Stephen Malkmus (1 Viewer)

Stephen Malkmus
Posted by pete
Whelan's
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 08:00 PM
Until: Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 11:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)

Upcoming dates
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Start: Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 08:00 PM
End: Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 11:00 PM

pete

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Aiken Promotions presents

STEPHEN MALKMUS
plus support


Aiken Promotions proudly presents Stephen Malkmus Solo live at Whelan’s, 14th September 2019. Tickets €30.00 inclusive of booking fee, on sale now.

Following the release of singles ‘Viktor Borgia’ and ‘Rushing The Acid Frat’, Stephen Malkmus today shares a third track off Groove Denied (out March 15th via Domino), the psychedelic Eastern-inspired (is that a sitar!?) ‘Come Get Me’ and its accompanying lyric video. Despite the predominant 80s-minimal-synth and industrial influences on much of the rest of Groove Denied, ‘Come Get Me’ is a bit closer to Malkmus’s comfort zone: “warped psych”, as he terms it, that avant-garage tradition of dirty guitars and ramshackle grooves — except in this case, it’s one person pretending to be a band — but the illusion is pulled of magnificently on the loose ’n swinging new song.

When Stephen Malkmus first arrived on the scene in the early Nineties, as frontman and prime creative force in Pavement, the area of music with which he was associated couldn’t really have been further from the techno-rave sounds of the day. Electronic dance music, then as now, was about posthuman precision, inorganic textures, and hyper-digital clarity. Whereas the lo-fi movement in underground rock championed a messthetic of sloppiness, rough edges, and raw warmth – a hundred exquisitely subtle shades of distortion and abrasion.

Fast forward to the present and here comes Malkmus with Groove Denied – Stephen’s first solo album without his cohorts the Jicks since 2001. Made using Ableton’s Live, instead of a human-powered rhythm section, Malkmus’s arsenal further included drum machines, along with a host of plug-in FX and “soft synths.” He compares the process of track-construction to the way his kids “used to make these girls on my iPhone – choosing hair color, dresses, etc. That intuitive swipe and grab thing. Chop and move the waves. Apple computer scroll style of thinking.”

This departure from the tried-and-tested stems back to earlier in this decade, when Malkmus spent a couple of years living in Berlin and was exposed to the city’s vibrant club scene. Back in the Nineties, Stephen had given rave culture a wide berth, in part because of bad personal associations with the drug MDMA (he’d had “a really really bad trip” on Ecstasy in 1987, bizarrely on a visit to New York to see Miles Davis perform). But in Berlin, thanks to a younger deejay friend, Malkmus made forays into the city’s world-famous all-night party scene and became fascinated by techno. “The music can be great… you can zone out, dance, and focus on music – or just get wasted!”

It would not be entirely off-base, or an overly cute rock-historical reference, to describe Groove Denied as Stephen Malkmus’s Low. Although largely recorded in Oregon, the bulk of the album was written while he was living in Berlin. And whilst the methodology behind Groove Denied is absolutely 21st Century, the reference points for the sound-palette hark back to the pre-digital era. “The electronic music side of the album, I wanted it to be sonically pre-Internet,” explains Stephen.

Groove Denied will shake up settled notions of what Malkmus is about and what he’s capable of, repositioning him in the scheme of things. But looking at it from a different angle, his engagement with state-of-art digital tech actually makes perfect sense. After all, Nineties lo-fi – the sound in which he and Pavement were initially vaunted as leaders and pioneers – was nothing if not insistently sonic – it was all about the grain of guitar textures, about gratuitously over-done treatments and ear-grabbing effects. Noise for noise’s sake

As Stephen tweeted recently on the subject of Auto-Tune’s omnipresence in contemporary music-making: “We long 4 transformation….and we humans fucking luv tools.”
 

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