A Collective - Late But Not at all Forgotten!
The Vogue - Seattle, WA
~reviewed by Mistress
(Photos: Dj Hana Solo,
Manufactura Comments: Steve Saunders, Mini Interview with: Scott Sturgis)
I would like to preface this review with
an apology for getting it out so late!! It's truly amazing how quickly
and often, one can get caught up in their many alternating responsibilities
and let something slip through the cracks. It's not a great excuse,
but hey, I was intrigued enough by the show, to still want to share the
information I experienced and learned with others! So that must count for
something right? Hence the well deserved title "Late, But Not At
The only down fall to writing a review
so late, is that all of those wonderful rants, compliments, suggestions,
criticisms that one experiences at a show are not as intense as they were
that very night. However, on the upside, this show made enough of
an impression in my mind, that most of it is still pretty vivid!!
Originally, I did not plan on going to
this show, as I haven't really been able to cross the line to the 'other
side' and understand this genre of music so to speak. To be quite
frank, prior to seeing this show, Noise, just really wasn't my cup of tea
nor did I have any interest in spending my time at a show. I have
tried to listen to various CD's by different artists, but just really never
quite got into it at all. I decide to jump out of the box,
a little with this review and take a different approach. In this
review you will encounter: a small interview I had with Scott Sturgis of
Converter, my take on the show and an small review on Manufactura from
a promoter here in Seattle, Steve Saunders.
I ended up attending the show due to a
conversation several people were having about the vary same views I have
pertaining to Noise. I decided that A.) I would never truly understand
it unless I gave it more of a chance.
B.) Maybe I would be surprised.
C.) Experiencing a live show might be better than trying to listen to a
CD. and D.) Two of the bands are people I know and figured extra
support is always appreciated. So off I went!!
I arrived at the show around 10:40 pm.
and realized I had missed Manufactura. This is unfortunate as it
was their first live show and from what the audience remarked, they did
a really good job. I decided in all fairness that it would be more tastefull
to ask a patron/fan to write a brief summary of their take of the Manufactura
portion, rather than trying to write up my interpretation from audience
comments. His comments follow:
Manufactura~ a perspective by Steve
When I attended the Sonar/Converter/Manufactura
show, I knew what to expect from 2/3s of the acts...but I had little idea
what to expect from Karloz M's sonic endevour, known as Manufactura.
I had heard a little of his material before, but peforming live is an entirely
different animal...and this was Karloz's first time on stage. Needless
to say, I was quite skeptical of the overall satisfaction I would have
as a result of Manufactura's set.
Boy howdy, do I love to be proven wrong
and greatly surprised! Karloz, with live assistance from Dre (of Noise
Box, Data Bomb), proved his project to be a elektro/noize hybrid to be
reckoned with. Excellent rhythm structure, pounding beats and super-charged
attitude ensured instantly a place for Manufactura in my heart. If you
like harsh ebm/electro and would like to cross-breed it with rhythmic beat
noize, then you ought to love this project.
Now, as per usual fare, the live show itself
was a bit lacking...but I have discovered that it's quite normal for a
"noise show" to be a little on the boring side stage show wise. It's understandable
though, that nervous must've been racked considering it was Manufactura's
debut performance...little things could have been done to make it better...such
as Dre being more visible, because even behind Karloz, his energy was pretty
intense, and the mastermind himself was buried behind his equipment.
However, if the above are my only complaints, then I am happy. Others were
happy to at Manufactura's overall performance. I do hope they play again
soon, for it is always a treat to hear a "noise band" that doesn't suck
serious eggs these days. If you hear about Manufactura traveling
to your neck of the woods, check them out...you will not be disappointed.
Converter V.S. Sonar~ a perspective
Now, as stated before, I walked
into this show blindly. I really wasn't sure what to expect and wasn't
sure if I would enjoy myself musically. Converter put on a very powerful
show!! Up until now, I really didn't even understand how anyone could
dance to Noise, but Scott, opened my eyes! The Vogue had an excellent
turn out for the show which I am sure helped in atmosphere of the club,
but the crowd combined with Converter is what made the energy level rise
in the club!!
Interview with Scott Sturgis of Converter
Converter started out the set with a white
strobe light which faced the audience. This strobe light really set
the mood for what the crowd was about to experience, as Scott spewed out
the raunchy beats, samples, and underlying electro hard bass beats.
There were many times when I found myself looking around at the crowd and
feeling like I was at a rave only on the dark side. This music reminds
me very much of trance/house music only with static beats and noise looping
through the varying thickness of layers. I was actually quite impressed
with the show overall and thought it was absolutely amazing how Scott pulled
in the crowd from the get go, as if they were hypnotized and they didn't
stop until Converter's set was over!! Personally, I had to move away from
the direct line of sight, as the strobe light was directed at the audience
throughout the entire set. I was getting nauseous, I suppose the
hypno therapy didn't work so well on me :)
I did enjoy the show overall. I remember
a point where I felt like between the music and the strobe light, something
had reached into my soul, shredded it, put it back, but yet I was at ease.
I guess I could see this being an attraction to this genre for some.
And the draw seems to make more sense. I suppose now in retrospect, that
even my opinion has changed somewhat, as I would enjoy seeing Converter
play again. So whether it was the energy or the live music or the
two combined, I was able to step out of my typical likeness of music and
experience a whole new sense of uneasiness.
Now Sonar had the complete opposite effect
on me. I was completely bored, as I believe much of the crowd was
as well. Many people started filtering out after a few songs. Maybe
it was the fact that they were the last of three similar sounding bands,
and people had their fill as of then. It wasn't because it was late,
as I distinctly remember them starting it early and that being why I had
I felt like Sonar lacked originality. Most
of the songs sounded the same to me, and definitely did not capture my
interest at all. Again, I am not the best judge of this as I am not
really a fan of this genre of music, but it just didn't do anything for
me at all. This is somewhat disappointing as Dirk Ivens of Sonar,
is the mastermind behind Industrial's infamous project called "Klinik"
and his more recent project "Dive". Both of which I feel hold more
talent and promise. The truth be known, it is possible that Sonar
is just a type of Noise genre that I don't care for more so than the other,
and my ignorance to each classification could stand in the way of my overall
opinion of this part of the show.
I would like to close this review with
a small interview I decided to do with Scott Sturgis of Converter concerning
noise and some of the differences in genres of NOISE. What prompted
me to do this, was the fact that Starvox mainly reviews artists that are
in the gothic/darkwave genre (although we do have our share of experimental,
some noise and such). I thought that readers might be more inclined
to give the varying degrees of Noise projects a chance if they had more
of an idea of where it came from and what they can expect from it.
I know it would have helped spark my interest more, had I realized it wasn't
always just NOISE in a raw and unnerving form. I really encourage
you to continue on to the interview portion of this review, as Scott has
an excellent attitude about his musical direction and just simply RAWKS
for humoring me and answering my questions!!
Catherinna: What is Noise?
Scott: I think the simplest way I can put
it, in my own words, is that noise in its most general sense is anti-music.
Catherinna: What is the difference between
Noise and Power Noise?
Scott: Noise is generally considered "white
noise", without much of any structure. Power noise, on the other
hand, is typically relies on structured arrangements and heavy percussion.
Catherinna: What do you consider your project/sound
Scott: Converter is definitely part of
the "power noise" genre. It has its moments of ambience and atmospheric
Catherinna: Did you ever produce any other
types of music and how would classify it?
Scott: Yes, I have several projects...
they include music in the genres of dark electro, ambient noise, death
industrial, idm and dark-hop.
Catherinna: Why did you move into this
Scott: I've nearly always been drawn to
dark music, so I was a fan first. As for my own music, it's just the stuff
that comes out when I write music. It just sort of "happens."
Catherinna: What type of musical influences
do you relate Noise creation to?
Scott: Many different bands have influences
throughout the history of music. Strangely enough, I believe classical
music tends to be high on many musicians' lists of influences. The
atmospheres and moods, the dark tendency of much classical music, the musical
boundaries the composers crossed... it all figures in. More recently,
I'd say many have also been equally inspired by the bands at the roots
of industrial music like Throbbing Gristle, Puppy, Neubauten, etc., etc.
Catherinna: Do you consider Noise to be
similar to Techno/Trance type music?
Scott: I think it certainly can be.
We are all crossing borders and experimenting with many similar sounds,
song structures and software. Whether this is a direct result of
being influenced by either genre's music or if it's a coincidence, I don't
Catherinna: When listening to Noise
or creating Noise, where does it take you?
Scott: Sometimes into a realm of complete
chaos and other times one of structure and order; Sometimes it's a great
way to release the stress of the day or clear and unclutter my mind.
It all depends on the track and my particular mood at that moment.
Catherinna: Where do you think it takes
Scott: Hopefully to the same types of places...
or maybe even "further out".
Catherinna: Do you think Noise will
evolve into another music form?
Scott: I think it already has to an extent.
You hear bits of noise here and there in nearly all forms of music now.
I think it has a lot to do with the role technology plays in music composition
nowadays. There's a lot of room to tweak things during the writing
and recording process, so many people take advantage of that and throw
in bits of noise every once in a while. Some of us just use it more
Catherinna: Anything you would like
Scott: Listen closely... noise is
I certainly have gained alot of respect
for the genre and what's behind NOISE, since I received this completed
interview from Scott. I think his closing words are in a sense the
best way to end this review.
"Listen closely... noise is everywhere!"