Tuesday, April 21, 2020

My review of a recent Electro-Zone online concert (April 17th, 2020)

ElectroZone Event
Friday, April 17, 2020
9-11 PM

I caught ElectroZone’s online show last Friday evening. If you missed it, don’t sweat it, the link to the archived videos is below.

Here are my capsule reviews of the four performers:

Vishwanath Gi

Definitely a lot of Berlin school influence here. I'm almost tempted to compare him to Tangerine Dream, or another ElectroZone favorite, Finite Element. But he definitely tips his hat to 90s ambient champions like the Orb or maybe 70s space cadet Steve Hillage. I found myself spacing out and swaying to this performer's music, which varied in intensity. A great, blue-black wall of sound.

Monty Sciencist (Instagram: @SynthScienceist)

Old-school ambient with a new school twist and vocal samples. Harold Budd-style electronic percussion. More solid beats get into the mix as the tune progresses. A bit more down to earth than Vishwanath Gi but definitely influenced by the Berlin school. Just a little bit of Kraftwerkishness is present. There are several layers in Monty’s music, some of which is very danceable, some of which is sonorous and dreamy. Some nice grooves here. (Scienceist is not a misspelling. Oh yes. The pants he wore as he performed were very psychedelic!)

Shivasongster (jeremydeprisco.net)

Think Gary Numan, or later Ultravox. Only a bit more produced. A bit of Merrell Fankhauser’s lyricism. Electro-metal new age? Very danceable without smacking you over the head with the beat. His virtual light show wasn't too shabby either! Much more accessible stuff of the whole. He played songs rather than instrumentals, whose lyrics centered around sci-fi themes. Some vocals had just the right amount of vocoder processing.

Rainbow Trash (Headliner)

This female performer is from Montreal, Canada. She uses synths, which were off-camera in the video feed, a Nintendo Game Boy for that 8-bit lo-fi sound, and a very prominent Theremin. She began her set with the sacred classic, Ave Maria. I think Wendy Carlos couldn't have done a more interesting version of it! Her cover of a Pixies tune (“Where Is My Mind”) delivered the goods, with the Theremin standing in for that song’s background vocal passages! She's got a pretty good singing voice! She played more experimental-sounding pieces toward the end of her set.

As I said, the videos of the show can be seen here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/595226784

And while you’re at it, why not scoot ElectroZone a US$10.00 donation to help the musicians make rent and to help ElectroZone put on more of these online events? Venmo: @electrozone

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