Show Pics: Telefon Tel Aviv @ Barracuda (2/7)

Been a hectic week, I won’t get into it. Catching up on some impressions and images from last Friday when Telefon Tel Aviv played Barracuda. It didn’t quite sell out, but the interesting thing was the audience member per musician on stage ratio was almost maxed out. Steve Hauschildt brought the opening soundscape and I have some bonus coverage from a show going on at Cheer Up, finally caught Urban Heat Island Effect.

Click through to get a few thoughts on the performances and place eyes on the photo-candy.

Steve Hauschildt – It is hard to translate an ambient flow of several songs on stage. there were brief spells of percussion, but an underlying momentum kept heads moving in unison. The visuals were live programmed to further increase the saturation of what was being built by Hauschildt. Keyboards were sampled and pulled into songs, sometimes live, sometimes delayed and released. Hauschildt’s hands were always moving to the next twist or build or graceful sequenced loop. This was all recognizable against recent material, but completely unique.

Telefon Tel Aviv – Artist changeover was quick, TTA’s setup has it’s own DA outputs, so just a few connections and straight to checking set up. The table top is very minimalist compared Hauschildt, a laptop feeding tones, a controller to manipulate. The controller uses a grid to select and dials allow for modifications. Joshua Eustis’s hands work through a choreography between the laptop and modifiers that can change time, pitch or modulation (check out a video about the tech behind Telefon Tel Aviv here). The show begins after a the incense burns a bit and the visuals provide all the light for the room, bright sequences, monochromatic. There are defined songs instead of the flowing ambient opener allowing for applause and interaction and the focus was on new material from Dreams Are Not Enough. “Birds” was the “encore”, meaning, the “let’s see who this goes” song.

Urban Heat Island Effect – They have been playing more gigs lately and SXSW will liekly see them hustling spots at day parties in support of their showcase. I recommend you check them out. The live sound is big, synth, darkwave but with an emo undertone. Jonathan Horstmann’s vocal is tense. The anchor are the modular synth tones from Jonathan and Kevin Naquin drive the stage as the bassline from Pax pulls things together. I dig it, you still see a few new project jitters, but SXSW should take care of that. I get an Operators vibe. Take a listen.

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