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January 11th, 2006 Michael Byrne, David Gerritsen | Album Reviews
 

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White Rainbow, Jan. 7 at Holocene

Adam Forkner lays out his crowd.

[ELECTRO] Walking into the back room at Holocene for the White Rainbow set last Saturday, you'd think the room was empty: Save for an odd cluster at the doorway, there was barely a bobbing head to be seen. The crowd was instead on the floor—not sitting but rather lying on it, smiling with upward-gazing eyes. These were the fans, the ones who get ambient music enough to realize how sound can fill a space so it makes the performer, his physical being, anyhow, irrelevant. And walking into that space you would barely notice White Rainbow's sole member, Adam Forkner, either, crouched in the dark among a circle of effects pedals, samplers and a borrowed computer.

The sound that crowd was staring up into was unexpected; something far denser and rhythmic than what's found on Forkner's recent release, Zome, a four-song album that teases the listener with gentle psych-folk before suspending the sound into a narrow band of ambience on the 20-minute title track. Instead, the room held a sound nearly tribal: beat-oriented and mixed with chopped tracks of jungle hoots. The set climaxed in pure psychedelia, with Forkner standing, facing a spiraling video backdrop while suspending a Pink Floydish guitar melody. It then descended into noisy play, whipping the room's sound contents into a frenzy. And by the end, the crowd had raised their heads, dazed by the aural swirl above created by both the video background and Forkner. A wonderfully rude awakening. MICHAEL BYRNE.

Sessions at East

Auditory Sculpture (Auditory Music)

Portland's slut of sounds makes it with an impressive cast.

[ELECTRO-LOUNGE] For the past seven years, Keith Schreiner has worked with some of the best and worst musicians the West Coast has to offer. He's a bit of a slut that way, but when he releases an album under his own moniker, Auditory Sculpture, he uses the crème. His new album, Sessions at East, all recorded at the Old Town club East, is packed with even more talent than usual, including Storm Large, Nicole Campbell, Mic Crenshaw and others. The fourth release from AS, this album is by far Schreiner's most diverse and interesting work to date.

One of the performances by Storm, though, is a disappointment. The sultry breakup song "Valentine's Day" exposes a more subtle and, sadly, lifeless version of what Storm Large can and does do on a regular basis. But hell, who isn't a little lifeless and flat when singing, "All that you had to say was Happy Valentine's Day" while packing her bags?

On the upside, Schreiner seems to have found his real talent as an MC's deejay. His beats for Crenshaw are perfect fits, since the two have been working together for two years already as Suckapunch. But Rochell Hart and Bryonn Bain are just as well represented. Schreiner molds the music to fit the lyricist's style, rather than expecting the MC or singer to use whatever rhythm he's throwing at them. The Bain track, "A Meditation Lost," is particularly good, sounding a bit like the old, creepy tracks by Tricky. The Nicole Campbell track, "Why Goodbye," is a treat as well, a simple electronic beat and Campbell's savory voice mixing to reveal Schreiner's gift for nuance. Many producers can master nuance in the studio with time and money, but this recording is Schreiner live and in the raw, which makes it all the more remarkable. DAVID GERRITSEN.

Auditory Sculpture plays Thursday, Jan. 12 (and every Thursday), at East. 10 pm. Cover. 21+.


Auditory Sculpture plays Thursday, Jan. 12 (and every Thursday), at East. 10 pm. Cover. 21+.
 
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