Monday, June 27, 2011

Experimental Half Hour

Alexis Blair Penney 'Lonely Sea (Ecstasy Mix Live)'

Operative 'Biopic and Aliasing'

Check out the latest videos by our homies the Experimental Half Hour. Eva and Brock have been steadily documenting some of Portland's finest underground, weirdo art and music movement as of late. These two videos happen to feature some of the Ecstasy peeps Operative, Alexis, Finesse and Miracles Club.

Alexis Blair Penney's debut single 'Lonely Sea' is available as a 7" via HNYTRX and includes a remix by Honey Soundsystem. Also available as a digital ep with additional remixes by Ecstasy crew and Emotion II Emotion via Itunes
Check it.

Alexis Blair Penney 'Lonely Sea (Emotion II Emotion Remix)'

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This Friday in Ecstasy: Time, Space, Transmat

Operative DJs curate Ecstasy at Valentine's this Friday. We're getting proto-, ur-, and meta- with a blend of the classic Ecstasy house-pulse flavored with techno and EBM.

Clock with us.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dreyblatt on Vimeo

Arnold Dreyblatt Ensemble, Excerpts from NBK Video, Berlin 2009 from Arnold Dreyblatt on Vimeo.

Arnold Dreyblatt: The Orchestra of Excited Strings, New York, 1991 from Arnold Dreyblatt on Vimeo.

Arnold Dreyblatt & The Orchestra of Excited Strings, Petöfi Csarnok, Budapest, October, 1985 from Arnold Dreyblatt on Vimeo.

Arnold Dreyblatt, the America-born, Germany-based Minimalist composer has got himself a Vimeo account. Dreyblatt's 80s and 90s works with the Orchestra of Excited Strings and his various other ensembles are notable for puting just-intonation tunings into some pretty novel rhythmic frameworks. When I first got turned on to this stuff I was rocking Otha Turner's drum and fife music pretty deep as well as Tony Conrad's Early Minimalism, so stumbling on to Dreyblatt via Matt Carlson was pretty serendipitous.

The vids' feature some of Dreyblatt's innovative instruments and playing methods including what appears to be a JI clavier you play with lil' mallets, lots of contrabass harmonics, a fucked looking high-hat, and a tympani-as-floor-tom deal for the drummer in the Bang on a Can performance. Not a lot of JI music you can get down to, even if it's more hoedown than house.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I caught up with westcoast techno pioneer Marijke Jorritsma aka BREEZY NIX after asking for an mp3 of her latest work. Marijke has always had a provocative and psychedelic edge to her music/art, and her newest offering is no exception. I asked her a few questions to give a backdrop to this recording, "JARRY". I wonder if it is named after the author of Pere Ubu? I wouldn't be surprised! It's a deal, BREEZY, we will take you to the river! Enjoy the summer jam and all these mixes she just rained on you. -Avalon

Why and How do you make electronic music?
Currently I'm making most of my music using Ableton Live (software and a computer), working mostly with soft synths and drum machines, samples. I occasionally record hardware jams with what I have lying around or borrow and cut that into samples to be used in my sets and songs. I've also been working on some remixes.

The why is a bit more difficult.... Why does anyone make any music or art?... to create something they wish existed, to partake in something they love, to celebrate with others who do too, to have a social alibi for being a complete weirdo... ah, I dunno.

What is it like making and mixing this kind of music in SF?
Well, I've actually only played one show in SF as Breezy Nix, my other shows have been in Barcelona, Berlin, and Oakland. But San Francisco is generally pretty fun, people want to dance, and if the sound is good and the stars are aligned it can be pretty awesome.

What is your favorite music right now?
Oy, so much. I've honestly been just listening to tons of mixes that I download from blogs. These are my top ten mixes of the moment:
1. Frequency 7 in Dublin 2007

2. Axel Boman @ Absurd LA

3. Abstract Science Mixtape 2011 by Killing Spree

4. Jeremy P. Caulfield Heat Rash Mix

5. Hat+Hoodie DBTY Mix

6. 4Corner Pt.II Mix by Jaws

7. Bioluminescently Mix

8. Despamix #16 from Desparame

9. Javelin Live on WFMU

10. Dominique Leon's Indian Summer Mix

What else are you into?
At this very moment; dj'ing, 80s convertibles, surfing, smoothies, mallets, pinkish purple, stylish portability, sun, and Thomas Pynchon.

Will you come to Portland and play with the Ecstasy crew this summer?
Only if you'll take me swimming at the river.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


With a broad musical sensibility and inspiring enthusiasm for House and Techno, Portland DJ/Producer/Electronic Musician Erik Hanson is more than deserving of an Ecstasy feature. A shining star in Portland's nightlife, Erik has been shining a torch on the path, so to speak, for some time now. Below is a dark and mesmerizing dub edit of a Japan tune for download. I was able to ask Erik some questions about context. Go dance with him this month and enjoy the dub! -Avalon

Why did you make this dub, how did it come about?

I love this song and have always wanted to effectively work this song

into a DJ set, but the mood of the song, to me, is full of a certain

heavy restlessness. It's beautiful at home, but I wanted to diffuse

the mood a bit for a club atmosphere. Plus, it's just fun to dissect

and mess around with the structures of songs that I like. For

instance, trying to isolate the vocals and set David Sylvian's voice

in an abandoned, frozen factory. I also wanted to add a mechanical

aspect to it as sort of an underline to the original's repeating drum

pattern. I made this one with DJing at Holocene in mind. I did it for

a particular night that I was booked to the DJ between bands. The time

between having the idea and the show itself was pretty short. It made

me have to be strategic about what I wanted to do it, in order to get

it done in time.

What music are you really inspired by right now?

There's a ton... Inspiration comes from all over. Inspiration drawn

directly from music is tricky to pinpoint for me because it is so

wrapped up in feeling. When I feel connected with a piece of music and

get that *zap* it has everything to do with how I'm feeling at the

time. I'm very inspired right now by the interviews in the book "The

Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries" by Bill Brewster and Frank

Broughton. I really admire the eclecticism that was embraced by DJ

pioneers such as David Mancuso, Afrika Bambaataa, Françios Kevorkian,

and Frankie Knuckles. These guys would pull records from many styles.

I would love be able to effectively combine a diverse variety of

danceable music, regardless of genre, into a night of dancing the way

that they have done.

What do you think of the dance/tech/house scene in Portland?

I think I've spent the past four days trying to type an adequate

answer this question for you, Avalon, and I am now opting for the

short response! :P

Currenty, for techno, DJs Folding and Ian Obe are keeping me on my

toes! (Their set from the last Various is excellent: Their night, Shuffle, at Crush

on SE 15th and Morrison, is a party that I am very excited to see


I've had some amazing times in Portland dancing to music that I love,

with great people. I see a lot of potential for growth in the quality

of dance parties and music coming out of here. Sometimes I just want

to go out dancing, regardless of specifics to the sub-genre of music.

Sometimes I wish my friends weren't so picky. Sometimes I wish I

weren't so picky. We've been working our asses off all week at our

jobs, now I wish that we could all just meet at the same party and

dance and have a good time. But at the same time, I also appreciate a

lot of the idealism around me. Just because something is

four-on-the-floor doesn't mean it's worth the electricity to amplify

it. That being said, Thank You, everyone in Portland who is making a

quality difference in house, techno, and dance music. Thank you for

the hard work and dedication. Let's all work hard to make what we want

a reality.

What other stuff have you been up too?

Hot Victory has a new 7" split coming out with Vice Device, soon.

Sweating Tapes is helping us put that one out. There's basically a

full-length album of music that the 7" will come with as a download,

as well. It will be quite the "bonus content!" Other than that, I've

been working hard on a number of recorded DJ mixes. I have a wide

variety of music that I want to share, so I have been programming and

plotting what will either become a podcast, a handful of cassette

tapes, or both.

I have two gigs coming up: Maxx Bass and I are DJing at Langano Lounge

on Wednesday, June 15th. We will be playing boogie, funk, disco,

house, and more. It's all about the variety in music and the mood,

overall. Then, on Friday the 18th, I'll be joining Ian Obe, Folding,

M. Quiet, and DJ Kuma for this month's Shuffle at Crush.

Japan - Sons of Pioneers (Erik Hanson's dissociated dub) by Erik Hanson

Download Sons of Pioneers (Erik Hanson dub translation)

Friday, June 3, 2011


Miracles Club and Finesse get international makeovers today and they are looking fyne!

The first of which is The Whendays heady take on "The Light of Love".
The Whendays are a half Swedish half American duo based out of Stockholm that are making beautiful pop music that sounds to me lie somewhere between The Stone Roses and Al B Sure. Their take on "Light of Love" is a deep and provocative take on thee Original.
Check it.

Next is Prague's Sasha Nevolin and his DEEEEP remix of Finesse's "Elevate". Sasha tastefully strips "Elevate" down even further to just the bare necessities where he finds a hypnotic groove and rides it in to the sunrise. LOVE.