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Cross Product 6
featuring Lusine, The Aleph and DXM

Elysium, November 7, 2003

Of all of the electronic sub-genres, IDM is probably the least interesting to watch as performed but most interesting to hear. A great deal of time and effort can go into the creation of the individual pieces but most artists end up standing on an elevated platform tweaking little knobs, pressing keys on their laptops and generally looking very over-intellectual. There isn't much audience interaction, attempts at audience participation or even vocals to give the listener something to feel part of the performance. All three bands fit this description completely.

The Aleph were perhaps the most guilty of not spending any energy on performance; most of their on-stage time was spent lighting cigarettes, nonchalantly sipping beer and fiddling with a setting here or there to presumably add some new dimension to the sound. Gone is their previous female vocalist. Her voice added a dimension to the electronics that was unparalleled in my mind. Now the band is just two guys with laptops. They did kick out some interesting electronica, but I'd rather sit on my couch with an open book and leave the music in the background than watch laptop fiddling.

DXM had the same level of performance. At times his music was a little closer to dance-oriented techno. A few tracks combined some almost tribal-sounding rhythms with some interesting electronics that actually had me doing a little goofy monkey dance by the pinball machines.

The first part of Lucine's set was so low-key, so down-tempo that I thought I'd fall asleep right there at the club. It was a good, relaxing, atmospheric set but not something I really wanted to hear in a club setting. I ended up leaving for more interesting times at home. Had I wanted to just sit around and stare at friends, it would have been a great night. But the volume was too high to really have any in-depth conversations and the lighting was too bad to read (if one had brought along a book).

The promoters tried to make up for the lack of performer energy with some realtime manipulations of images of the performers. On a screen behind them, images captured by a video camera were tweaked into fractals, but that little trick got old rather quickly.

- Brian Clarkson

Sleep Now Yes w/ unitcode:machine
Elysium, November 11, 2003

Some people might complain that there isn't enough of an industrial scene here in Texas, but those people didn't crawl off of their comfortable couches and make it down to Elysium for two of Texas' newest industrial bands. Sleep Now Yes hails from right here in Austin; unitcode:machine made the trip down from Dallas to support them.

unitcode:machine walks the line between straightforward industrial music and a more IDM-ish sound. As would be expected from either genre, there were lots of drum-machine generated beats and lots of synthesized sounds. A guitarist was part of the lineup; he played some guitar and some keys. The vocals were varied; some were screamed, some were processed, and some were natural. Not much of a visual performance really accompanied the audio; that seems to be one of the trends these days with electronic bands.

Sleep Now Yes performed without Mr. Proem, their guitarist. Mr. Vision took on most of the sample triggering, vocals and keyboard duties. Running such triple duty did make his performance suffer somewhat. Too much time was spent tweaking the vocoder to achieve some Skinny Puppy like vocal effects. His delivery was fairly straightforward – just singing/ screaming into the microphone -- once the settings were perfected. Red Sharkey performed his usual keyboard duties; he left the 'boards and took over vocal duties for a song or two. Part-time member Profytt T handled vocals for two songs and tossed some T-shirts into the small crowd; some in attendance preferred her natural vocals to the processed vocals of Mr. Vision. Most of the songs are beat-heavy elektro-industrial; there aren't too many surprises in their nearly all-electronic approach to their music. Lots of keyboards and synthesizers, lots of samples and the aforementioned vocoder for vocal effects make up their live sets. It's a good industrial outing even if there aren't many genre redefinitions happening.

-Brian Clarkson

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