CIRCLE INTO SQUARE-LabelnachtSonntag, 7. Oktober
Cars & Trains (US)
The albums of Portland, Oregon based multi-instrumentalist cars & trains (Tom Filepp) consist of handfuls of microscopic crafted worlds, shaped with tiny precision. Layers of decaying feedback, sparse
glockenspiel and tape samples weave a dark and dense tapestry of sound while deep brooding vocals sit atop songs with deceptive timing, subtle electronic stutters, and thunderous and organic drumming. Banjo
driven four to the floor stompers yield to velvety acoustic guitar and spacious instrumentals laden with sampled americana.
Tom’s work as cars & trains evokes early Morr Music releases by bands like Tarwater, intersecting with folk-oriented electronic groups like Tunng. Found sound and distorted tape samples create urban lullaby
landscapes. Undaunted, meloncholic drums and timid textures are reminicent of cloudDEAD or Tujiko Noriko, sitting atop an eclectic songwriting sensibility that brings The Microphones to mind.
Tom translates his recordings to the stage with a unique solo set, energetically looping found-sounds and live electronic drumming with layers of vocal harmonies, viola, glockenspiel, trumpet, synthesizer,
and melodica. All the while keeping an intense and engaging dynamic going, he weaves his songs into a captivating near-non-stop medley that is ever-changing and unique, no two shows being quite the same.
He also runs Circle Into Square, an artist run label and magazine, the entire site and label created from scratch as a means for artists to directly release their music and artwork with cutting edge resources, and to help adapt to the constantly changing music industry. Circle Into Square´s roster includes artists like Boy In Static, ID & Sleeper, Skating Club, BRE´R, The Harvey Girls, Helios, Big Spider’s Back, and cars & trains.
Big Spider’s Back (US)
Beginning as a bedroom recording project in Seattle over the summer of 2007, electronic artist Big Spider´s Back has amassed a growing following in the Northwest music community, along with his newly
adopted home in Brooklyn. Combining haunting vocals with swirling layers of lo-fi psychedelia, synthesizers and field recordings, his music alternates between soaring crescendos and dense thickets of electronic ambience. The result is one big, blissed out cacophony. BSB´s 2009 debut EP, “Warped,” garnered praise from critics across the
web, and in print. The EP´s title track was awarded “Song of the Day” by Seattle independent radio stalwart KEXP. In addition, the soaring lo-fi anthem “Perfect Machine” received attention from the likes of
Pitchfork, The Stranger, The Seattle Times and a plethora of online zines and blogs. Along with his recording projects, Big Spider´s Back has also collaborated with various video artists, lending his music to installations and his own live performances. His debut album, “Memory Man,” is out now on Circle Into Square.
The name of a band can say so much about its sound and the personalities that create it. There’s no better example of this than with the Vienna-based group known as theclosing.
“theclosing is written together like that because we are not a “band” and our music is about three very different personalities getting close and communicating through sound. It’s more about thing coming together than coming to an end.”
So says Alexander Hengl, one of the core members of theclosing alongside fellow musicians/artists Lukas Lehner and Daniela Auer. The three have been working together since 2004 towards the goal of making
beguiling and original electronic music that mixes analog and digital sources, including self-made samples, found sounds, and field recordings.
Just as their three personalities and talents combine towards the singular goal of creating music and art that evades easy genre classification, so too has theclosing honed in their efforts to bring to life their self-titled record.
The group’s debut release for Portland independent label Circle Into Square, their self-titled record embraces a wide variety of influences. The sputtering pulse of modern hip-hop comes out in tracks like “rrroar”; “nyejreska” takes on slow simmer of a steamy downtempo IDM come on; ambient roots start to show on the pinging album closer “m4”.
The songs may come from different parts of the band’s collective brain, but they connect perfectly on record. It’s even more surprising how well things lock together considering their loose working methods.
“We try to channel the subconscious through mouse clicks,” says Hengl. “Playing around with samples, our voices, and instruments; letting things happen ‘til there is something. At some points we try to lead
things in a certain direction but never too much. As soon as we think too much about it, things get worse.”
That kind of theorizing about creation should be familiar to anyone who, like the members of theclosing, went to art school. Hengl, Lehner, and Auer all met while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and all three work on various art projects outside of the fold of the band, including short film work and computerized visual art.