photos by Erez Avissar
""IF YOU'RE FROM NEW YORK, you'll know this one." As the image of an eye patch-sporting Kurt Russell flashed across twin screens behind the stage at West Village destination Le Poisson Rouge, the speaker struck up a portentous synth line and the audience burst into nostalgic applause; ...the tense theme from 1981 cult actioner Escape from New York is one of his own compositions. Alan Howarth... is something of an icon to fans of electronic movie sound tracks and effects: His résumé is peppered with Hollywood titles from Poltergeist to Raiders of the Lost Ark, John Carpenter projects like Escape and Halloween featuring prominently among them.Synthesizer music pioneers Alan Howarth and Harald Grosskopf shared a bill with Emeralds as part of the Unsound Festival at Le Poisson Rouge on Friday night (4/8). And it was old meets new, as Grosskopf was joined by A.R.P, Blondes, Laurel Halo, Pink Skull and James Ferraro. Howarth and Emeralds also played together. Jade Boyd provided the visuals.
"Most of this music's just been sitting around for thirty years," Howarth admitted cheerfully, reveling in the attention it was now receiving and clearly overjoyed to find himself out of the studio and in front of some appreciative listeners. Harald Grosskopf, drummer for 1970s German space-rockers Ash Ra Tempel and author of 1979's Synthesist album (described by the organizers as "the nexus of Krautrock, Kosmische, and New Age"--and who am I to argue?), was in similarly high sprits. Taking the stage after Howarth, he got rather more of a workout, bobbing and weaving behind his stand-up kit while adopting a range of orgasmic/tortured facial expressions. "This screen is to monitor my blood pressure," he quipped, pointing to one of several nearby laptops. "It's nothing to do with the music."
After an hour or so of meandering but effortlessly enjoyable stuff, Grosskopf and friends made way for Emeralds, a young trio from Cleveland whose synth-heavy instrumental jams owe much to their senior colleagues' pioneering work..." -[Artforum]
The theme continued the next night as well as many of the same performers, Harald Grosskopf included, played and/or DJ'd at a secret party in Brooklyn. Erez was at both events, and his pictures from them continue, with some videos, below...
Alan Howarth @ Le Poisson Rouge
Alan Howarth plays music from John Carpenter films
Harald Grosskopf @ Le Poisson Rouge
Emeralds with Alan Howarth @ Le Poisson Rouge
Alan Haworth, Emeralds performing The Thing ost
Harald Grosskopf in Brooklyn...