Electronic Music Festival Re-Launches This Weekend
By Bradley T. Schuman
It’s been eight years since I heard the word “oscillation” while not chatting with an engineer.
I’ve got a soft spot for Oscillation Electronic Music Festival. From 2001 to 2008, the festival was a gathering of Southwestern electronic artists with a pretty broad range of musical styles.
Trance, noise, EBM, synthpop, something experimental with guys wearing masks; friends, acquaintances and complete strangers doing their thing on a stage for two days.
I feel like Oscillation is something Albuquerque needs, as well as other small festivals like it: Something we can look forward to every year that fosters new artists, connects them to established artists and gives them a venue to entertain and delight us.
I’m not just talking about a decent show or two, but something deeper: A community of like-minded folks accomplishing more together than they could separately. Diverse styles, opinions and ideals.
This incarnation of Oscillation is being produced by brian botkiller and Unnatural Element, two of the original contributors and producers of the festival.
Oscillation will make its long-awaited comeback Oct. 14 and 15 at The Cell Theater, and if the bill is any indicator, things are not being done half-way. Here’s a sample of some of the bands scheduled for this year’s Oscillation.
The duo has a killer progressive/electro/industrial sound.
I’m reminded of Aphex Twin: thick, reverie-inducing melodies with pounding bass lines, dusted with dim, far-off vocals.
The Echoing Green (Feat. Pristina)
One of the first live shows I caught and enjoyed when I moved to Albuquerque roughly forever ago was The Echoing Green.
I have always dug their electro-rock vibe. It feels like a smooth, well-executed update of late-80s synthpop style.
The vocals are creamy, the lyrics smooth and meaningful, and I’ve never listened to an album without smiling happily from start to finish.
Caustic power noise. It’s jarring; it gets behind your eyeballs and rattles around in your sinus cavity.
If you can just lose focus a bit though, like with those magic eye posters made of multicolored dots,
the bigger picture starts to become apparent and the pattern and rhythms come together.
Rough around the edges industrial metal, bleeding-throat vocals and clever sampling of media and music.
Did I hear a bit of The Prodigy’s “Wake The Fuck Up” in there at the beginning of “Warlord”?
Political electro with razorblade-sharp synth and drums.
His album “Welcome to Postwar USA” is a spiritual brother to Rage Against the Machine and New Model Army in my record collection.
botkiller’s other tracks bring me back to ‘90s big beat albums like Crystal Method, Chemical Brothers and Orbital.
Spencer Pellegrino is the body behind Diseased Entity.
If you’re into Icon of Coil or other synth-heavy, thumping EBM music, Diseased Entity will be your thing.
And I feel compelled to mention this: He’s covered Savage Garden in a souped-up electro industrial sort of way.
And I like it.
If you’ve lived in Albuquerque long, you’ve heard Diverje.
Tommy T has been at it since I was in high school.
They’ve been on the bill with big-name industrial acts like Skinny Puppy and Chemlab.
Check out “Society Creates the Monsters” for a taste of their most recent work.
Smooth rolling piano and synth lines with gorgeous vocal content, Leiahdorus isn’t a stranger to the Oscillation stage.
Their last album, “Ode to the Builders,” is a beautiful indie synthpop opus that leaves you happy and sad in equal measure.
A new project from a familiar face – DJ Red-209.
This will be Simian Breed’s third performance since debuting in July,
but according to the project website, audiences can expect
a “hot and dry production (that) reflects the harsh and unforgiving desert climate of New Mexico.”
Once known as Sleepdepth, Ehren Salazar is making exceptionally complex and thought-provoking sound
with a variety of eldritch equipment and techniques that create something both modern and archaic.
Industrial metal with a thrumming classic-car-engine vibe,
and a little of that Motorhead feel.
It’s loud and thrashing, it’s guitar-driven, and it’s not at all subtle.
Wurm/Worship No Apparatus
Experimental industrial noise rock.
Drones, guitars, guttural distorted vocals – every note crackles with raw noise.
Worship No Apparatus can be disconcerting to listen to,
but it’s calculated chaos: There something to listen to amidst that.
Xibalbalola Adddj will be providing her considerable DJ talents to the entire festival.
She’s played in so many places at this point that it’s hard to track them all.
If you’ve been to an industrial club or show, there’s a real chance she was there working her craft.
Oscillation will feature an opening gala at Alchemy Nightclub (Effex, 420 Central Ave. SW) Thursday, Oct. 13. The weekend is all ages, the Thursday gala is 21+. For more information, visit oscillationfestival.com.
Bradley T. Schuman is a pop culture geek and music nerd with far too many records and opinions.
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