Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sonic Circuits Festival in DC

I just got this e-mail from Cuneiform Records concerning the relatively new, annual Sonic Circuits Festival in Washington DC. An impressive list of musicians will be performing there later this year, including my favorites Magma and Univers Zero! Makes me wish we could go visit DC this year!


 TO FEATURE FIRST WASHINGTON, DC APPEARANCES OF MAGMA (FRANCE),UNIVERS ZERO (BELGIUM), FENNESZ (AUSTRIA) and a rare DC performance by MERZBOW (JAPAN), as well as more than 25 other cutting-edge artists from around the world.
Sonic Circuits Festival
September 18-25, 2010 / Washington DC
Washington DC's premiere music festival returns for another exhilarating blast of avant music to challenge, provoke, inspire and delight DC area audiences. The tenth edition of Sonic Circuits will offer up the best in improv, avant rock, electronica, noise, and contemporary composition from around the globe. Our 10th anniversary deserves special celebration, and thus this year Sonic Circuits will shine a spotlight on the Francophone world to reveal some of the most creative and innovative contributions in contemporary music (including music genres that erase the classical/popular divide) and to present an astonishing number of avant-garde music’s most legendary artists to Washington DC audiences for the very first time. 2010 will also see the third installment of the popular District of Noise CD compilations featuring music by DC area experimental artists with a bonus LP of 100 lock grooves. We hope you'll join us for what will be an amazing week of musical discovery!
Magma (France)Led by composer/drummer Christian Vander, the French band Magma is one of the world’s greatest avant rock bands, its music as unique and as significant as such American groups as Captain Beefheart Magic Band or the Sun Ra Arkhestra. Active for over 4 decades, it has released many works widely considered to be among the chief works avant-garde rock. Beginning in the late 1960s/early 70s, Magma combined rock music with opera/classical music, jazz, and elements of trance, Ju Ju and Soul, to create a new, strikingly original musical genre called "Zeuhl". Under the leadership of visionary Vander, Magma operated in a univers of its own making. The band sang vocals in its own, made-up language, called Kobaian, which was simultaneously incomprehensible and universally accessible. Dark, forbidding, powerful, Magma’s music is intense, with wave upon wave of carefully built tension and release. It is also timeless, universal, and globally influential. Other Francophone bands followed Magma’s lead in distilling musical genres in the’70s, to create the new genre Chamber Rock. In the 1990s, the Japanese band Ruins popularized Zeuhl among a new generation, invigorating it with a punk edge and kicking off a massive world-wide revival. Much of today’s cutting-edge rock music is indebted to the French group and its zeuhl. But while other groups today may resemble Magma, Magma does not resemble any other group. Its live performances are legendary; Magma's first-ever Washington DC appearance is a show not to be missed. - Washington premiere!

Magma will be performing at 
La Maison Fran├žaise, Embassy of France on September 18, 2010
Visit Magma online:

Univers Zero (Belgium)
The francophone Belgian band Univers Zero is legendary for their uncompromising musical vision –  a sound and stance Keyboard described as "Chamber music for the Apocalypse". Simultaneously medieval & modern, its distinctive, dark and elegantly beautiful music has set the standard for "chamber rock", a New Music hybrid of Francophone origin and worldwide appeal that UZ pioneered. UZ’s singular sound derives from its unique instrumentation (piano and keyboards, violin, clarinets saxophone, oboe, bassoon, English horn, electric bass, drums) combined with brooding gothic imagery, elements of European folk and other world musics, the iconoclasm and intensity of rock, the relentless sonic experimentation of the avant garde, and leader and composer Daniel Denis’ classically-inspired writing style, influenced by early 20th Century avant garde classical composers. In the hands of some of the best musicians in Europe, these factors result in a group on the cutting edge of
creating a new, vital, and unique fusion of classical and rock music. The band has remained on the cutting edge of New Music throughout the course of a career that began in the '70s and continues today,  stretching and disintegrating the boundaries of classical and rock music alike to create a new, vital, and unique fusion. Today, several decades after Univers Zero first forged its unique sound, critics cite its oeuvre as the precursor to the best avant-garde rock and classical music of the present day, from post-rock, associated with Godspeed You! Black Emperor,
Secret Chiefs 3, Kayo Dot, Tortoise and other instrumentally-based rock bands – to the numerous late 20th/early 21st century classical chamber ensembles integrating rock into their repertoire, such as Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet and others. When Cuneiform recently released a remastered reissue of the band’s self-titled debut album, critics who heard the band's music for the first time called it a "revelation", "..the
hidden source for every one of today’s avant-garde rock bands"[Organ]. 
Second ever show in the USA & Washington premiere! Univer Zero will be performing at La Maison Fran├žaise, Embassy of France on September 25, 2010Visit Univer Zero online:

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