Mas Ysa, Pictureplane (DJ Set)
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
Doors 11:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Brian DeGraw, who's best known for his work in Gang Gang Dance, has announced his debut solo album under the name bEEdEEgEE. It's called SUM/ONE, and it's out December 3 via 4AD. The album features vocal contributions from his Gang Gang Dance bandmate Lizzi Bougatsos, Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, CSS' Lovefoxxx, and Douglas Armour.
Mas Ysa, the project of nomadic composer Thomas Arsenault, combines love songs, unabashed ecstatic pop, prayer, field recordings and techno into triumphant, danceable, melancholy folk music that pummels the heart rather than dances around it.
Born in Montreal with formative years spent in San Paolo at hard-techno raves, Arsenault’s life is one of human and musical experience rather than eye-searing laptop screens. After studying composition at Oberlin Conservatory, where he was part of the Ohio-based Shinkoyo art collective, Arsenault headed west for San Francisco to assist kindred-spirit cult artist Warner Jepson.
Eventually, Arsenault landed on Kent Avenue in Brooklyn, occupying a sprawling loft complex connected to the underground venues 285 Kent and Glasslands. There, he built a studio that yielded records by everyone from Cass McCombs to Laurel Halo, getting out of bed in the dead of night to write songs and record sonic fragments. During the day, Arsenault explored the other side of modern composition by collaborating with Rashaun Mitchell of the storied Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Born as a live experience in early 2012, Mas Ysa hoists this voracious music history and crashes it head-on with blunt emotional trauma. Early shows vacillated between dancefloor catharsis and inner pain, emphasizing both ritualistic transcendence and the universal bond of folk music.
And with no public songs, marketing, Internet hype or silent brand backing, Mas Ysa was quickly tapped to tour with art-rock icons Deerhunter in between opening big shows for everyone from Purity Ring and Delorean to RZA.
In early 2013, Arsenault made perhaps his most important move in the face of an eviction notice from the City Of New York: He packed-up his gear – including two TR-909s, a homemade analog chaos-weaver and a Kurzweil K2000 borrowed from Oberlin and never returned – and drove north, eventually landing at a house for rent in Woodstock. No stranger to musical mysticism, the secluded compound (with requisite bear encounters) serves as the backdrop for Mas Ysa’s initial recordings.
Encompassing bangers, ballads and textured experimental arcs, the debut Mas Ysa EP marks the arrival of a unique cvoice. “Why,” a futuristic arms-to-the-sky “Thunder Road,” is motorik shock therapy, while “Shame” is a gigantic crescendo of emotional despair and aural exultation. “Mountain Cave” is serene, windy desolation, and the stark forestry of wide-eyed songwriters like Will Oldham is channeled on “Years.”
Look for Mas Ysa’s debut EP in January 2014 with a full-length to follow via Downtown Records.
Pictureplane (DJ Set)
Originally hailing from Denver, Colorado, Pictureplane (real name Travis Egedy) was a driving force in making the city one of the most influential DIY towns in the world; thanks in large part to Pictureplane’s legendary shows at his former Denver home Rhinoceropolis, his raging club night, “Real is a Feeling”, and his constant stream of mixtapes and remixes. In 2012 he moved to Brooklyn, NY and quickly established himself as one of the figureheads of a revitalized electronic/punk scene. Egedy’s growing influence can be felt in ways that are both trivial - Egedy coined the ridiculous genre term “Witch House” in 2009 - and significant: Pictureplane’s punk rock-like approach to the production and dissemination of his work is democratizing electronic music the same way the Ramones, Minor Threat, and Black Flag liberated rock music in the 70s and 80s.
Produced and recorded by Egedy and mixed/co-produced by Jupiter Keyes of HEALTH, his 2011 record Thee Physical is a celebration of human touch in a digital world. The album is also unquestionably Pictureplane’s best and most assured record to date: his vocals are confident and unnervingly sexy, the instrumentation is at once both purely electronic and surprisingly human. Pictureplane has managed to make electronic music deeply emotive—a synthesis of the human and the machine both in lyrics and sound.
“Brilliant? Yes. The guy has true production and compositional skills and has found a uniquely compelling way to merge a deep blend house, noise, synth pop, darkwave, psychedelia, world music, and trippy new age space-time theories into emotionally compelling soundscapes.”
“Pictureplane, a one-man knob-twiddler…might succeed where many others have failed: making shiny, thumping, ecstasy-appropriate dance music palatable to indie fans whose comfort with electronic jams extends about as far as Hot Chip or Girl Talk.”
- ONION A/V CLUB
“Colorado art-guy Pictureplane packs a ridiculous amount of contagious energy into this club ready debut. This is music for a new-age junkyard rave: stinky, sweaty, and way too much fun.”