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July 2015
The Great Void
"Shift Age

If you're one of the few not plagued by thoughts of mortality and burdened by self-reflection, consider yourself lucky. If you're a brooder, however, then Shift Age, by NYC dark electro-rock project The Great Void, might be the record for you. It bears all the outwards signs of happy pop music, though the longer you listen, the more surreal it gets. Especially vivid is “Medicine Ball,” whose plunky synths and new-wave vocals divert bleakly-rendered lines like, “I know we'd have fun/But you're much too young.” By “Shift Age (Part 2),” it's clear the gloss is just a cover for deconstructing nostalgia itself. “Out with the days of the old ways” sings leader Josh Ascalon before a barrage of high-pitched squeals surge towards an apocalyptic finale. Or maybe that's just the hardware inside his keyboard threatening to fry out? - Brian Chidester

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What’s This?: Instamatic

What’s This?: Instamatic

Instamatic pleaded a good case last week for why you should always come early to shows to catch the opening acts. When I arrived at Nothing’s EP release party with Creepoid, Arc In Round, and Instamatic, I could hear outside the barroom doors of Kung Fu Necktie that the music had already started which sounded quite interesting even muffled by the glass and wood frame, and upon opening them a rush of alluring synth sounds bombarded my ears to my delight. On stage were four dudes barricaded by a wall of music equipment creating beats time-warping me back to the glory days of new wave. There was a buzz about the room from the audience and bands on the bill. “Who are these guys? Have you ever heard of them before? No. They sound great!” Those were the common statements heard during and after Instamatic’s set. I kept referring to the group as a “synth army that reminded me of New Order.” So I had to find out more about them for myself.
According to their Bio section on Facebook, they are “4 guys, 9 synths, 3 drum machines, 1 computer, 3 PAs, [and] speakers, speakers, speakers...” Instamatic is comprised of TJ Adams, Steven Haslam, Rick Mitchell, and Phil Schorn. I later found out that they have been together for almost three years now. Haslam, Mitchell and Schorn have been playing together in bands since high school - first in Gosh Darn and then in The Harps. Schorn was in Midiron Blast Shaft and Gunna Vahm (with some of the guys from Creepoid), and Mitchell was in The Clocks, S PRCSS, and The Yah Mos Def (who Adams deejayed for when they performed live). Mitchell and Adams also deejayed and produced as Crimp Yr Hair! remixing for Crystal Castles, Matt & Kim, Hail Social, Yelle and Pink Skull. Instamatic had previously only given away a few tracks on blogs which included their songs remixed by Weird Tapes (one of Dayve Hawk’s pre-Memory Tapes alter egos), Pink Skull, and DJ Apt One. The band just released their debut EP Turning Into Straight Lines last week with contributions from Thomas Kee (Designer Drugs), Matt Coogan (Solus), Mike Robinson (Robai) and Rose Luardo (Sweatheart), and you can download it for FREE HERE (however, donations are greatly appreciated but not required). That’s the skinny on Instamatic, and I hope that you enjoy every delectable note that bounces off your eardrum. - Q.D Tran



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