January 15th

OUTER SPACE (Cleveland)

Guest curated by Chris Madak.
Bowerbird Presents GATE
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
8pm; FREE

Established by John Elliott in 2008, the Cleveland, Ohio-based Outer Space has since blossomed into a collective of likeminded artists, operating as a sort of laboratory for the development of an idiosyncratic improvising grammar with roots extending into territories including the kitchen-sink human/machine assemblages of 1970s west coast electronics, the utopian plasticity of sound posited in the golden age of GRM, and the perfected throb of Wolfgang Voigt's Gas.

Elliott, whose ascendant profile owes much to his work as a member of the neo-kosmiche trio Emeralds and sludge-rock heroes Puffy Areolas, as well as to live and recorded collaborations with artists including Sam Goldberg, Aaron Dilloway, John Olson, Wyatt Howland, and Max Eisenberg, will be joined on analog synthesizer for this performance by Jeff Hatfield, best known as half of Fragments, who manage a singular fusion of rust belt basement electronics and Schnitzler-esque cantankerous opacity. This is the incarnation of Outer Space represented on the recent "Stereo Constellations" cdr and the forthcoming "Lightyear Demonstrations" double cassette.

At a cultural moment in which many emerging artists are rightly charged with reliance upon facile nostalgia-qua-nostalgia, Outer Space represents a studied and gracefully substantive engagement. Co-headliners Telecult Powers, a Brooklyn-based duo who work in formats ranging from film, animation, and graphic art to recording, performance, and handcrafted electronic instruments do much the same, albeit from an entirely distinct angle of approach, mustering an aesthetic that diverts the self-conscious hermeticism of Coil, Throbbing Gristle, et al and the frigid, paranoid isolation of private-press outsider electronics a la Nik Racevik toward the shoals of an affable and fantastically baroque campiness.

For all this intricately wrought affectation, the artists known as Witchbeam and Mister Matthews never lose sight of the importance of sheer sonic heft and the maintenance of pathways to transcendence through discipline and focus, a fact attested to by their steadily growing reputation as one of the most truly stellar live units in the contemporary New York underground and by the mindbending epiphanies offered by their ultra-limited studio recordings and their recent collaborations with the likes of Grasshopper and John Fell Ryan of Excepter.

Local support will be provided by Ladies' Room, one among the myriad duo incarnations of veteran fellow travelers Alex Nagle and Joe Lentini and a freshly minted electronics/tapes-heavy meeting of Ren Schofield and Chris Benedetto Madak, better known as God Willing and Bee Mask, respectively.

(text by Chris Madak)

The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.


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