Band of the Week

Posted September 28, 2007 in Music

As Woody Allen once said of his very New York relationship with the great outdoors—"me and nature are two"—so has electronic music been an artificiality just too cold for the more organic among us to warm up to. Chino Hills’ aptly named Auditory Aphasia is finely tuned in the gray-noise art of electronica, but they are as opposed to the klepto rep-laden soundscape as those jazz-cats whose improvisations are religiously expressed by mood. They call it "electronic music with a human touch"—which is sort of like crossing IG-88 with Grizzly Adams; or at very least a bizarre soundtrack of such an encounter.

Ant and Jed are the two core members of the collective that at certain times runs to eight musicians, but usually three or four. Ant’s primary instruments are drums and percussion, but he knows his way around a keyboard and arranges samples and thumps the thick strings from time to time. Jed does everything short of wear flashlight glasses in the dark—guitar, bass, keys, synths, sax, percussion and clarinet. They alternate as much as possible, and bring in thirds-thru-eighths to fill it up (for instance, all the members of Casket Salesmen have hooked atoms in the Auditory Aphasia collective at one time or another). Their "experimentations" result in an echoey, dreamy Lars von Trier sort of world—usher momentum, steal it/darken the place, shed light on it—that comes closer to the Bad Plus than Aphex Twin. The idea being, as the name implies, that what you heard may not be what you think you might have heard, but actually something entirely, perplexedly different. In other words, they are quite literally at work on your subcortical pathways, trying to divert musical notes and language.

Or they’re just fucking around, I’m not sure which. 

Either way, Auditory Aphasia has forgotten all popular notions for getting successful, and none of the important stuff.







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