In the meantime, here’s another look at the performers at this year’s Hassle Fest:
Olivia Neutron John – one-man show of Chain and the Gang / Neonates bassist Anna Nasty. As Washington Post reported in Going Out Guide:
Performing solo as Olivia Neutron-John, Nasty makes music that’s especially fraught, frightening and fantastic.
During a recent show at the Black Cat, the jumpsuit-clad singer vocalized in fawning whispers and slasher-flick groans, tickled and punched an ancient Casio keyboard and did some sexy tai chi while shooting death stares across the crowd and into the void. Somehow, it almost felt like a party.
ONJs Injury Train and I’m Never Getting Off Of It is akin to locomotive rolling in all kinds of directions – it starts out as a free jazz freakout and morphs into a primitive electronic/dance tune which morphs into yet another tune….In other words, none of it is for the faint of heart – not at 23 minutes of duration. Step in, if you dare:
Ono – Chicago avant-punkers who combine noise, industrial, tribal influences and spoken word into one bizarre and fascinating sonic vinaigrette. Ono released two albums on Thermidor in the early 80s and then took 20-year long hiatus only to return with Spooks:
Spooks is ONO going deeper, darker and denser than they ever have before. Joined by a slew of guest performers and fellow travelers, including Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, Lamont Thomas of Cleveland’s Obnox, Hilal Omar Al Jamal of Night Auditor, and longtime collaborator Shannon Rose Riley, the core band is at its most punishing, with their Afro-industrial rhythms driving and ruthless. Singer travis, meanwhile, has never sounded so terrifying, or prophetic, as he conjures up, in his many voices, the “bleeding haunts” of (pan)-American life: cotton gins, sugar plantations, CIA coups; “Brownsville” slumlords, South Side arrest rides, drive-thru funeral homes. “I try not to think about Spooks,” he explains. “Spooks burns my loins. Spooks buries my unborn children. Spooks illuminate the (US) American landscape.
Via App – VA is Dylan Scheer, a Boston producer whose debut Dangerous Game (out on Vancouver label 1080p) features some deliciously twisted and disorienting dark techno. As Boston Hassle’s Dan Shea testified in his review:
Basic, out-step rhythms dose out the intro, with rattling percussion refusing to quantize, phasing in and out of the songs periphery. Voices interrupt, piano melodies emerge, and, eventually, static conquers, with the track erupting into the kind of noise ecstasy that the recent developments in brutal rhythms have been hinting at for so long.
Tyondai Braxton – Tyondai is the son of a legendary avant-garde composer Anthony Braxton and a former guitarist for supergroup Battles. Active since the mid 90s, he worked with seemingly every notable electronic, experimental and contemporary chamber groups and performers (Mouse on Mars, London Sinfonietta and Kronos Quartet, to name just a few) and put out records on Warp and Nonesuch.
His most recent release is Hive1 (Nonesuch) described by Dan Shea as
Alien electronic sounds emanating from somewhere in NYC – mining the possibilities of the melding of synthesizers and organic drums, guitars and other instruments / ping-ponging back and forth from busy syncopated drum work, incessant kick drum, ambient synth flavor, and more actively engaging German-inspired paranormal electronic activity.