Los Angeles-based artist Rob Sato is more than a painter of fantastical watercolor dreamscapes. Challenging his own magnificent talent as a masterful visual creator, Sato is also a prolific consumer of culture. Profoundly influenced by historical events, dynamic music, and piles of life-changing books, he is able to channel many diverse creative explorations into colorfully horrific and disarmingly beautiful works of art; his work is an intriguing amalgam of childhood fantasies and literary consequence, adeptly bridging the gap between fantasy and reality.
"Writing feels like it comes from a separate part of the brain than where imagery generates from, so when I'm having trouble on a painting, I can turn to the writing to think about things from a different angle." -- Rob Sato

 

FIELDED Ninety Thirty Thirty Captcha Records When composing her second album, Lindsey Anne Powell of FIELDED wanted to make vocals the star, while getting back in touch with her "deepest love for Pop music". In Ninety Thirty Thirty, the soulful yet edgy singer-songwriter does both those things beautifully, blending the best elements of futuristic, experimental music and retro pop to create her own unique sound. Ninety Thirty Thirty is a very enjoyable album, and that's largely due to Powell's amazing vocal control. Many of the album's exceptional tracks, including its break-out "Chapel of Lies," feature powerful vocal modulations by Powell that slip and slide satisfyingly across her wide range while supporting full and edgy emotion. Either framed by precise harmonies or set against the backdrop of heavier instrumentals, Powell's voice lends sass and personality as the album's backbone. The combination of captivating vocals with dense layers of samples and instrumental parts creates an interesting wall of sound. In "Gabrielle," for example, Powell's vocals both float over and pierce through an industrial-sounding backdrop, while the lush harmonies in "Eternal Hour" are supremely gratifying against the song's sparse and energetic instrumentation.

 

To experience Saya Woolfalk's work is to become immersed in a scientific folklore where biology and anthropology inform fables of utopia. In Greek, "utopia" translates literally as "no" (ou) and "place" (topos), and in a collaborative series with anthropologist Rachel Lears, entitled No Place, Woolfalk posits ways in which "no placeians" can more readily become a part of a utopian society. In her most recent development upon this theme, Woolfalk has incorporated a new element -- that of dual consciousness and foreign beings, via the narrative of a fictional species called Empathics. Through the use of psychedelically-colored exhibits, scientific slide shows, dance performances, and a very multi-disciplinary artistic practice, Woolfalk is learning how to use art shows to create utopian worlds in and of themselves.

 

From its wavy slow-motion intro alone, one can tell that the music video for Xander Harris' "Night Fortress" is bound to be a rainbow-colored adventure into bizarre costumes and texture-melting acid trip territory. The best part, though, is that it's not walls or environments melting here -- that would be too boring -- but rather, bobbing and weaving dancers that dissipate and reform while in a static environment, their bodies changing by way by way of sharp refraction, color dodges, and ripple effects. It really is a video that gets better with repeat viewings, and the dance moves are just tantalizing.
Says director Melissa Cha of the concept:
"For me, 'Night Fortress' conjured images of deranged, alien characters skulking around a strip mall dystopia. It's really great when a song immediately inspires imagery -- Xander Harris' music definitely has that effect. The initial concept was a madwoman possessed by decaying suburban landscapes. Whether or not that comes across doesn't matter so much anymore. It was really just a starting point -- something to think about during the shooting process."
The track comes from Xander Harris' The New Dark Age of Love record, out on Not Not Fun. You can watch the video after the jump.

 

Multi-faceted artist Saya Woolfalk is burning hallucinatory fires up and down both coasts the beginning of 2013, with dual shows in NYC and Portland. Three-dimensional or two-dimensional, still structure or moving image, Woolfalk navigates it all like a Play-Doh wizard gone haywire or a visionary artist on acid. Her latest solo show, Chimera, is a full-bodied, multi-disciplinary exploration of Woolfalk's fictional species of Empathics, who are genetic chimeras comprised of two or more genetically-distinct tissues. The series is sci-fi-inspired, with an underlying commentary about the transformation of identities through biological hybridization. Though these issues may seem foreign and otherwordly -- especially when tackled in the visually-striking way that Woolfalk has -- they may indeed have increasing relevance in our world in the face of scientific progress. Stay tuned for Woolfalk's in-depth interview with REDEFINE this upcoming month, and view the full post for more information on Woolfalk's shows and the Empathics.
(7 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

 

a
Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. In this post, '80s sci-fi influences electronics are given their due as Majeure and Chrome Canyon churn out analog synth-layered landscapes like nobody's business.
++ SEE ALL: BLEEP POSTS or MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Chrome Canyon

We begin with the well-reputed New York-based musician Chrome Canyon, whose latest record, Elemental Themes, will come out on Stones Throw on October 9th. This music video for "Branches", directed by the solo artist Morgan Z himself, was inspired by the visually-stunning Koyaanisqatsi, for which you can view a trailer below. Unlike Majeure, to follow, the sounds of Chrome Canyon occasionally has more terrestrial grounding to tie it back to earth as we know it. This comes in the form of chopped vocal samples, straight-forward drums, live bass and guitar, and occasional Bach-like compositions of madness. Not to mention the elusive sounds of the Theremin. Elemental Themes tracklisting to follow after the jump. CHROME CANYON - "BRANCHES" KOYAANISQATSI TRAILER

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. Last time's was a dark baby featuring BEAK>, Nguzunguzu, and Outlands, and this time doesn't really let up either, with new tracks from Matmos, who explore parapsychology on their new EP, Clark who goes dancefloor with his upcoming Fantasm Planes, and Motion Sickness Of Time Travel's limited edition cassette.

Matmos

October 18th, 2012 Update: 3-D forms hover and float like spacecrafts in this music video by l-inc design. The group, fascinated by Matmos' approach to their record (detailed below) "worked on the video without consulting the band, counting on psychic cues to guide them."
Matmos' upcoming EP, The Ganzfeld, coming out on Thrill Jockey Records on October 16th (with a full-length, The Marriage Of True Minds, to follow). Part fantasy war march cinematics and part muted monk chants, this initial track, an edit of "Very Large Green Triangles", could be adequate music for a Mars Rover Landing or a post-Bubonic Plague Christmas. The sonics themselves are convincing and fascinating, but the twenty-year collaboration between Matmos' M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel contains fascinating conceptual underpinnings as well, as both are centered around telepathy. For the past four years, the duo has been exploring parapsychological experiments based upon ganzfeld experiments (detailed below).
Original track and Schwarz remix of "Very Large Green Triangles" to follow. Pre-Order Matmos - The Ganzfeld EP

 

Seattle artist Bette Burgoyne creates intricate colored pencil drawings that flow like the mechanizations of the universe. Inspired by geometry and pattern-based forms as well as nature, science, mathematics, and music, Burgoyne places heavy reliance on how perspectives and viewpoints shift and unfold over time. As she states simply in her personal statement, "My intention is to reveal a spectacle of wood, water, light and atmosphere; to share my enthusiasm for these processes and patterns that overlay, harmonize and echo one another." In the Q&A below, Burgoyne expands on this intention by describing her approach, factors that led her to her current body of work, and how music plays a significant role on her process.

 

The rambunctiously chaotic music of Portland's AU is translated into bright visual forms when processed by Japanese animator and video artist Takafumi Tsuhiya. Both the director and AU's frontman, Luke Wyland, speak below about their collaborations for this year's "OJ" and 2010's "Ida Walked Away", along with how they've each grown in that time period.

 

AU - "OJ" MUSIC VIDEO
"I believe there is something universal in [how] sounds correspond with visuals [that] is over the boundaries of language." - Takafumi Tsuhiya

 

Chicago-based illustrator and artist Jacob Van Loon has recently taken inspiration from the films of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. Two of Van Loon's latest pieces, The Moguls (Stalker) and Let Alone A Planet (Solaris) -- named after two Tarkovsky films of the same name -- are chaotic and multi-layered mixed media works inspired by the content, moods, and color palettes of those films. "I can't think of a director who has done more with film as a medium," says Van Loon of Tarkovsky. "I was dealing with the assignment of dense conceptual material during the painting process. I found it easier to speculate on the latent aspects of both films; the psychological confrontations posed by the pace, sound, and color." Though Van Loon readily admits that both films felt initially inaccessible to him, the Q&A below will show how repeat viewings led to the gelling of his artistic style with philosophical and psychological interpretations of Tarkovsky's themes.

(TOP) The Moguls (Stalker) Diptych 24"x40"; (BOTTOM) The Moguls (Stalker) Detail - Watercolor, graphite View entire Stalker Series On Jacob Van Loon's Website