Black Marble sounds exactly like what their name implies: cold and dark. Their show at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge this past Thursday showed the duo of Chris Stewart and Ty Kube invoking post punk and no wave styles from more classic bands like Suicide, and being on the same plane as more current bands like The Soft Moon. That’s not to say there’s absolutely no warmth in their music, but it’s more of a flicker than a glow. Subtle things make a difference, like the little screeches of sliding up and down bass strings, and lingering on a dissonant note before resolving with the cold synth waves filtering up from the depths of somewhere dark and rocky. They seem to be able to create this ambiance of feelings of isolation, but that everyone is isolated together.
Headliner Light Asylum had some similarities in sound, but was quite the opposite as far as energy. They’ve been referred to as techno rage, but a more accurate description may be a more nuanced electronic ferocity. Bruno Coviello kept the synths and electronic beats flowing, while vocalist Shannon Funchess hit drum pads and growled into the mic with such intensity I think the sound guys might have been scrambling the get the levels right. She was animalistic with a message, coming across as a powerful, ferocious woman, but not in an overly aggressive or dangerous way. She has strong opinions she wants to communicate, but she also wants to make sure everyone is having a great time. Light Asylum are trying to carve a niche for themselves as a new voice in the underground music scene, and if this show was any indication, people are definitely listening. And dancing. In the video below, whenever the camera shakes is when I got shoved from everyone dancing around me.
oOoOO (just pronounced “ooooh”) played in between, providing dark beats and projected black and white images that invoked feelings of anxiety on about to be getting mugged on the subway platform. As with the majority of one man produced electronic music, it was very repetitious, but oOoOO managed to make the repetition epecially spooky. He could really open a new market for DJing ghost tours. It needs to be a soundtrack for some kind of shadily mischievous activity, because just standing around in a venue just didn’t really carry enough atmosphere for the songs to stand on their own. There’s substance in the construction, but it may be more conducive to just take the recording and create your own atmosphere, as live things became a little lackluster.
Listen to more Black Marble tunes on Soundcloud. This was Light Asylum’s record release party, so now their self-titled debut LP is available on Mexican Summer. They have shows through mid-May headed west. oOoOO is on the way to play in New Sealand and Australia, and has several tracks available on Soundcloud as well.
Photos and Video (c) Kelly Knapp