Posted in music | pictures on May 3, 2013

photos by PSquared Photography, words and additional photos by Fred Pessaro

Pharmakon / Prurient / Kid Millions / Kim Gordon
Drone Activity in Progress
Drone Activity in Progress
Drone Activity in Progress
Drone Activity in Progress

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.

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Hiram Martinez by Fred Pessaro

Drone Activity in Progress

Drone Activity in Progress

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Drone Activity in Progress

Stephen O'Malley by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

Drone Activity in Progress

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Drone Activity in Progress

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix by PSquared Photography

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Prurient by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

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Alan Licht by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

Drone Activity in Progress

Drone Activity in Progress

Jim Sauter/Kid Millions by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

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Alberich by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

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Noveller by PSquared Photography

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Drone Activity in Progress

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Oren Ambarchi by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

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Pharmakon by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

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Mick Barr by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

Drone Activity in Progress

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Drone Activity in Progress

Body/Head by PSquared Photography

Drone Activity in Progress

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Pete Swanson by PSquared Photography

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Grassmas by PSquared Photography

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KTL by Fred Pessaro

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Vatican Shadow by PSquared Photography

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Comments (19)

pictures don't even begin to do the space and scene justice...it was wild how much money Red Bull spent on making this the best setting for experimental music last night.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 12:05 PM

agreed. great space and night. completely well executed. no hassles or delays.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 12:13 PM

This was pretty fucking cool.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 12:23 PM

loved everything about this event. a brilliant concept executed flawlessly.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 12:30 PM

The sound system was beautiful and loud. Noise and experimental music should be treated with this type of respect more often.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 12:32 PM

I totally concur with everyone here. Just walking up to event, the Knockdown Center looked awesome and ethereal, and to experience the forboding drones even from a distance, it was mounmental in scope. Will definitely remember this event for a long time. Pete Swanson, Prurient and Noveller were highlights for me.

Posted by jabes | May 3, 2013 12:38 PM

How were there so many babes there? There's never that many babes when I go to shows like that in NY.

Posted by ron | May 3, 2013 12:46 PM

Lots of foxes about. Classic night. Thanks Red Bull.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 1:00 PM

Not my type of music, but the location was gorgeous last night. Plenty of alt babes, too. Can't wait for tiki disco in this location this summer.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 1:19 PM

What kind of an idiot goes to a drone show if they don't like that type of music? Oh okay, the kind that looks forward to tiki disco.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 1:56 PM

alt babes came because they promoted this shit like crazy and alt babes don't actually care so much for the music as the scene. which is why there are so few at any nyc shows. they're there for a scene. ready to pose etc. twats.

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 2:02 PM

THANKS RED BULL!!

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 4:48 PM

TWO iPods!

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 5:06 PM

How was KTL & how long did they play for?

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 6:51 PM

If only all shows were as awesome as this one... perfect sound, crazy venue, not too crowded...

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 9:38 PM

Wish to went to this! Work sucks!!

Posted by Anonymous | May 3, 2013 10:07 PM

so ther alt babes only come out for a scene, and the noise freaks only come out for noise. Afterwords, they each go back to their individual homes to stare at themselves in their mirrors.

Posted by Anonymous | May 4, 2013 3:24 AM

KTL was one of the best performances of the night for me. I think they played for 45 min or so

Posted by Anonymous | May 5, 2013 12:05 AM

This would do well to be in a horror movie....especially´╗┐ the last minute or so.

Posted by Gwendolyn | May 13, 2013 4:17 AM

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