Accent/Sustain: Journey Men, Sun Hammer, Ryan ASIP, Ethernet, Apartment Fox @ Holocene 5/21/2014

Last Wednesday I got the opportunity to see some quality dub techno music at Holocene. Show organizer Coco Madrid was kind enough to invite me via email and set me up with a guest list spot. I showed up early and curled up in a chair for a night of awesome visuals and spacey dance music.

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Journey Men

This excellent show was a collaboration between Coco’s Sanctuary Sunday project,  the always swanky Holocene, and LifeLike Family. Though the evening showcased artists Sun Hammer, Ethernet, and Apartment Fox, Ryan Asip and Journey Men provided some excellent dj sets in the interludes between. I’d like to draw attention to Dj Ryan Asip (Ryan Griffin) and his preview for this show on his excellent site A Strangely Isolated Place. I really enjoyed the mixes that Ryan and the Journey Men (Elliott Thomas and Jeffrey Perez) prepared for the night, though the only artist in the mix for the night who I really recognized was Yagya, a discovery I made a while back via Rod Modell.

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Ryan Asip

First up was Sun Hammer (Jay Bodley). Sun Hammer is an artist whose work, in my mind at least, brings to light all of the fundamental pleasures to be gotten from electronic music: it’s playfully skewed, bubbly, and warm electronic music that’s infectiously danceable yet nonetheless doesn’t get locked into a beat. You can actually listen to his Accent/Sustain set on his Soundcloud page. I particularly remember liking the delicious bass line about 12 minutes in– Sun Hammer’s music is good stuff for a brain massage.

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Sun Hammer

Ethernet (Tim Gray) turned the energy away from Sun Hammer’s more 90’s EDM-influenced set into a slowly morphing set of electronic drone. Ethernet’s presence on this night was a reminder of the ecelectic roots of this collaboration, as well as the mixed influences of dub techno itself– swirling clouds of crackling sound interrupted the almost continuous flow of ambient techno for an interesting interlude. Check out Gray’s Bandcamp to get more of a taste of the high-quality drone this gentleman is making.

Ethernet

Ethernet

I had actually never previously heard of the third artist being showcased, Apartment Fox (Alex Neerman), but by the end of the night he had made a new fan in me. Neerman’s beats are coldly beautiful and metallic– unlike Sun Hammer, who moves along the lines of Autechre’s rambunctious transitions, Apartment Fox is all about pulsing, insistent energy. For most of the night, I just sat with my cup of water and closed eyes, but for this set, I jumped up and started dancing. I will have to keep myself updated on Alex’s music, I was really digging it. Here is a link to his Soundcloud and the Bandcamp page for his album released via Beacon Records last year. Top of the line EDM.

Apartment Fox

Apartment Fox

Though this was a fun night, I was almost disappointed with the numbers that turned out. Come on, Portland, Holocene is a decent-sized venue and you’re supposed to be a happening music town. Coco has been hinting at having a second Accent/Sustain event in the near future on the Sanctuary Sunday Facebook page. Let’s bring all the good vibes and love of good music back in double for the next installment of Accent/Sustain. Happy listening and see you there!

Photos taken on a point-and-shoot by me.

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