anti:clockwise & trio (aus)
"Genetic engineering for hobbyists."
"Proves that your vacuum cleaner is the most musical instrument you own."
"Will make the progenitors of the Unified Field Theory want to recant. Pronto."
You know how it is with drummers - never satisfied merely to sit in the back, beat on the furniture, and then end the night by moving more gear than any sane person would ever be caught dead with. No - they must always seek to claw their way up out of the swamp in search of wider recognition. True to his kind, anti:clockwise (Robert Dennis) is no exception to this Darwinian rule.
Maybe it was too many art galleries. Maybe it was his early exposure to NYC artists like Skeleton Crew and Christian Marclay, or perhaps the more recent nights he wasted hanging out - or was hanging out wasted - at SubTonic (the basement space at NYC's late, lamented club Tonic). Wherever the infection was picked up does not matter - the electronica inspiration now rages at full fever within him. HE MUST JAM!
There is only one problem: Robert does not own a laptop. Also, he is a terrible dancer.
However - he is clever. And, he refused to say "die".
He hit upon the idea of rhythmic organization of random sound elements burned onto cds and played through guitar stompboxes. The result is anti:clockwise.
You may describe it any way you wish but really, listening to anti:clockwise is the best way to reach any concussions. The old "Recommended if you like ...blop..." is of no help when you're dealing with a guy who assembles sound collages using spontaneously composed melodies, muddy coffee bass riffs, metal / crack / porn beats, and random audio fragments at the same time.
Robert Dennis has been drummer on NYC's underground rock scene since the early punk days. He has many notable associations: P.G. Six, Tono-Bungay, The Scene Is Now, Fire In The Kitchen, Frank Maya + The Decals, Lester Bangs Birdland, Syd Straw, and on and on?) In his solo anti:clockwise project, Robert sculpts extended aural constructs ranging in mood from ummmm... well, this is where the going gets kind of tough: Ambient Anxiety? Trance-hoppy? Folkadelic? Throw in some techno-opera? With a lust for loungecore? And then there's that garage-noise-freakout thing he has going on?
Robert calls his style "Uglient". In hyping a recent anti:clockwise live broadcast on freeform radio flagship WFMU, program director and show host Brian Turner described it as:
"Dreamy soundscapes that defy genre."
Which is like I been trying to tell you the whole time.
Clayton Thomas, who put together the second group for this night of experimental music, has moved to Berlin just a few months ago. He integrated so quickly to the local scene of improvised music, that you can actually call him a local player. He is a double bassist and grass roots organiser. Clayton is forcefully pursuing a line between intimate listening, radicalism and pure energy. He has worked with many inspiring musicians whose dedication to the creative pursuit is a constant inspiration. A difficult line between uncompromising ideals and collective empathy keeps him on his toes.
Tonight he will be joined by two of his australian friends, who's music we have also had the pleasure to enjoy before in Berlin. We are happy that they are back again!