noise

Memories: Hube

This is the first in a series of postings about creative pursuits and other activities in my long-ago past.  I recently digitized several old vhs tapes full of various things I've done, including short film, video collage, and various music projects.  Here I'll tell you about a short-lived but very unusual and very fun band I was in almost 20 years ago. 

In the early 90s I was part of an small circle of musicians in Ann Arbor, Michigan that did various experimental or "avant garde" sound projects, including a "band" called Ears Under Siege.  Having its origins in one installment of a collagey, noisy radio show I did at WCBN called The Difficult Listening Hour, the group was basically about creating long, ambient, droney soundscapes, inspired by artists like The Hafler Trio, Nurse With Wound, Phauss, Eno, etc. There was sort of a revolving membership to this band but the core of the group was myself and Neil Chastain.   I was into sampling and Neil had tons of old synthesizers, and we would include various other players of electronic or acoustic instruments, somehow always maintaining a sort of low-key, spacey yet challenging aesthetic. Every session would start with a long period of everyone tweaking their instruments, developing patches and editing samples and setting up elaborate chains of effects processors.  Jeff Warmouth, mostly on bass guitar, and Kevin Lee on electronics, became quite frequent participants and the group was around for a couple of years, playing several gigs and recording lots of material.  

Bu this is about a totally different band.  At one point in the summer of 1993, Jeff, Kevin, and I met for an Ears Under Siege session at my apartment.  I can't remember if we knew beforehand, but Neil did not show because he was out of town, playing drums with another group of his, the math-rock band Craw based in Cleveland.  Anyway, we scheduled the meeting anyway and set up our piles of gear but then as we started fiddling with sounds we decided we wanted to do something different. Perhaps it was Neil's absence or maybe it was some other sense of a need for variety, but we decided to try playing a series of really short songs, instead of the long, 20 to 30 minutes drone pieces that EUS was so partial to creating.  

The challenge to come up with something different that would be interesting in just a minute or two ended up Read more>>>

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