Keston and Westdal at Nublu, NYC Circa 2009

I just had a listen to these videos of Keston and Westdal with Graham O’Brien on drums at Nublu in New York, Feb 7, 2009. The eight year old recordings were shot by my mate, Benjamin Montag, who is responsible for the majority of the art and design work for Unearthed Music, including the art on my new solo album, Isosceles.

I was using the Nublu house Rhodes, which I repaired earlier that night replacing a couple of broken tines and tuning a few notes. I brought along a laptop and interface to live-loop the Rhodes and send a click track to Graham. I borrowed the Korg MS2000 from Simone Giuliani. You may also notice distortion on the Rhodes at about 6:47. For that I brought along my BOSS DF-2 Super Distortion & Feedbacker pedal, which I have been using on Rhodes since the ’90s.

Since I had the laptop to loop the Rhodes in Ableton Live I ended up a few nice phrases that I ended up posting here on Audiocookbook. For example, in one post I shared a nice phrase and discussed my repair job before the gig and another includes a field recording inside a taxi on the way to the show. Checkout a few archival recordings from the gig below:

Rhodes Loop from the Nublu Backline
Another Rhodes Recording from Nublu
Segment of Recording from Nublu
Inside a Taxi in New York with Ben and Simone

OEM: What is Organic Electronic Music to You?

Sometime in 2007 I came up with the term, “Organic Electronic Music” to describe music I was producing with bassist Nils Westdal in our project, Keston and Westdal. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only person to think of this combination of words, and in fact, a quick search reveals several artists, labels, and others using the phrase. Our use of the phrase was a reaction to our distaste for genre labeling. In hindsight it would have been sensible to define the meaning of the phrase there-and-then, instead of simply using it in a few descriptions for tracks and albums.

In any case I found myself thinking about this recently and decided that it wouldn’t hurt to define what I mean by the phrase and perhaps discover some new music that ACB readers feel fits into my definition. In my view any style of electronic music can be considered organic electronic music (OEM). Dub step, house, downtempo, experimental, or even minimal techno can be “organic” as long as the music meets one or more of a few simple criteria. Click the link to read my brief list of parameters.
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Keston and Westdal with Graham O’Brien at Galactic Soul Lounge

Hosted by Toki Wright, Galactic Soul Lounge is happening tonight. Artists include St. Paul Slim who is celebrating the re-release of his album “Baldheaded Samsun” on Soul Tools Records, Keston and Westdal with Graham O’Brien on drums, VOC Women’s Division performing African Dance, and Radio Pocho (Miguel Vargas & Steven Renderos) DJ’ing a dedication mix to Janet Jackson.

Galactic Soul Lounge is a monthly night of Funk, Hip Hop, Reggae, R&B, Soul, Latin, Dance, and much more. The event is 21+ and a bargain at $5 cover. Please join us at 10pm tonight, November 24, 2010, at Cause (formerly Sauce) Spirit and Sound Bar, 3001 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bicycle Family by Ten72

Nils Westdal has been quietly toiling on his third ten72 effort, Bicycle Family, for four long years. And finally it has reached his meticulous standards for release. The compositions produced in this collection glisten with polish yet grate with a filthy grit in all the right places. As with all Unearthed Music releases, every single track is playable in full on the releases page. So, listen for free, or support independent music by purchasing the album either directly from UEM, iTunes, or your e-distributor of choice. Here’s one of my favorite downtempo masterpieces from the album, Water Color Dream.

Water Color Dream
by ten72, 2010 © Unearthed Music

Experimental Music Mondays: Ephemeral Structures

This Monday, April 26, 2010 is the third installment of Experimental Music Mondays at the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The line-up includes violin soloist Kip Jones, Ephemeral Structures, and Primidonahue (Michael Donahue). The music will start at around 9:00pm and there’s no cover to get into the club.

Yesterday afternoon I had a fantastic session with Ephemeral Structures. Although we have all worked with each other in several capacities, this is only the second time the group has performed in eight years. The result of yesterday’s session were pretty inspiring, so we are considering producing an album. The project includes Kyle Herskovitz (also know as DJ Zenrock) on turntables, Nils Westdal on bass and electronics, and me on electronics. The photo shows Kyle playing his turntable with a rubber band. I’ll share a segment of what we captured in a upcoming entry.