Club Mutant was an underground party that Door did at America, with noise/electronic/avant artists, but (as I recall) this night was a collaboration with Mark Brown, Schwarz (who is now known as So Drove) and Cex who had done a variety of dance parties in the past. This was at the Paradox, and apparently I photographed this for Noisey, Vice Media’s music vertical which no longer exists. The article doesn’t seem to be online anymore, sadly. Hopefully I got paid!
This was a fun night that I remember pretty well because it was such a cool mix of artists and genres – the kind of genre mixing event that Baltimore has always done so well. Soft Pink Truth (aka Drew Daniel) had just released the Why Do The Heathen Rage? album, which was a Black Metal re-interpolation, so he was in full SPT/Black Metal regalia and some metal friends were here for that. Baltimore Club innovator Blaqstarr DJed along with Shawn Smallwood and some others. Shams performed. Gabber Blood Rave artist Kilbourne DJed along with the Schwarz.
This night was also funny because one of my friends disappeared and we thought he had just caught a taxi home, but then it turns out he fell asleep in the Paradox and woke up when the janitors were cleaning up – at like 9am!
If anyone reading this has any memories, details, flyers, etc to add to this, feel free to comment below, or @ me and I’ll add them. I’m “joshsisk” at IG/Twitter/BlueSky/Threads/whatever dozen other new social media sites have been created in the time it took me to type this.
Two of the most interesting people making experimental music today performed to a packed Metro Gallery last week. Pharmakon’s two full-lengths, Abandon and last year’s Bestial Burden, both made it to close the top of my best of lists in their respective years. She has a way of making challenging music that easily fits into the realm of noise but also is very listenable in a way that most music from that genre is not. “Listenable” is probably not the best way to describe the hellish soundscapes she creates, yet they are extremely captivating records that seems to be able to cross over to metal listeners as well as avant-garde/experimental. I’ve seen her perform three times now and each performance she seems to bring in new elements and work with the crowd aspect more and more – at Metro Gallery, she wound her way through the crowd, getting her microphone snagged on people and furniture, at one point the audience had to struggle and pull on the microphone cable en masse as she ascended back onto the stage – it was pretty interesting to watch.
Drew Daniel (of Matmos fame)’s the Soft Pink Truth project flew under my radar for many years, but when he announced that his most recent record would be a series of Black Metal interpretations entitled Why Do the Heathen Rage?, I took notice. It’s a really odd record, idiosyncratic electronic/dance versions of classic black metal tracks. And, lest you think Daniel is making fun of the genre… well, he is, sort of, but it’s the loving sort of jibe that comes from a true fan who has encyclopedic knowledge of his source material. The record won lots of accolades, including “Best Thing Ever” from the City Paper, and has led to several pretty amazing live performances, the latest of which is the one pictured above. Really unique artist that I recommend you go see if you have a chance.