entry of the opposing beat, as if someone had switched the channel. The frantic drum riddims of “Shadow I” are anchored by a steady pulse of sub-frequencies and a loopy, rapid-fire electric piano riff, while “Let It Go”‘s stark, sinewy grooves may have you imagine Missy Elliott/Timbaland creating with John Cage’s ethos of “getting rid of leaves to make trees visible” in mind.

Ambitious and uncompromising, FAY’s debut album is one that stay true to Her Vision. Not only does it maintain the human element, but there is an unflinching to commitment to minimalism and economy throughout. Every sound is carefully placed, and FAY gets the most mileage our of every element in her songs. There are echoes of Eno’s idea of “desperation sharpening the aesthetic sense,” thoughout the album. Each listen of DIN reveals something new, with every song reflecting cryptic messages like a beacon – deeper understanding is there if you look for it. This not music that you need to conquer, but rather you should submit to it. There is nothing to overcome, just set aside your preconceptions and history and you will be free.
John Wiese
John Wiese
DJ Frosty of Dublab
DJ Frosty of Dublab
Venue Information:
The Echo
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026
http://www.theecho.com