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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Eluvium / Julianna Barwick @ DC9 (05-17-2010)
(someone named mcnallmj record all of Julianna Barwick set from the DC9 show / here is the first song of the night / the rest of the videos of the show are in the youtube profile linked above)
I've been very egger to see Julianna Barwick play a live set after discovering her material through of all places listening to Panda Bear's Last FM recommendation station. While both Panda Bear & Julianna Barwick both use electronics in there material her music isn't really that similar to that of Panda Bear's "Person Pitch" and its infusion of Tornados songs with A typical Animal Collective like qualities. Julianna Barwick makes vocal loop creations that are very light in texture and have an almost spiritual like quality to them, material that is quite great to play in the background while you let your mind unwind and relax. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to get form her doing a live show, but after being teased with the possibility seeing her in Harrisonburg and then her having to cancel due to a snow storm in NYC I was ready to get some sort of concert redemption and see her live the next opportunity I got. When her show in DC was announced my attendance was necessary.
Julianna Barwick started off the night and in very simple terms her set was incredible. For the show she used both a loop pedal and a sampler in which she had pre programed arraignments play the background while she would add vocals on top of them live, creating the haunting like effect of many people singing with her. While this wasn't the most complicated or visual set to watch, this was however made up for by just how beautiful the whole thing watch. Her vocals are some of the most powerful that I have ever heard, so powerful that I even cried a few tears during her set (REAL MEN CRY). There is something spiritual about her work, something that reminds me a lot of a modern age new generation church choir. Once her set was finished I was left with no words really to say, I just stood around feeling speechless, trying to figure out what I had just witnessed. Now a few days have passed since the show and all I can really say is that her music as well as her live show are terrific, and I have no doubt you will be hearing more about her as an artists in the coming years.
Eluvium was next on the bill and while i had heard his name thrown around before the show I knew much less about him then i did Julianna Barwick (even though he was the main act of the night). While I didn't know what i was getting into with his set I knew it was going to be in the same ambient vein as that of Julianna Bariwck, which luckily his set turned out to be also quite impressive. It was a mix of quiet but weeping guitar work, to harsh and fast played guitar buzz on top of low key to surprising beat driven piano pieces. Throughout the set there was various nature like samples being played as well as the other members in his live band using Wii remotes that were connected to there computers that were somehow manipulating the sounds of there instruments (something that was defiantly amusing to watch). While Eluvium set was quite terrific it was kind of overshadow by the earlier set of the night that had just left me so speechless. However I should definitely should look more into his material, because it was quite great, just didn't compare to the first set of the night.
Overall the night was quite terrific. Both artists put on relaxing and numbing sets that had created a retrospective feeling for the audience that was in attendance. Defiantly check out both of these artists if you haven't heard looked into either of there works, because they both are making very solid work in the ambient field and deserve to have there material get more attention.
Posted by Andy Dunlap