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Drone Activity in Progress, part of RBMA, took over Knockdown Center last night (pics)

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.

Hiram Martinez by Fred Pessaro

Drone Activity in Progress

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Stephen O’Malley by PSquared Photography

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Hunter Hunt-Hendrix by PSquared Photography

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Prurient by PSquared Photography

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Alan Licht by PSquared Photography

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Jim Sauter/Kid Millions by PSquared Photography

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Alberich by PSquared Photography

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Noveller by PSquared Photography

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Oren Ambarchi by PSquared Photography

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Pharmakon by PSquared Photography

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Mick Barr by PSquared Photography

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Body/Head by PSquared Photography

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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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