Dark Arts Festival 2012
Featuring Interiors, Quarry, Jatun, Grapefruit, Apartment Fox, Magic Fades, ExtrAlone, Photon! and more
Dark Arts Festival 2012 was held at Holocene Thursday night and Thomas Thorson of the Interiors curated the evening. This festival is not about a certain genre but more about getting together a group of future-minded artist to express their unique and sophisticated styles of music incorporating artistic video throughout the festival. The night was fast paced, a great visual experience, and full of music on every level.
The line-up included nine different music acts and four different video artists: Interiors, Quarry, Jatun (with Cloud City Cars), Grapefruit, Apartment Fox (members of Operative), Magic Fades, ExtrAlone, Photon!; and video art by: Taryn Tomasello, Cliff Sergeant, Sky Fuzell-Casey, and Ian hawk. This festival is all about celebrating the culture, both in Portland and worldwide, and how these emerging new techniques and hybrids of old ones that these artists are using can help change the future of our culture.
The night started with J Prez’s DJ set while people were still rolling in. J Prez’s set was mellow with some drop beats. Just right to get the crowd ready for the night to come.
After about an hour Grapefruit began their set. Usually the band consists of one member, Charlie Salas-Humara, but tonight he was joined by a guest to help for the night. The band does have an album out called Time Drips which was released in April of this year. Grapefruit is a relatively new band, only about six to seven months old, but they sure don’t sound like a brand new band. The music is experimental and there is a lot of synthesizer use. The melodic beat got everyone’s attention and the repetition in the beat put the crowd in a trance-like body moving state. After playing a twenty-five minute set there was a short break with a DJ set while the other band got set up.
Up next was ExtrAlone which was quite an interesting show to experience. The one person band sure knows how to make some good noise. He started off the set loud and fast sitting behind his drums. I’m not sure how many other instruments he was using, nor do I even know what all of them were called. Midway through the set he put on something that looked similar to a gas mask on his face, which distorts his voice when he talks/sings. The energy he gave was incredible and so was the music he played. I think that the audience would agree with me considering the loud applause and shouts the band got when the set was over.
Cloud City Cars and Jatun’s set was next, which is Jatun’s collaborative project. Thursday night was their debut performance. They had changing color lights facing them from the floor to nicely light up there equipment. The bands, which together only add up to two people, produced good beats and got the building shaking. Cloud City Cars first album was called Stay Bored, which came out in April 2011, and includes eleven tracks. Their second album called Bar Wolf will be out sometime this year.
Magic Fades played next after a short break. This duo includes Michael Fades and Jeremy Fades both from Portland, OR. They had a video playing behind them flashing different images for different songs, including images from the game Sims. They sang, played guitar, as well as using other synthesizer type instruments. The crowd gathered around and enjoyed their thirty minute performance gave them loud applause.
Apartment Fox played next and got people dancing. The sound had beat drops and got everyone energized to get up and move. There is only one person in Apartment Fox and he was set up where the DJ played. The crowd seemed to really get into the music.
The next performance was Interiors, in which Thomas Thorson, our curator for the evening, is the vocalist. The band also had a video playing behind them while they played. Interiors' sound provoked a lot of feelings and ideas and truly is more than just a band -- it's almost more like an art project. The crowd was definitely intrigued by the band's performance and gave many shouts and applause.
The last two performers were Quarry and Photon!, which were both were set up where the DJ was. They got the crowd dancing some more and helped end the night with the audience in ecstasy from all the music of the night.
From the start of the night there were four different video projections set up around the venue. Some of the videos were set up on a continues loop throughout the night and were rotated from different projectors so they could be seen by everyone. Ian Hawk’s video was called Untitled, 2012, which was around ten minutes long. Cliff Sargent’s video was Soverignty, 2012, only lasting one minute but on a continues loop. This video was very interesting and included a man “cutting off his head.” Taryn Tomasello’s video was called Infinite Loop, 2012, and Eyeballshards, 2009. Sky Fuzell-Casey’s video was (id-PHASIC), 2012, which is a visual expression of the process of refining his self. All the video installations were very interesting and got everyone to stop and watch at some point of the night.