On Friday I made it out to Hunab Hookah for a little bit to catch some of The Acids and Basses electro jam, with guest F/M from Santa Fe. Trippy, Ambient and experimental, quite enjoyable to just sit back and listen to. F/M consisted of two technicians, Martin Back and Frank Rolla, a lute, two macbooks and a contraption which I will name the "random paddle", a large standing instrument with many wooden paddles jutting from it, and small motors which randomly would cause a hammer mallet to play one of these paddles. Think Japanese ambient, with some folk rock intertwined. Acids and Basses, making use of 512 Software's (located right here in Albuquerque) Audio Sequencing software, Numerology, makes ambient soundscapes great for film or just cooling out to. It's that kind of music that you don't hear in your head until you hear it being played, and then you realize it's always there, you just might not know how to channel it out. An enjoyable night, followed by one sad bit of news; it is my understanding that Hunab Hookah will be closing at the end of July. I never got to spend too much time at Hunab outside of Throwing Spark_Gap there for awhile, but I did enjoy the place when I was there. It's very hard to make a Hookah Lounge last in Albuquerque, I would imagine.

Then, last night, I re-opened Spark_Gap at The Agency, with the intention of continuing its tradition of live electronic jamming and IDM. Well, it was half there. We opened the night with a set by I Heart Teo , A young DJ from L.A. who has made his way out here, who dropped an hour set of heavy electro, and did very litterally blow me away. Myself and Clint had set up our rigs on stage, and were waiting for some of the other players to come, which unfortunately didn't happen - and so Spark_gap turned essentially into an hour and a half long set from myself with backup by Clint. It was fun, but it wasn't what I had planned. I had to have something to give people who came out (about 11 of them, including the ever vigilant Adric, to whom I am eternally grateful), so I thought that it made the most sense to just throw a set. There was a little jumping around, which was good, but it certainly wasn't an improv electro night.

So, what would I do differently? Well, I think I won't have a stage next time. I don't think it's fitting for spark_gap to have a tall stage, unless I have some featured artists - which is the other thing I'll do differently. I don't think I can keep the improv jam thing going right now. If I can't get a consistent number of players out to play (and I'm totally understanding of that, Saturday is also not a good night for something like this, and beyond that, life gets in the way of improv music often), I can't really do an open jam and charge people money to see it. So, I think I plan to have one DJ, one featured act, and perhaps anyone who wants to jam, in the next Spark_Gap, and play it up as a dance party with some improv jamming. I'll have to see how it all plays out, I'm still learning with this thing, but I want to keep it going.

I also have to say a HUGE thanks to Trace for coming out and throwing visuals for the night. He very literally helped me to make the night 100% better. Without visuals I really would have felt deeply failed at this outing, but having the bouncing lights on the giant white wall of The Agency really helped out. Seriously man, thank you.

So, that, as they say, is that. I wasn't entirely happy with last night, I will say that, but the moral of the story is to look at what you're doing and figure out what you need to do differently. I'm seeing some of that, so I'm going to work on it, and as with anything, I'm going to take whatever help I can get for it, because I simply can't do all this stuff on my own.

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Comment by RivetGang on July 21, 2008 at 9:39am
One minor correction Brian... Frank was playing a custom fretless banjo, rather than a lute. The scroll headstock did give it a certain amount of luteness though. Also I don't think the "random paddle" machine was really random, I do believe the servo motors were controlled by MIDI messages from sequencing software (and perhaps it was Numerology sending those message).

We (Acids and Basses) had fun playing on Friday and will miss the venue. The Agency does appear to be a good venue, I look forward to hitting a Spark Gap in the future.
Comment by brian botkiller on July 21, 2008 at 11:27am
Cool, thanks for the corrections. The body felt like a lute to me, but it was dark, too :P

The paddle machine seemed semi-random to me, only because it didn't follow a normal time signature. Beyond that I could tell there was a lot of programming behind it.

We'd love to have you at The Agency. Hit us up!


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