Recombinant Media Labs put together three shows with Pan Sonic over the last week. I attended their last show on Wednesday, September 27th.
Recombinant is a unique space. They offer workshops on audio and video techniques and are developing quite a reputation among audiophiles.
After getting the required ear plugs, we ducked under a screen to enter a room that was surrounded by video screens and there was a table set up in the corner with Pan Sonic’s equipment.
First up was Ryoichi Kurokawa. Here’s what the RML site says about him:
“Based on natural images Ryoichi Kurokawa transfigures and distorts original analog source material with digital processes in the form of an audiovisual crossmedia concert. This, very much like the human brain, represents memory where visual and auditory perception is reconstructed in an unconscious way. In doing so, virtual images and reality merge in unpredictable ways. Ryoichi Kurokawaâ€™s time-based, audio-visual designs are displayed in a 3-dimensional digital mode to see sounds, listen to pictures and read an audiovisual language.”
But here’s the truth….he had twelve video screens at his disposal to actually do something with and it all looked like Windows Media Player visualization templates that coincide with the music. Utter crap. The room was full and he was opening for Pan Sonic. While the music was decent, IDM with distorted beats, the visuals were pathetic. And some candy raver in the audience wore his blinking red goggles so I just closed my eyes before throwing a shoe at him and listened to the soundscapes. It was a shame to see the potential of the room wasted.
Then, after a bathroom break and sips from my scotch and talking to some friends we headed back into the room for Pan Sonic. Everyone sat again….I wanted to stand and groove to the crunchy, noisey shit they mixed up, but it was a mellow crowd.
While their live shows are hardly entertaining, the music is so great they receive a pass for turning nobs and looking like they’re on qualudes. Shit, they’re from Finland. It’s cold up there. Suicide rate is high.
::we’re fucking depressed, here’s our music and tomorrow there’s a chance we won’t die, there’s no reason to move or acknowledge you::
I should know, my mother is also from the melancholy vodka belt.
One of the machines they used looked like they beat the shit out of a Russian army dude and stole his communication box from 1956.
The sounds echoed and reverberated through my body. Seeing Pan Sonic live was something I’ve always wanted to experience. They didn’t disappoint me, I knew what to expect. And, they didn’t have Windows Media Visualization going on behind them, thank god.