Last year I performed at a festival in Birmingham, Alabama, curated by composer Monroe Golden. Also on that festival was a local quartet called Liquid Brick – two percussionists, electric guitar, and acoustic bass, as I recall. Their heavily rhythmic music, with slower harmonic effects on the pitched instruments, was very interesting, and was intertwined with a computerized video show with moving images intercut among each other, both real and abstract. The complex interrelation of sounds and images was entertaining, and represented, I thought, the beginning of a new type of visual-audio synthesis that might draw a large, younger audience to music that, without the visuals, might be a little too weird for them. The fact that such a sophisticated group was down there in Bush-country Alabama only added to the mystique.
Because I was a fellow performer on that festival, I didn’t write about Liquid Brick. But today I was recommending them to a student, Googled them, and found, lo, that they have a website at liquidbrick.org with music and visuals, including the film/music I heard, a piece called Eyedrum. Seems to me they would go over very well in New York and other places. I see them described on the web as a noise band, and I’m not always a noise band fan (though I do appreciate Borbetomagus, from a safe distance), so they’ve evidently achieved some crossover appeal. Check ’em out.