. issue XIX : iii .
Playing a show with Sacred Teachers, before the recent Nile remodel, a duo’s full presence lit up that second dim building without an element producing light visually (that outletted track lighting barroom causing nice chiaroscuro). A venue is an empty space, and a show usually requires a vaulted rise to command the attention of the viewer and provide psychological safety for the performer. Any stage show for any band, not only from the sight onstage, but what’s doing with the band onstage aside from sound, is often overlooked (not to say it isn’t etched in a momentary monument, that it isn’t a experienced array). A show can extend to the specific details of date, tales of tape at times, and with lineup changes, even personality perforation: showing the ensemble of a group in circumstances of living. This public persona also serves as a rule or guideline for the group and each member, in this mission statement, binds a uniform not different than Epstein ties. The clothing, the ideology, a crisp outer crease to the inner alchemy lining of purpose; the Voltron impact, summing the body of action, lies in a different individual than the body of thought, strives for unison. Archetype populare of a rock band has a lead singer who may attempt charisma, but a reservation and control subdues the personal to the possible gnarl sludge or grunge reverberation in a more nostalgic venerable memoir: a lot of Keith crag posing fitting a Cobain restrain, no Jagger swagger speedometer which stays as archetypical pop (read: dance record capable of being used from the club scene and stapling the mobile dj karaoke requests add ons). Geometric Shapes (Robert Shropshire & Johnny Dutch), tho’, has run my gamut of identification by being two different and mesmerizing acts to watch, or listen. The Nile papered, handed out worksheets of mystery, harnessing crumpled and crushed red, yellow and orange streamers risen from a large rigged fan, in puppetry-styled magma, emitting from a waist deep cardboard volcano, contributing to the distortion they rowed to ripple through in roosts of calm and washing tone tides.
The worship aspect of Geometric Shape’s newest offering, DKnphew, is a predatory strike. “Intro” encounter shaves shapes and states of space midair, folding music over, if not detaching the articulate arm itself for a diagram instaframe without rupture or true trauma. The geometric shape here represents the grid of eternity shown in turn of the century animations (CONNOR SEZS: You’re talking about that Simpson’s Halloween episode where he goes all 3d. I know it), the endless possibilities have been drawn, or set down rather, and explored.
While “Are Hearts Pray For the Future” dirges, “People Like Dat” punctuates steel. These offerings are the poppier aspects of the release, staying within a tighter time length. While the longer pieces are able to traverse, these stick to a schedule. Innate understanding and interpretation abounds as these disparate dimensions multiverse parallel bars, swiftly swirling in wind, streamers of lava shooting from recycled rock. The metronome bends in favor of the unexplored sound natural, ambience as a genre attempts to a formatting of white noise, a chakra bowl hum pitch ended on a single harmonic, flat or sharp, but one pitch, neat nest weave. Physiological philosophic harmonics — CONNOR SEZS: Wait, that’s…THE WORLD: Background Sound: Volume 77. Wait, what was that? http://www.allmusic.com/album/bbc-sfx-cd-vol-46-istanbul-mw0001458163/releases.
“Cyber Sauna” feels like a sensory deprivation chamber; the swishing of background water gives way to the snowy static of electricity, as the sounds mingle and bleed into other tempos and temporal lobe activity, in a grand rising of the tides. “Core”’s dark sludgy water gives us some clear vocals, close incantation and that religious wasteland abyss of atmosphere that haunts Geometric Shapes sounds. “Serendipshitty” hollers a casiotone beat poetry. “Dingo Nibs” sandstorm tornados reverb and pitch in a speedy spark.
As a note, I love this dissonance: discord is important in my chambers and hollows, and the controlled tracking of such to meet up for a few blissful harmonics in sync is the pay off. Lending itself to bebop and other improvisational bedrocks, this wind storm guides the very dust particles away from the stiffened hairs of irritation, to lead whatever seeming dissonant elements had populated the song to a safe bedding smooth skin (CONNOR SEZS: Mathematicians said it best, ending that New Orleans v Chicago : Jazz v Bebop early ‘fifties feud. The relative errors are accuracy, because the harmony, however infrequent, always erases absolute error from the equation). For measures at a time, this relief roots rhythmic perfection, sonic samadhi, and all harmonics halo glowing (CONNOR SEZS: ROUNDING THIRD) before juggling the instruments away, anticipating possibilities potion or poison, and subtly settling them in another loomed landmark of pleasing pattern.
(CONNOR SEZS: Geometric Shapes describes themselves on a website as ‘free form musical improvisational rapid collection of abstractions of part covers part universal shapes of sound having a break down.’ They did this waaaaaaayyyyy more concise. Brevity, chap chip c.h.i.p. s.)
The closer, “Nibiru,” listens as a shoegaze classic. Stairway guitar bleeding off a faraway vinyl sets up a silent stage, then a oingo boingo synth and percussive ball pit fills the menagerie of sound stampedes. (CONNOR SEZS: The panflute always leads me toward Xavier Renegade Angel association than subway corridor buskers. Magma meditations not reflecting ripple pool temperates.)
Okay, okay, back to the difference in the time span of the Nile remodel. Geometric Shapes, at a recent show with Ultra Bide and Mutawawa (Strange Matter) brought the forefront of my consciousness into a righted rowboat, from the floor of the space and not the three feet high of the stage. The show, not as props heavy as my trip on the Nile, was a tableau of curated purpose and a solid smooth finding of spotlight. A calm masterful banter between songs dislocated the dissonance in the snap of a world ocean, attempting definition in measure, but infinity in connection and loop without end. Coasts viewed were simultaneous in distance, as all elements brought into being were then formed, evolved, and set to task by two musicians holding only a few instruments, and themselves, accountable for a singular experience and not a setlist. Residency of an artist implies (to me) that someone is home in the inner working, even when the physical and mental selves are allowed complete freedom, to conform to cartoon physics without making a coyote misstep, to lack the judgement of the ever-present universe. Check out this fresh organic experience without a chilly choking frost veneer, before they blast out of your reach and into the stars. I’m sure they’ll still transmit, but you know how much time those years take, in light, without the speed. (CONNOR SEZS: Also, as a close, how did I predict that Reggie Jason thing? Another empty victory of gordon sumner synchronicity. I’d like to send this one out for Lou and Rachel, and all the kids, and P.S. 192, Springfield Estates, Franconia Elementary.)
by Perkus Tooth