Blue Wires and Knob Twisting
Last night I made a trip out to Studio B in Brooklyn to see the Swedish electronic band The Field. Four Tet was originally supposed to headline but they canceled a few days. However, I mailny wanted to see The Field anyway so it worked out. Studio B is out in a warehouse are of Greenpoint, a short walk from Williamsburg past McCarren park.
I have enjoyed The Field's album From Here we Go Sublime. since I got it last year. I wouldn't exactly call it house music but it does have dancable tendancies to it. Definitely more arty and abstract at times. I guess you could call it IDM.
I especially love the title track which is rather abstract. When described it sounds very simple, its just one long sample of a single old song which I can't exactly place. Something from the 50s or early 60s. It transitions through looping through different parts of a sample at varied interval lengths. Finally allowing you to hear what was being sampled at the end.
The opening band I had never heard before. Young Knives from Oxford. They weren't bad. Reminded me of The Futureheads and others like them.
After that a large soundboard with many wires hanging off of it was wheeled onto stage. I recognized a blonde man that appeared to be Axel Willner (The Field), from what I'd seen in photos, plugging the wires to different ports on the soundboard and samplers and whatever else. Then it went dark and a blue light was shown as it stayed for the entire show.
There were 2 other guys as well, one playing a small keyboard and another who switched back and forth between a guitar and a drum kit. You couldn't really tell what sound was coming from where. I never really heard anything that sounded like a guitar, probably used for distortion sounds. The drum kit mainly seemed to be used for the high hat. I was surprised to not see any computers, it appeared to be all analog sampling and sequencing.
Since Four Tet didn't show up the place wasn't totally packed out yet filled in more as the show went on. I stood next to a large speaker near the stage which I used to take some long exposure photos to try to get something out of the low light. The sound engineering was very well done. The only other time I went to Studio B was to see LCD Soundsystem in 2007 which was the best show I saw last year. The beat of The Field's music seems to grow inside the song, its not totally obvious at first. Very enjoyable and different kind of live music experience than I'm used to. I'm always curious to see how electronic bands perform live as much of it is production work. Most times there wasn't much to look at other than him twisting knobs and an occasional instrument shift.
This was one of many concert tickets I currently have. Hope to see many of the other free shows in parks and pools around New York in the coming months. Excited to see as much live music as possible this summer.