Sunday, August 23, 2020

Capsule reviews of a recent ElectroZone show, Spasmodic Obsessions, August 22, 2020


Spasmodic Obsessions!
August 22, 2020


Electronic dance music stylings which do a great job of holding one's attention! Ghost_Slut makes good use of their tablet and their pair of PDJs to keep the beats, tunes and samples going. There's a video screen in the background showing anime.

Bent Noise

Is that "bent" as in circuit-bent? I see a see-and-say that a toaster, chockablock with dials and switches? I spot a few of what look to me like home-brew synthesizers too. And is that an ancient portable computer with an acoustic dial-up modem on it? Now on top of classic synth riffs I hear what sounds like the kind of shortwave noises we stopped hearing over shortwave radio years ago! Classic ambient technoise!

Pallid Mask

Solo project of Al Baldwin. A lot more melodic and dreamy than the previous acts if somewhat darker and more mysterious. You travel through an abstract, black-and-white world on the screen as his droney, rhythmic music reaches your ears. Reminiscent of old-school electronica. I think Klaus Schulze would approve!

Josh Oxford

"I’ll be messing with ASU’s Roland Modular [analog synth] and the Aceto Ribbon Synth. The school’s DX7 doesn’t really seem the right vibe, but that can be added too." - Josh Oxford

Josh gets off to a quick and decisive start with a wild synthesizer break, followed by his musical partner, Derek Judge's electronic flute stylings and old, old school oscillator sweeps and bleeps, straight out of 1967. Now Derek is "playing" a stainless steel mixing bowl as Josh serves up tasty synth chords. The second piece is also old-school analog synth work, with Derek chiming in through a vocoder. The third piece, played on the school's DX-7, is much more conventionally musical. His final piece, "American", is space-age twitters, bleeps and breaks while Derek accompanies him on harmonica and selected vocal samples, or is that blue plastic box in his hand a radio? (Wait a that Martin Luther King's voice?)

Modular Moose

The tangle of wires and flashing lights behind him are no doubt what inspired his performer name. His set starts with what sounds like a space vehicle cranking up its warp engines, then going to cruising speed. Eventually, the performance progresses to free-form old-school electronica with trippy drones and scattered notes with occasional heavily-processed vocals.


Off to the performer's left in the video is a light show of the kind you might have seen during a concert at the Fillmore East during the sixties. The music consists primarily of rhythmic, sequencer driven melody lines. Rhythmic space or rhythmic ambient music is what I might call it. Early Mother Mallard springs to mind.

As of this writing, the videos of these performances can be seen at

Donations, which go to all of the musicians, can be made at and

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