Electrogals at Holocene

Christi Denton, laptop and goblets, and Renee Vineyard, celloThe Electrogals show at Portland’s Holocene on the 10th of April, co-curated by Heather Perkins and Mary Wright, opened with a short set by Heather herself, filling in for the absent Marianne Messina. Heather’s set was loud, lively, energetic stuff. Starting with high, bright sounds, it went through some complex gyrations until settling into a regular rhythm for a bit. But only a bit. Without entirely losing the dance beat, Perkins’ set went back to and ended with the gyrating complexities.

Next up was what is fast becoming the most often requested piece of Bonnie Miksch: Solstice for voice, didgeridoo, and computer. It’s a stunner, for sure. Lots of really interesting electronics (including processed voice and didgeridoo sounds), lots of variety, from extremely synthetic sounds to concrète, all moving slowly past the live stuff, all wildly gorgeous.

For the next three sets, we moved into the back room of Holocene—it’s really convenient to have two rooms when you’re dealing with several different complicated electronic set ups. Lyn Goeringer and her ExO SkeL opened this portion of the show. Lyn moves very beautifully to make her music, so it’s a piece as much fun to watch as to listen to, and the very soft sounds, punctuated by sudden, harsh bursts of noise, were very much fun to listen to.

Also as much fun to watch as to listen to are wine goblets. And cellos. And that’s what Christi Denton gave us. Many goblets, many sizes. That and some Native American sounds, some bird sounds, some train sounds, some bells (both train and church), and of course some cello sounds on the laptop, too. A lovely blend of live and concrète.

Sugar Short Wave’s set was fairly straight ahead dance beat DJ. Except when it wasn’t. Very upbeat and fun with some very nice changes and some seriously quirky bits that reminded me a little of Crawling With Tarts.

For the last set, shared by Rasheeda Ameera and Cheetah Finess (Mireaya Medina), it was dancing and singing, the singing from the stage and the dancing from the floor. Well, some dancing from the stage, too, but fortunately no singing from the floor!

It was all in all a most enjoyable show. Electrogals has been around since 1995, but if you’ve missed any Electrogals shows over the past thirteen years, as I unfortunately have, you should keep a look out for their next show. I’ll be there for sure.

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