Friday, February 26, 2010

Yoko's orchestra of light

I fucking love Yoko Ono. She is perhaps one of the most under appreciated artists in the conventional media, but she is quite admired by many other radical artists such as Patti Smith, Lene Lovich and John Cage. Some of her films, perceived as quite dull, magnified the minute details of living moments... such as her films about a blinking eye or a fly. Supposedly the films were intended to be a protest against the archaic institutionalism of the art community. Showing the reality that exists instead of the often sectioned off masturbation of academic art. Yoko has never been one to settle in the image of life that the media or academia attempts to force us to accept.

It was quite a shock for me when I discovered her album "Approximately Infinite Universe." An album that mixed elements of proto punk, avante garde concepts, feminism annddddddd catchy pop riffs? Seriously. With quite poignant lyrics describing the difficulties of being a sensitive man in a production dominated land alongside songs about the intensity of frustrations felt by family problems I was in love. The album tingled my emotions while expanding my perceptions of life period(.)

Yoko Ono - I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Clear Glass Window
Yoko Ono- Yang Yang

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Sooo... every time I see Reporter live I basically think... Reporter is the shit. Their energy is similar to nuclear fission with a touch of neon lights. Absolutely amazing sets that incorporate both synthesized and non-synthesized instruments to create a heavy rock and rolling dance aura. A sweet cacophony of buttered pleasure and primal rhythm. After contacting Reporter Alberta, the bassist, was kind enough to send me over a couple mp3s from their upcoming album and to answer two rather short questions. Boom.

So I know you guys were formerly part of a band called Wet Confetti, which has been described as art rock... (I kind of dislike categories?), but I was wondering what inspired the change. Reporter has a definitively dark texture to it, but you often add pretty radiant drum beats. What drove you guys to make a distinctly different sound, which is still greatly experimental.

We also strongly dislike categories. Its seems like every writer is trying to pigeonhole bands and if they can’t they tend to not talk about the bands music and choose to talk about trivial shit like their Myspace quotes or their ironic clothes instead.

The outfit change from Wet Confetti to Reporter just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Wet Confetti was making dance music when folk music was all the rage. When Reporter first started we were attempting to do something new. It was still rock but we were trying to find ourselves. Then slowly but surely we slipped back into our old ways of creating dance music with Reporter, a lot less spastic this time around and sure enough we started getting a lot more attention than ever as dance music is finally widely accepted in this country. So I guess what we do well and naturally is finally in time with what is popular.

How do you feel playing and living in Portland contributes to the experimentation in your music?

I’m not sure how Portland contributes to our style of music. We love this city and I’m sure it does contribute as you are influenced by everything around you and there are so many great bands and people in this town. I think the abundance of cheap weed in this town is our biggest “influence.”

Reporter - Geronimo's Bones
Reporter - Clicksha

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Belated Birthday

"Believing here, what you deserve to hear:
Your birthday as my own to me is dear...
But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend"

We sort of forgot to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary which just recently came and went. Whoops. Oh well, better late than never I guess.

I want to start off by saying how grateful I am to Sean for creating this place and keeping it going. I can't believe another year has gone by, we're getting all grown up. Sniff. Sniff.... We’re also so pleased to be celebrating this special occasion with our new friend and caregiver, Bearbaby.
With each passing year, new and exciting adventures into sight and sound continue to unfold before us, seemingly richer and more fulfilling than the last. What I'm trying to say is, I can't wait to grow old with you. Love you guys!!! But enough with emotional ramblings, in keeping with our birthday tradition, a very special gift mix was commissioned to share with all of you. In previous years our dear friend JAZ has been generous with sharing some exclusive tracks with us. This year is no different, except this time we're proud to introduce you to TJ Laserphone, a long time friend and mutual digger of all things cosmic and gold.

I wish I could go into length about this brainiac space cadet, suffice to say, he's come a long way from his days communicating via slide whistle and robot hand gestures. Riding around in his musical cosmic cabbie during SXSW will always hold fond mem's for me. But I digress, Mr Laserphone is 1/2 of the brilliant DYI circut bending electro collage outfit, E^Squared. When he's not building drum machines out of suitcases and making audio collage with cut-up flexidiscs, he's scouring record bins for dusted 12" gems. This exclusive ARAWA Bday mix is a perfect example of the unique aural tapestry only TJ knows how to sew together. I asked him to describe his process and here's what he had to say:

This 113 minute mix starts off with a very nice "champagne synthesizer" effect realized by Edrupt as a toast to Arawa on its birthday! Cheers! ... And a lively party atmosphere strikes up on cue from the synthesizer by the Science Fiction Corporation! About half of the tracks are edits or reissues but its all vinyl mixed on an Allen & Heath Xone 32 (unique filter controls! ). There are many surprises and twists to this mix, going many different places somewhat carefreely. I had a crate of select records and chose two at the start of each side. Then I just went for it! I actually played several more tracks at the end before realizing the tape had stopped! The next mix block will be all Library and X-ploitation grooves so stay tuned!
~ Tape Jockey Laserphone

TJ Laserphone - Tape Mix Side 1
TJ Laserphone - Tape Mix Side 2
(playlist in comment section)
Arawa's Birthday Toaster Mix by TJ Laserphone
HD110 cassette mix processed thru RNC1173 compressor
additional FX provided by Edrupt's Manual Data Insertion Unit and a Pro 1 synthesizer!

I wanted to leave you with a few video clips of E^2 in action. The first clip is from a video jam session I did with them and Chad A. at the Maker Faire last year

and a great live shot from recent a performance in Austin