High Desert Signals
Six experimenters synch up
If you lived in Burque during the past decade, you may have seen Justin Mitschelen around town. In the early- to mid-aughts, Mitschelen played keyboard in two laudable local bands, Karen and Manhole. Mitschelen relocated to San Diego in 2004 and has lived there ever since, save a chilly two-year stint in Chicago. He's been working on his noisy, synth-driven solo project, Tiny Victim, for several years and last performed locally a year ago at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. As Tiny Victim, Mitschelen employs a keyboard, effects rack, oscillator, drum machine and three reverb tanks. Mitschelen hesitates to categorize his output. “It really spans a lot of styles,” he says.
Musician Alan George Ledergerber has organized an experimental electronic showcase at DIY venue Moldspores on Friday, coinciding with Mitschelen's visit to his former stomping ground. Ledergerber and Mitschelen, who played together in Manhole, will both perform solo at the show. Longtime local noise purveyor and sound guy Ken Cornell will exhibit his trademark knob-twisting, industrial wizardry as Alchemical Burn. Josef Bachmeier, of hard rock band Night Terrain, conjures John Carpenter-tinged horror synth sounds in his solo project, Sonicaust.
Dripping Rainbow creates a freeform sound using thrift store and toy instruments, samples and beat manipulation. The group is comprised of folks who ran the defunct Tree House venue. The band, formerly Reading Rainbow, adopted its new moniker as an homage to local graffiti legend the Rainbow Warrior, says Burque music historian Derek Caterwaul.
Daniel Brigman, who curates Moldspores and microlabel Featherspines, has been performing as Father of the Flood for seven years. Brigman says his sound initially emerged as “minimalist drone-based bass-synth layers.” Over time, he began incorporating more field recordings and raw sounds. Brigman started touring in 2007 and released a second full-length album, The Carcass Which Corrupts Worms, early this year. He says this work is percussion-based and inclusive of black metal sensibilities, with more vocal textures and tape manipulation.
Not even the performers know what order they're playing in at this showcase. There's no lineup scheduled or headlining act, says Ledergerber, who plans to order the acts by a pre-show lottery.
Caterwaul says the unifying theme in this show is a deep and sustained involvement in local music—through performance, promotion and running venues. Whether stalwarts or relative upstarts, these musicians aren't just dipping a toe into the collaborative scene here; they are “swimming in it.”