L’altra + Rothko + Solway Fifth

L’altra (Chicago)<br>
Rothko (3 bass action) <br>
Solway Fifth

L’altra is comprised of: Lindsay Anderson, Joseph Costa, Ken Dyber (owns and runs Aesthetics) and Eben English (also plays in Del Rey). The group formed in the autumn of 97, based on a flyer Ken hung in the local record store looking for people to play with. Joe called, and he, Ken and Lindsay played (who Joe moved to Chicago with), and thus the nucleus of the band was created. About a month or two later Ken introduced them to Eben, who had moved to Chicago with his band Del Rey. From there, things just fell into place. In the winter of 99, Marc Hellner joined the group for a short stint, but after about a half a year or so, he left the band to focus more time on his Pulseprogramming project. They are on aestetics record label (same as isotope 217)

Some of the artists they have played with include: Movietone, David Grubbs, Blackheart Procession, Daniel Givens, Pulseprogramming (who they toured with), Retsin, Arial M (Papa M), American Analog Set, 33.3, Macha, Poster Children, Solex, and tons more.

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rothko Three guys and three basses. This is another band that are very hard to slot into a pigeonhole – which is a good thing! You may think the bass guitar is a deep ploddy instrument, well think again, as some of the noises you hear sound like they cannot possibly come out of this instrument. Moody, deep and self indulgent – yes, but you can loose yourself in this sound and it’s beautiful. On some tracks it sounds like there’s a storm brewing, or wind whistling through the chimney pots – all made with the bass guitar. There is no singing from these guys, as just playing is hard work enough, but that doesn’t distract from the weird calming ride that the music takes you on.

This band continues to experiment and push the music boundaries, and have no particular agenda that they work to. Record collaborations have been made with bands as diverse as Billy Mahonie, Monkey Boy, The Monsoon Bassoon, Tarantel and Elephant. Live, Rothko are a completely different experience – if you go along expecting something similar to the ambient recorded sounds, then be prepared. They can quite literally be a beautiful wall of noise live and are capable of disturbing the punters who see them for the first time, with only the best PA’s being able to cope with the output being pushed through. Samples from minidisk and loops are used in the live arena, and they have played together (as in the same time on stage) with Cay, Monkey Boy, Richard Thomas, John Tye and DJ Spykid, and been used by performance artists. They often make tunes up on the spot or during sound checks!

“..are so far arse-bongingly out ‘there’ they make Tortoise look like Level 42.”

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