Friday, February 4, 2011

Hiro Kone, Zebulon, Wed Feb 2

Felt good to get out after a week and half with the flu (or flus, you know, just lucky I guess), and I celebrated with electric holy water.

A short walk from work through the glazed donut that is Williamsburg (key difference: glazed donuts often filled with something) to Zebulon, where Hiro Kone (a.k.a. Nicky Mao of Up Died Sound, ex–Effi Briest) was making her maiden solo flight. Could that be true? I saw her accompany the 1923 silent Salomé in November, though that isn't quite solo. The few times I've seen UDS her ideas were prominent, so the night was not without measured anticipation (J agreed). Her set — five songs, six? All of some length and considerable presence — established a unique language and (not uncommon for a first gig) (if it was), with it, she had plenty to say. She started with a hand drum

before moving into steady frontierwork along the Korg/Nord axis, evoking Alice Coltrane's devotional music of the ’80s in tone and spirit, only less narrowly focused and in an open relationship with dance music. That last aspect might get her miscategorized (because what are you if you can't be categorized?), but this is psychedelic music at heart, a different state of mind its goal, or states, goals.

Man it's hard to get good photos at Zebulon

What kept me thinking of Coltrane mère was the way whole choruses flared out of already rich orbs of brightly opaque synth, a real instinct for contrast and shape, the way her music moves outward and sometimes diagonal, just always with some sense of further (like, small-p progressive).

The only song I recognized is the sublime "AION A" (which you can just have). One song pulsed with a 5/4 (or was it 4/5, what order do they go in again?) pillow-thump and one crisp clack to mark the darkness; a bit of Laika, or Richie Hawtin loosening up with a color or two, but mostly just like Hiro Kone. Kind of a long set for first of three, but that didn't matter, it was one of those sounds you just wanna let alone for a while, so despite what I'd heard about Pillars & Tongues, and knew about Highlife (Sleepy Doug Shaw), I headed out, happy, blissy.