Mission Creek: Kent Williams’ electronic music picks

I do listen to most every genre of music–dance music, rock, hip hop, country, classical and so on. I even have a soft spot for easy listening conductor arranger Hugo Winterhalter. But what I’m most interested in for my own listening are the many branches and leaves of electronic music’s tree.

This year, the Mission Creek Festival has some unique electronic performances scheduled.

Tuesday: Williams Basinski, Julianna Barwick, Teaadora @ Gabe’s

William Basinski (listen) is a veteran composer that caught the popular imagination with his Disintegration Loops, to which he was famously listening to on the roof of his apartment building when the towers fell on 9/11. But leaving aside that extra-musical juxtaposition, Basinski has produced some of the most emotional ambient music of recent years, precisely the sort of billowing, vague, curtains of musical sound that Brian Eno talks about when he describes ambient.

Julisana Barwick is a performer who uses live looping to build contemplative, beautiful song works. Teaadora is a singer/songwriter that incorporates lo fi aesthetics into the texture of her music.

Thursday: Mr. Lies, Ex-Action Model @ The Yacht Club

Mr. Lies is an original songwriter/producer who has his own Little Village preview, to which I’ll just add that any comparison to Burial is meant as a compliment — he doesn’t bite Burial’s style but he does share some of the same haunted wistfulness in his music. Ex-Action Model (aka Brendan Hanks, Mission Creek’s web maven) manages to combine IDM beats with nicely composed melodic material with a lot of sonic texture.

The original schedule for this show mentioned a couple of TBD (To Be Determined) performers, so there might be some surprises in store.

Friday: Divine Fits, Emperor’s Club, NoCoast

Not really electronic, per-se, more of a band show, but there are dance beats that creep into Divine Fits’ music. Emperor Club and No Coast represent the bright shiny pop music that bubbles up in Iowa City.

Saturday: Pete Swanson, Container, Cuticle @ The Yacht Club

This is probably the most jam-packed line up. Pete Swanson brings his unique take on the noisier end of the electronic music spectrum, but his work seems always to maintain some warmth and humanity. Cuticle and Container represent to me an interesting new wave of outsider dance music; they don’t come out of the Club/Rave scene, but they incorporate elements of dance music into something weirder and more original than what you’ll hear on a club night. Ital, who has released music on the legendarily adventurous Planet Mu label in the UK is somewhere along that spectrum as well.

Saturday: Exit Music, Caroline & the Goodnight Sleeps, Alex Body, The Lonelyhearts @ Gabe’s

If you’re like me you’ll be running up and down the alley to try and watch both of the saturday night shows. ExitMusic (LV Profile) incorporate human voice with guitars, drums and electronics to produce dramatic crescendos. Local heroes Alex Body and the LonelyHearts make their own peculiar brands of pop music with liberal amounts of technological help.

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