MARIE ANTOINETTE (Berlin)
NEPTUNE (US / Northern Spy)
Neptune’s origins trace to 1994 as a sculpture project by Boston artist/musician Jason Sanford, who forged the band’s haphazard guitars and reluctant drums from scrap steel and found objects. Eight lineups, twenty-four releases and hundreds of instruments later, the band continues to wrench its sound spatter on self-built instruments to often confounded audiences around the world. In 2007, they released Gong Lake with avant arbiter Table of the Elements, home to art heroes Tony Conrad, Rhys Chatham and Faust. Neptune has shared the stage with a variety of influential artists such as The Ex, Mission of Burma, Ut, Oneida, Lightning Bolt, The Flaming Lips, Blonde Redhead, Melt-Banana, Charles Hayward, Liars, Black Dice, James Chance & the Contortions, Gang Gang Dance, The Dresden Dolls, Six Finger Satellite, and Wolf Eyes. Sanford and longtime Neptune collaborator Mark Pearson are currently joined by musician/instrument inventor Kevin Micka, redefining their music and creating new sounds from scratch. Propulsive percussion and sonorous electronics tangle with Sanford’s microtonal string creations with a refined minimalism, adding a new chapter to the band’s ever-evolving story.
NOVO LINE (US,DE /Friends Records)
“Formerly active as guitarist for Baltimore math rock band OXES, Nat Fowler has recently branched out onto a solo path under the Novo Line moniker. His interest in pursuing a more electronic-oriented project started while Fowler lived in a small town in Italy, where he found discarded obsolete personal computers that sparked new interest and experimentation.
Now a Berlin resident and inspired by the city’s ubiquitous digital slot machines (that appear under the Novoline or Novomatic brand), Fowler misuses a 23 year-old software program running on one megabyte of RAM on an Atari ST personal computer as a live instrument in order to generate random MIDI signals based on a set of changing parameters that trigger hardware synthesizers from the same era. Fowler adds a layer of live performance to his explorations of junkyard process music; using live mixing, he intensifies each new piece as it develops and rises from the silicone ether, and channels the music’s innumerable possible pathways in real time so that it sails until it resolves, never again to be recreated… unless caught on tape!
As alluded to by his artist name, or by several of the track titles on his upcoming, yet untitled debut EP on Baltimore’s Friends Records label, his music takes you through a maze of options, a choose your own adventure that gambles with probability and the statistical phenomena of antique, flea market hardware and software. The thrill of the uncertainty of the luck of the draw, where one can win or lose at each sonic variation, is conjured by the algorithmic calculations that spawn rhythms and melodies both densely complex and hollowly simple.” (taken from the CTM website)