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Thavius Beck At Amoeba, Friday November 2nd 2012

If you like continuous columns of electronic sounds lasting and stretching for a long time in many directions, if you enjoy unexpected soundscapes and some indescribable musical experiences, Thavius Beck’s music is for you. He was playing at Amoeba on Friday night, and did a long one-hour set of sounds engulfing electronic beats, loops and swirls of synth, vague auto-tuned semi-human voices deeply buried into the layers of multi sounds coming from his computer. But all this sounded and looked very technical to me

 

Without giving more details, because I certainly wouldn’t be qualified, Thavius, also known as rapper and producer Adlib, is a certified trainer for Ableton Live, a loop based software music sequencer; during his set, he was using two different controllers-mixers, and was producing these layered avalanches of sounds,… Isn’t it the same stuff that Flying Lotus and other electronic musicians are using? His technique looked similar to Flying Lotus, whom I have seen at the same place a little while ago, but the result sounded however different.

 

Thavius was constantly moving his head and these controllers, which, for me, looked like more complicated versions of the old electronic game 'Simon', and the results was fluid and diverse, played with almost no interruption, except when the computer froze right in the middle of a track and the music stopped abruptly. He restarted the thing and went back to where he was with no further interruption, producing another one of his long electronic soundscapes, with video game noises, and thriller movie soundtrack, vaguely R&B or hip hop inspired. There certainly were some cinematic qualities to this music, but it wasn’t music impressing your brain with melodies or leaving you with a case of earworm, it was rather loops and loops and an impressive collection of beats producing music hardly danceable but quite unpredictable, and it was one of the things that was keeping me interested. As usual in these situations, I was wondering whether it was pure improvisation but it was certainly real music tracks as Thavius Beck was promoting the release of his latest album ‘The Most Beautiful Ugly’.

 

He went on with this technical reconstruction of beats for about an hour, barely taking a break and wandering in the meanders of all these intriguing sonic paths intertwining, blending so that it was hard to find a way out and right now hard to explain and describe the living experience. It was too complex and was giving me the impression to be on an endless treadmill of sounds, going nowhere, and repeating the landscapes with some variations. Is it the music of the future? I was thinking while trying to make sense of all this.

‘Enjoy your shopping experience, I am gonna keep playing music in the background’ he said at one point of his set, and may be this was the problem for me, it was very much background music after all, music that didn’t even disturb you from your current occupation and was letting your mind wander without capturing it entirely.


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