photos by PSquared Photography, words and additional photos by Fred Pessaro
Pharmakon / Prurient / Kid Millions / Kim Gordon
Sixteen bands that deal in ambient, drone, noise and power electronics converged on Knockdown Center in Queens last night (5/2) as part of the Drone Activity in Progress show. The multi-stage event, part of a massive May NYC takeover by Red Bull Music Academy, was housed in a giant warehouse/factory building somewhat-shaped like an "F," with three stages (Red Room, Grand Hall, and West Wing) located in separate areas. Most of the sets had minimal crossover to the other stages, set time staggering was well executed, but those that did overlap were obvious in reasons why: guitar drones vs thumping bass lines, etc. Soundbleed was shockingly minimal in each individual room.
That many bands is a lot to take in general, but personal highlights all seemed to come from the "Red Room" where I caught sets by Prurient, Pharmakon, Alberich and others, who each used keys, effects pedals, vocals, patch bays, and samples to create their versions of industrial-noise terror. Other highlights from the other stages (Grand Hall and West Wing) included guitar-noise from Body/Head (with Kim Gordon), guitar/ambient from KTL (with Stephen O'Malley), guitar qizardry from Mick Barr, Noveller and the spazzy/jawdropping Jim Sauter/Kid Millions.
Tonight's Red Bull Music Academy events are: Brian Eno's "77 Million Paintings" at 45 W. 32nd (sold out); Masters At Work w/ special guest and vibraphone legend Roy Ayers at Le Bain (which is free); and Knox, QuietDust, August Rosenbaum, and Jimi Nxir at Le Poisson Rouge which is also free.
In addition to this set, check out another set of pictures at InvisibleOranges. More photos from Drone Activity are below.
Hiram Martinez by Fred Pessaro
Stephen O'Malley by PSquared Photography
Hunter Hunt-Hendrix by PSquared Photography
Prurient by PSquared Photography
Alan Licht by PSquared Photography
Jim Sauter/Kid Millions by PSquared Photography
Alberich by PSquared Photography
Noveller by PSquared Photography
Oren Ambarchi by PSquared Photography
Pharmakon by PSquared Photography
Mick Barr by PSquared Photography
Body/Head by PSquared Photography
Pete Swanson by PSquared Photography
Grassmas by PSquared Photography
KTL by Fred Pessaro
Vatican Shadow by PSquared Photography