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Prids / Low Technicians
Elysium, November 24th

When I was younger, back in the late eighties, I really did not like synth music all that much. I naively thought that using sequencers and such was cheating in the world of live music performance. I have since grown to appreciate synth-driven music in most of its forms (I just don’t get ambient though). The Low Technicians, a local synth-based trio, opened for Portland, Oregon’s The Prids. Starting out with a couple of atmospheric tunes, the Low Technicians set a laid back sort of mood in the dark innards of Elysium. The twin hollow body guitarists played effect-laden melodies, all sparkly and light, heady with phase regeneration. Breathy vocals only added to the laid back feel. Jumpin’ electro beats and synth arpeggiations lent a dance club vibe to the place a few songs later. I enjoyed the Low Technicians’ performance, you too will enjoy them if you like guitar laden techno.

The Prids, a band that has been categorized as new wave, certainly has a streak of that genre/label in them. The combined efforts of Mistina Keith on bass, David Fredrickson on guitar, Jairus Smith on synth, and Lee Zeman on drums comes close to uncategorizable. Though quite a bit more rockin’ than the Low Techs, the Prids too show their early eighties guitar influences such as the Cure and early delay-dabbling U2. Keeping the music simple with a lot of two-note progressions, the Prids played a string of short but dynamically and tonally complex instrumentals and songs with barely audible vocals. Keith was a ball of energy on stage, dancing and swinging her bass in time with her bandmates in an effort to keep the crowd energized. The small audience was appreciative, a few of the gothsters clapping and cheering after each song. Mixing synth dance pop and frenetic rhythms, the Prids dark music fit right in at the ol’ Elysium. Check out the Prids debut LP Remembrance on Luminal Records.

-James E


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