Du Hexen Hase meets Cloaks….

2009.08.31


Adam Svenson of Du Hexen Hase and Little Claw interviewed Spencer D. of Cloaks who are playing Escalator fest 9/26 in Seattle…the results follow…

Portland’s Cloaks generate the sound of a new world, all boiled down to a slippery, looped stream of psychobabble, ethno-knowledge, and fractal smoke.

It’s easy to lose time in their sounds, as they repeat, interact, and spin off each other in an incredible crypto-funk space elevator muzak style. Phrases loop and disintegrate, tones burble, and temporarily a steeldrum band emerges from the murk, only to get sucked back in, digested, born anew.

The sound world that Cloaks operate in is an amalgamation of our own earthly musical cultures: tweaked, repeated, and then melded with a galactic counterpart, the resulting mutated offspring then makes its way to your eardrums and beyond.

We caught Spencer of Cloaks floating thru the bitstream of the interwebs and conducted this email interview with him:

Let’s take it from the start…who is Cloaks and when did Cloaks start…and are you originally from Portland?

Currently Cloaks is myself (Spencer D.) and Ryan C. At first it was just one of many names for my own solo recordings, first used around six years ago. Since then the project has cycled through many different collaborators, though it’s been in this current live configuration with Ryan for about a year or so. We’re from Arcata, California originally, and have been playing music together on and off for years.

On your Myspace page you have some awesome alien architecture drawings by Luigi Serafini…Your music makes a perfect soundtrack for getting lost in Serafini’s drawings. Is art an influence on you? Any certain artists?

How about musical influences?

I’ve always thought that music has the ability to create imaginary worlds within our own mental space in the same way that art is capable of doing…when you use as much processing and as many electronic effects as we do, it’s hard to imagine anything concrete or real from the abstract sounds we create. I see Serafini’s art as an apt parallel; he created an entire lavishly-detailed encyclopedia of a non-existent world, denoting everything from their dining practices to their architecture to their physics, something so magical and alien that you can’t possibly make sense of it. I’d like to think that our music has somewhat of a similar goal as visual art in this respect, though I wouldn’t say any specific artists influence us. Our musical influences are more apparent, though hard to pin down…electro-acoustic methods from GRM studios in France, post-punk deconstruction from people like This Heat and David Cunningham, visionary electronic composers like Nuno Canavarro, Ragnar Grippe or Craig Leon, the disco-dub effects of producers like François K and Walter Gibbons, the fourth-world sounds of Jon Hassell, textures from Vladislav Delay and Wolfgang Voight, Reich/Riley minimalism, Kraftwerk…I’m a fucking dork, I could go on forever really.

Is there a formal connection with Starving Weirdos or is the link more spiritual?

It’s formal…we’ve been good friends them for many years, having all lived in Humboldt together. The Weirdos are kind of an open-ended collective with Brian and Merrick at the helm, and both Ryan and I have played in the group on numerous occasions. Brian and I also have a side project (along with Brian’s brother John) called R.V. Paintings, and we both share similar ideas about post-production techniques. They also put out a Cloaks disc on their label.

How do you perform live? Is your live sound more stripped down, are you able to replicate your recorded sounds, or is the sound more improvised? Do you like playing live or do you think of Cloaks as more of a “studio” project?

Cloaks was primarily a studio project for many years, relying heavily on creative recording techniques, studio effects and layers and layers of overdubs. The band has really been reborn as more of a live vehicle since Ryan has joined…the kind of interaction and musical communication that occurs between the two of us live has become much more crucial to our current sound, though it is still rooted in the studio approach. Through the use of sample trigger pads and electronic drumsets I manipulate pre-recorded sounds and Ryan plays his self-assembled modular synthesizer, vocoder and other electronic devices…I sing and play electric organ too, all through heavy effect processing. Most of my stuff is hooked into Ryan’s so he’s effecting the parameters of things I’m controlling and vice versa. We have abstractly-structured “songs” that are often the results of in-studio improvisations…we try to record most of our practices in order to resample elements of them in order refract the studio process back into itself. Approaching a live show we usually have a rough idea of what we’re going to do (a “set list” you could say) but it never quite turns out the same.

Your releases also have some amazing tripped out artwork…would you consider your music psychedelic?

Most certainly, but not in the way you would expect…no wah pedals or echoplex vocals or anything.

Lastly, are you ready to levitate the building when you play with some like-minded weirdos at Escalator Fest?

YES.

portable shrine

2009.08.29

Every shrine was so cute and nice.

Davila 666 is coming!

2009.08.24

Davilamania is sweeping the nation. The sounds of riotous Puerto Rican RocknRoll have been spreading like a brush fire. Don’t miss out! On tour with the Mannequin Men, they’ll be in Seattle sep. 5 at the Funhouse and at the Morgue (5901 airport way s) in Georgetown sep. 6th for an all-ages show!!

BEHOLD!

2009.08.21

VERY LIMITED SUPER SPECIAL ADVANCE TICKET OFFER! Get em while you can people- only 50 2-day VIP(Vastly Illuminated Person) passes available, good for both Lo-Fi and Vera nights at a one low low price. These will only be available until sep. 15th. (must be 21+ for the 2-night passes, sorry…)

8.20.09

2009.08.20

Thursday 8/20 9pm @the Comet

Basemint (members of Wallpaper), Thee Makeout Party!! (CA), Backward Masks, Ape City RnB (reunion!) Boogie!!

Thee Makeout Party boys swing Seattle through once a year on a mutli-colored candy horse “borrowed” from the secret laboratories of Disneyland making all the ladies and gents swoon with their beautiful power pop melodies of lost kitties, birthday suits and mitch heberg. Throw in a touch of 70′s bubblegum psych, stir in a big banana split with sprinkles, add a pinch of a killer bong hit and you have dance party you will never ever forget babycakes.

good luck squeaky

2009.08.17

groovy movies

2009.08.16

Ripley singing in french= smooooth. Playing Escalator Fest Sep. 26!

Jackie-O Motherfucker’s classic “Valley of Fire”. Playing Escalator Fest Friday Sep. 25!!

Hawkwind Holidays

2009.08.14

Celebrate 40 years of Hawkwind by taking a Hawkwind Holiday.

Can someone loan me 800 pounds?

Summertime Noise

2009.08.13

This saturday free and far out sounds will permeate the park. From 1:00-8:00pm in Cal Anderson Park
Sounds fun. Hope the sun returns in time…

Melbatones, Figeater, Greg Sinibaldi, Syncopated Taint Horn Quartet, Bert Wilson and a rare performance by Jabon aka Scott Colburn

And don’t forget MethFest…

Davis does Crowley

2009.08.12

Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis and The Visionary State and all-round cool dude is going to be at the Northwest Film Forum this thursday 8/13 for a multi-media presentation on Aleister Crowley (rhymes w/ holy) and other matters occult-

“Sampling rare footage, experimental shorts and documentary clips, Davis will use cinema to trace the development of postwar magick and Crowley’s apocalyptic religion of Thelema, with special attention given to the work of Kenneth Anger and the rise of magic in the 1960s and 70s. Numerous obscurities will be sampled, including Curtis Harrington’s Wormwood Star, Rex Ingram’s The Magician and the Jimmy Page version of Anger’s Lucifer Rising. Also included are excerpts from Crowley: The Other Loch Ness Monster, Joe Schimmel’s Christian expose Rock ‘n’ Roll Sorcerers and cut-up wizard Craig Baldwin’s recent Mock Up On Mu.”

Sounds pretty amazing…

ESCALATOR

2009.08.09

The line up for ESCALATOR FEST is set! There may be a few changes here and there-stay tuned. Time to show Seattle what PSYCH is NOW…

9.25.09  @ The Lo Fi Gallery 21+

Jacki-O Motherfucker
Lumerians

Kinski

Purple Rhinestone Eagle

Treetarantula

Backward Masks

DJ Randy Travis
DJ Jermaine

9.26.09 @ The Vera Project all ages
Wooden Shjips
Eternal Tapestry
Prince Rama of Ayodhya
Cloaks
Midday Veil
Geist & the Sacred Ensemble
The Slaves
Story of Rats
oKo yOnO
Lord Jeff

journey to a Dissonant Plane…

2009.08.07
For folks in Seattle looking to escape the irritating jingles that pass for music these days
Dissonant Plane is like something in a dream. Hidden away in the back of Resolution Audio in
Ballard it's far too easy to miss and something of a best-kept secret. Been meaning to plug it
for awhile as the broad selection of sounds is truly amazing and unique. Avant/experimental/psych/
improv/drone/metal/freejazz/soundtracks/acidfolk/rarities/vinyl/books/vids/etc??. Seek it out and
support true independent music. This Saturday is a free performance by long-running noise bomber
Sparkle Girl (who will also be performing at next weekends annual three-day extreme noise binge
known as MethFest!)

(from the DP post)
FREE IN STORE PERFORMANCE
SATURDAY, AUGUST 8
6:00 PM
SPARKLE GIRL (JIM EVANS)

A perennial face at noise gigs in Seattle, both in the audience and on the stage,
Jim Evans is leaving Seattle for Moscow, Idaho where the cost of living is
affordable.  If you make weird music in Seattle there is a good chance that Jim
taped one of your shows and gave it back to you in a curious package.  We're glad to
have this chance to let him have some fun in Dissonant Plane one last time before he
moves.

thuuuurrssdaaayyyy…

2009.08.03

Another portableshrines sound ritual…

AFCGT

Arbitron

Treetarantula

oKo yOnO

thursday 8/6 @ the Comet Seattle 9pm $6, $4 with a sunn o))) stamp (thanks Darwin for the amazing poster)

Tags :       

Heavy Experimental Sound Performance West Coast Tour

2009.08.02

Story of Rats

Brown

Squim

Tecumseh

07/31/ 2009 >> West Coast Tour Kickoff >>
The SS Josephine
608 NW 65th ave (Ballard deep)
Brown (PDX), Squim (PDX), Story of Rats, Christoper Delaurenti, Sparkle Girl

08/01/2009 Little Mountain Studios
195 East 26th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
Twee Death Presents
Brown, Story of Rats, Squim, and Ahna

08/02/2009 live on the air more details soon
Vancouver, British Columbia
Live On Air Radio Collab Squim, Story of Rats, Brown and Ahna

08/03/2009 Astoria Yacht Club
Astoria, Washington
Brown, Squim, Story of Rats, Smegma, and Tunnels

08/05/2009 The Epic Space
245 Van Buren(between 2nd & 3rd)
Eugene, Oregon
Squim, Story of Rats, Brown, Vivimancer(Scrolls) and Warning Broken Machine

08/06-/2009
Sacramento, California
TBA
Brown, Story of Rats Squim, and Basidiomycota

08/07/2009 Terminal
3957 SAN LEANDRO S
Oakland, California
Brown, Squim, Story of Rats Pulse Emitter, and Grasslung

08/08/2009 Bay 51
1667 Jerrold Street
San Fransisco, California
Brown, Story of Rats, Squim, John Krausbauer, Liminal Planes, and Brandon Nickel
08/09/2009 08:00 PM – The Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk Street
San Fransisco,
as Tecumseh, Squim, Barn Owl (SF), Oaxacan (SF)