The Bowery Presents
Matthew Dear

Matthew Dear

Light Asylum, Beacon, MNDR

Sat, November 17, 2012

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Webster Hall

New York, NY

$20 advance / $22 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Matthew Dear
Matthew Dear
If you've followed Matthew Dear over the years, then you know he doesn't like to stay in one place for very long. Even as a primarily electronic artist in the early 2000s, Dear hopped from label to label, switched aliases often, and made everything from steely microhouse to harder Detroit techno. But his biggest departure was 2007's Asa Breed, the record where he stepped out from behind the decks and reached for the mic. Singing on tracks and leaning more heavily on song structure, he built strange hybrid music that had one foot in techno and the other in pop.

Dear's latest album, Black City, follows this path but pulls a pretty drastic shift in tone. Where Asa Breed was bubbly and squeaky and ultimately dancefloor-bound, this record is dark as night. The music brings to mind blown-out warehouses, desolate alleys, and seedy basement nightclubs; it's some real threatening, grimy shit. The production is as inventive and immersive as ever, but what separates this album from the last is that Dear mostly sticks with one theme all the way through. Asa Breed was all over the place at times, but this album has a cohesive thread to follow and smaller vignettes within it.
Light Asylum
Light Asylum
There's a sense of release watching a performer who was clearly born to be on stage, whose whole life has been building up to the moment when all their pent-up artistic urges can be turned loose on an audience. Some people make music for fun; others do it because there's a force that's been bearing down on them since birth that positively compels them to flush it all out of their systems. Light Asylum singer Shannon Funchess would seem to be a card-carrying member of the latter group. She manages to route her sinewy vocal through the cold-blooded seething of Ian Curtis, the deadpan drawl of Grace Jones and the full-tilt intensity of Henry Rollins circa Damaged.

The juddering electro-goth backing provides a perfect foil for her to break out that extraordinary range, which effortlessly transitions from hoarse rasps to deep-throated contralto brooding and back again. Funchess' lyrical conceits mostly center on drugs and religious imagery, but there's a vitality and conviction to her delivery, a sense that she needs to be up there doing this, that elevates Light Asylum beyond the sizable amount of past and present artists who have explored similar territory.
Beacon
Beacon
Thomas Mullarney and Jacob Gossett, aka Brooklyn duo Beacon, introduced themselves to the world with the No Body and For Now EPs, both released last year on Ghostly International. The EPs were united by minimalist, R&B-influenced instrumentation, and also by a lyrical theme, with both serving as meditations on the darkness that underpins the most intense of human emotions: love.

The duo's debut album The Ways We Separate both consolidates and develops these ideas. The album focuses, as the title suggests, on the idea of separation — both within the context of relationships and in a more intimate, psychological sense. As Mullarney explains, "The narrative contained inside The Ways We Separate deals with two kinds of separation: one where two entities grow apart, and the other where we grow apart from ourselves. Over the course of a relationship, the two sometimes happen together, one being the result of the other."

Desires, passions and regrets are central to the songs on The Ways We Separate, which take a variety of perspectives to construct a nuanced reflection on the album's central theme. 'Between the Waves' draws a clever analogy between relationships and soundwaves falling out of phase: "I know all the ways we separate/ Where we start to fade at different frequencies." 'Overseer' catalogues a parting of the ways with discomfiting clarity: "Isn't it fine?/ Taking it slow?/ Watching you watch me walk out your door." And album closer 'Split in Two' explores how th extremes of love and loss can take you far away from being the person you thought you were, making explicit the connection between the two ideas of separation: "What I'd do for you?", sings Thomas Mullarney, "Split myself in half/ Divided into two."

Musically, The Ways We Separate finds Beacon working with a richer sonic palette than ever before —as Gossett says, "The production on this album is much more expansive than anything we’ve done thus far. We spent a lot of time exploring new gear and experimenting with how to pull a wide range of sound out of various instruments. Some of the key sonics that shaped this LP are analogue synthesis, lots of heavily processed guitar work, and vocal layering/processing." While the abiding mood remains that of late-night introspection, the production draws from elements of hip hop and a wide gamut of electronic music, marrying intricate beats and subtle textures to honeyed pop melodies that belie the album's conceptual depth. Rarely has bleakness sounded so pretty — this is a record that's deceptively, compellingly beautiful, an exploration of a place both discomfiting and darkly seductive.
MNDR
MNDR
"MNDR is an electronic music duo, formed in 2009 in New York City, consisting of Amanda Warner and Peter Wade.
Warner moved from Oakland, California to New York City in 2008 to work as a songwriter for hire. It was only after meeting Wade that she began to consider fronting a musical act herself. MNDR has opened for bands like YACHT, Massive Attack, and Deerhoof and frequently collaborates with visual artist Jamie Carreiro, who provides visual effects for MNDR's live shows.Warner and Wade uploaded four tracks to MySpace in 2009, and those tracks eventually became MNDR's debut EP, E. P.E… The band is currently at work on their first full-length album, tentatively scheduled for release in early 2011. The song "Fade to Black" from E.P.E was re-recorded in the Simlish language of The Sims and is featured in The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff.
Amanda Warner is featured on the song "Bang Bang Bang", the first single taken from Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.'s third studio album, Record Collection. The song was co-written by Warner, Wade, Ronson, and Q-Tip. Daniel Kreps from Rolling Stone describes MNDR as providing "the song's indelible French-laden hook" while "a debonair Q-Tip absolutely slays on his verses." Warner subsequently provided vocals for a parody version of the song, called "Dom Dom Dom", written by Chris Moyles and Dave Vitty. She is also featured on Ronson's 2010 tour in support of his new album." -last.fm
Venue Information:
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY, 10003
http://www.websterhall.com/