Alter Фocus [drone] low frequencies :: deep underground

More of the beautiful pictures from the event: in SR gallery.

Alter Фocus – a  new event series from Agharta and  a great way to keep your sanity in check. First event of this series was dedicated for free jazz, which is totally not my cup of tea (I LIKE STRUCTURES AND SYSTEMS AND CATS), but drone/noise and all of the darker electronics is the thing you long in windy autumn, when every leaf on the ground and every drop of the rain and every shadow creates a dark symphony of noizes and whispers. Last Friday, all of that fit perfectly in the basement of Cechas 48 venue.

The thing which bothers me a bit is that nobody actually writes about venues. Everybody talks about music and performers, sometimes – promoters, but the venues somehow stays invisible (unless there are any problems, like shitty sound system or aggressive security guy – then you’ll know just how bad the place was).

But a big part of the atmosphere is exactly there – the walls of the place, artworks or lack of them, lights, bartenders and owners – even smell of the place can become a part of the performance or ruin the experience. No wonder why sometimes performers want to come to a venue before the sound check and get to know the place, so they could arrange something special for the place.

This is why at the moment with Agharta we try to arrange concerts in relatively new (new for us) places, like museums, art galleries, basements both of punk crowd and contemporary art center – just to keep things interesting. Other thing is, that since Agharta does gigs for wide variety of styles, the place must “work” with the sound. If it is sound art, it is better to be able to sit and listen to it, if it is some random shitcore party, there must be a space to mosh. So, it is better not to tie up with only one space.

For the future, I have a vague idea of having UBER OSOM VENUE/COOLEST BAR IN TOWN/WEIRD ART GALERY SPACE/ZINE SHOP/ RESIDENCY FOR PEOPLE I LIKE MULTIPLEX  in my mind,  but one of the things keeping me back (together with money and common sense), is that it is quite hard to  keep one firm place interesting for a long time. 

The space has to be very flexible (you must be able to change the place of the walls from time to time and so on), because people get bored very easily. And by people I mean myself – I get bored very easily. I love my favourite pub’s, but I don’t want to go there anymore, since at some points of my life I almost lived there, and I like the venues I visit, but if there are more than a couple of gigs in the same month, I want to try something new.

So in a way, coming to a gig to Cechas 48 was a breeze of fresh air. I haven’t been there for quite a while, but I had a history with the place. I worked there for a couple of months. One of the most fun police raids happened there. Some of the very special events for noise and power electronics occurred there. Many memories – both good and bad, and ugly, too. So it was quite interesting to come there to see, how everything changed since the last time I was there.

Cechas venue is in a basement, earlier it was some kind of a bread factory. That is why the floors are slippery and pisses off all the ladies with high heels. The walls are covered in psychedelic artworks, which change from time to time. There is a smoking room, which becomes a gas chamber about 20 minutes into the event. The bar is very simple, but sometimes you can get Jack Daniels there, so this is a positive thing, right. This autumn, the owner of the place put on some sculptures (you can see them in pics), which are pretty nice, actually. One of my favorite things there is that the screen for projecting visuals is made of small pieces of tiles, which brings a nice texture to the visualizations.

On Friday, the day was dedicated to three Lithuanian acts – LYS, ARAM ANAM, YRANTI GAZELĖ, and Canadian guy, SCANT INTONE (skipped this one, so won’t write about him. As little as I heard – a bit tedious start, but truly powerful ending).

LYS. I follow his work for quite a while now, and I can say, that what he starts to become one of the greater Lithuanian drone projects. Or maybe the best – we don’t have much drone here anyway. A couple of years ago, he was constructing quite light ambient soundscapes, but you just look at him on Friday! He started with intense drone loops, and worked them out till the highest point, just to calm everything with well-thought ambience. Job well done. Can’t wait to hear his new releases.

ARAM ANAM. It is hard to talk about one of my best comrades, but wacha gonna do. For the last year, he stopped doing electronical music and moved to performance territory (mostly operettas and the infamous “Man without gender” act). But with this performance he came back with a very new sound and well, that was really good. Soundwise, I knew him as a noise/drone project “Bruzgynai”, which, especially in the last live show couple of year ago on Speigas festival, blew the mind with cleansing and truly intense noise. On Friday, the show contained the best of each of his sides – sweet performance and adequate sound, accompanying it. Artistic vocals, some samples, some random syth melodies – I smell a start of an unique project, do you?

YRANTI GAZELĖ. It was a pity, that he has been put to the end of line-up. Also, it is a pity, that many people come to gigs to talk, not to listen. So it was quite impossible to actually hear what he was playing. Some excerpt here:

Usually I do not mention DJ’s, but this time I think I should. The versatile duo of Outsider and Bellmer Doll, switching behind the DJ desk, were just what you needed for the end – great taste of music by Bellmer Doll and broken beats of Outsider just asked us to dance. Which we did. A lot.

Calm evening with good people, nice after party with strangers, rain and autumn. All you need is drone.


5 responses to “Alter Фocus [drone] low frequencies :: deep underground

  1. and even more could be said about venues, of course keeping it objective is hard, as you have to deal with them sooner or later, but nobody is i-deal. i think i had best time in 48 Cechas ever, thanks for putting some reggae shows before instead of hardcore which was usual, so the feeling of space / atmosphere is more human kind now.

    • The internetz (noun) – a place where you can have English speaking friends, and use that language even while speaking with other Lithuanians, since nobody knows Lithuanian anyway.:)

  2. Pingback: No need for prize of Participation: Nurse With Wound + | Circa Buffet·

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