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Onyx_System on 01/15/2015 at 04:47PM

A Strange Brew: Reviewing Spinning Clocks - Spirits in the Juice

artwork by Alex Nova artwork by Alex Nova

Spirits in the Juice indeed. I don't know where the Clocks found the plums for this strange potion, but it left my head spinning after just the first sip!  

Listening to the opening piece of music, Circle Round lays out a rich carpet of organ drone as the bass pattern sets the table. Once the theme is established organs begin to layer and compete, darting and weaving soon they are braiding a gorgeous head of hair! A Big Bopper-styled maestro urges on the proceedings, and are those the sounds of swallows on the hunt as daylight grows scarce? Has the bass guitar's pattern changed at all or in fact has the listener changed within the act of listening?

Silver UFOs introduce some new tones, this time the bass gurgles, the keys ping and glide, and a violin maneuvers gracefully with, through, and around. I believe this tune might be in waltz timing. There is a moment where the tone shifts, a workmanlike mien taking the place of the carefree precedings; a dog barks as the the tumult grows, and just as quickly rainbows of violin part the clouds. Next a somewhat unexpected banjo joins the fray, picking a 'down-home' counterpoint to the violins as the song whirls through the brambles and on to its conclusion.  

The third piece, Lunar Dunes, takes us into the kind of den we've all found ourselves at one time or another. Dim lamplight casts mysterious shadows. Anonymous sorts recline on couches, others across rugs, the air thick with intermingling smokes, a couple engaged in a languid dance. It is hot. Electronics squiggle and bubble, organ and bass guitar keeping time as a theremin tone picks out the tune.     

And finally EP closer Around the Mountain finds the Clocks scaling the proverbial mount, the twilight haze of the previous 3 tracks giving way to definite night, shields and swords clattering, violins lamenting, all to the steady sturm of the bass guitar while the organ takes quill to scroll, narrating the adventure.  

While not quite 15 minutes in length, the Spinning Clocks are able to achieve some transporting effect across these 4 tracks. Given the opportunity of a full length recording I'd be curious to hear where they take us, and to what depths...   -Martin Standish  

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theradius on 10/07/2014 at 11:00AM

Radius PATCH 09: Narrative

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 09: Narrative

Episode 14: Sara Pinheiro

Quem Conta Um Conto, II is a study in narrative, Pinheiro’s main subject of research. The individual sounds in the piece grow as characters, based on film theorist Chris Vogler’s twelve stages of the Hero’s Journey. Pinheiro juxtaposes sound spaces to join together disparate times and places; she ignores the physical impossibilities of their junction in order to potentiate the conflict that can emerge from their friction.

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studio11 on 08/23/2014 at 10:28PM

Glass Lux - Dancing In The New Wave Chicago Italo Connection


Some of my fondest Studio 11 memories date back to the late nineties when studio manager Dan Scalpone and I would embark on our yearly trip to Cannes, France to attend Midem, the world music convention. Here we would meet with labels worldwide on behalf of Chicago musicians to sort out licensing and label deals. Notably, I remember meeting with the Donato brothers of Italy in respect to their Full Time music label and catalog. As innovators in the late wave of disco and early house music, they emphasized that there always stood a unique and deep connection with Chicago and Italo music. Kindly, they had gifted us their entire catalog on CD's notably all "The Very Best Of Full Time" volumes. While building the second recording studio at Studio 11 in Chicago we were limited to a CD Boombox on the construction site. Needless to say, the whole Full Time catalog became the music of choice and I recall hearing the classic "Spacer Woman" by Charlie over and over. Upon attending the early shows in Chicago by Studio 11 friends and musical sensation Glass Lux, I was blown away hearing their supercharged cover version of "Spacer Woman" and absolutely thrilled to hear the fabled Chicago Italo connection come back to life. 

The latest Glass Lux single "I'm A Machine" was mixed down at Studio 11 in 2014 as a re-release of the bands original demo release. The song is not only an infectiously catchy ride through an electronic whirlwind, it is lyrically clever and in every sense fashionable. 


Interview with Emily Morse of Glass Lux and Alex Gross of Studio 11:

From what I understand, "I'm A Machine" was the first Glass Lux song written, how did it come together?

I'm a Machine came together the first time Fonz and I came together to write. At that time I was working 3 jobs while partying and living a pretty hectic time in my life. I literally felt like a robot- or machine. So I started thinking I'm a machine I can do this whatever it was. And I did. So then I wrote a song about it. I like to say the songs I write have nothing to do with my personal life but in the backround deep in the lyrics they all directly have to do with what is going on with me at the time even though the words don't directly say so. It's almost like code. Which is appealing to me. 

When did you become involved in music?

I first became involved with music when I was young. I'm half filipino and my people are OBSESSED with karaoke. So my mother would make me sing karaoke and then record the songs I'd sing along to then send it to my dad who lived in another state. Those tapes were most defiantly embarrassing and I would give anything for them to surface where ever they are.( Fonz ) I became involved in music when I was young. My friends and I started a band and I only started  playing drums because we couldn't find anyone else to play. So since then I've always been playing in bands of all genres.

What best describes the Glass Lux sound?

Tough one. I guess right off the bat you could say we are very wave.. electronic.. italo disco.. pop -ish. A real mix of everything. We don't totally fit in one genre and we like that. 

I very much enjoyed your cover of Charlie's "Spacer Woman" at the recent shows, what inspired you to perform this cover?

I initially wanted to do a cover of something but Fonz HATES doing covers. He's weird like that. So we compromised and he was like IF we do a cover lets do this. I heard Spacer Woman and was like hell yeah this song is rad. 

Who are some of your musical influences?

Vocally I'm totally influenced by Stevie Nicks, Ann Wilson, Robert Plant, Lene Lovich, Patti Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. I'd sing along to songs I liked and experimented with my voice it's range and what I could do with it. I never wanted to sound like anyone else so I took bits and pieces of inspiration from who I loved and played around with my voice to see what I could do. (Fonz) I used to hang out at a record shop called hot jams and got very into new wave, italo disco type music. In my early days I was in some metal and punk bands so I guess you could say that that's always been in my head and influences the sounds I produce. 

What are some of your favorite venues in Chicago?

We have a few favorites.. but right now whats sticking out is Lincoln Hall. We played there recently. Other than the crowd being awesome the people that work there were really great. We were having issues with sound and the guys working sound were very determined to get everything perfect. I was just impressed by their level of professionalism. We've played shows where theres a "we don't really give a fuck about you" attitude.


Local artists?

Right now there's an act called Gemini Club and a project called HOLT. They both have great production and are on the up and up right now.

What's your craziest band story to date - that Spinal Tap moment?

Craziest? hm I feel like we all party so much that crazy has to top crazy. One situation that sticks out is when we were at SXSW and Fonz spent all of our band money at a strip club so we wasted a day having to get money wired. That was just annoying but I'm sure it was totally worth it for him.If I was a dude I might have done the same thing

What's on the horizon for Glass Lux in the near future?

As the year is near it's end the horizon is looking quite nice. We're entering into a part of the year were Fonz and I do a lot of writing and recording. Also going on a mini east coast tour. We have a feeling rad things are in the works for us and we're super stoked on seeing what's next. 

Visit Glass Lux on the web at:





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theradius on 08/04/2014 at 07:49PM

Radius PATCH 08: History

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 08: History

Episode 03: Andy Ortmann

The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing (Nanking), the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered and 20,000-80,000 women were raped by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. In anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Massacre, Ortmann constructed a three hour piece of electronic music to in some minor way, reflect on and/or interpret the inhumanity and abominable brutality of which humans are capable.

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theradius on 06/03/2014 at 07:01PM

Radius PATCH 07: Distance

PATCH is a series of curated playlists selected from the Radius episode archive. Each playlist is organized around a specific topic or theme that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. PATCH serves as a platform to illuminate the questions, concerns, and complexities of and within radio-based art practices.

PATCH 07: Distance

Episode 20: Damon Loren Baker

Distant consists of white noise and sine waves that are beyond the range of most adults’ hearing. They are arranged carefully in chosen phase relationships amongst signals that are completely inaudible and have no apparent effect on the final sound. However, when broadcast using a radio transmitter (ideally a low power one, the lower fidelity and power the better) those phase relationships become mangled by the interaction of the broadcast with the environment it fills and activates. When the listener is too close to the signal, the subtleties between the phase relationships are lost. When too far, the subtleties become inaudible. However, when somewhere between near and far, the garbling of the transmission creates pulses and tones from the creative and destructive interference caused by the reflected signal and the collapse of the stereo image.

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