w/ Lesser, Electric Birds, Nudge
Sat Feb 23
Perhaps it is the dirty "haus de snaus" animal comics and skits that accompany their records, but the technology-based music of Blectum from Blechdom is much like the sound of digital animals making merry lives--pecking corn off the ground, fighting each other and, of course, having dance parties. The Oakland duo (Blevin Blectum and Kevin Blechdom) pastes beats and samples with enough creepy, bloody, child-scaring dialogue to make Lemony Snicket proud. It ends up sounding as if they have one foot in the 1980s and one in the 2040s, standing out as something so unique, it's almost subversive.
"[Subversion] is a compulsion I try to satisfy. It's not a plan, goal or anything like that--it's purely gut. Me and Kristin [aka Kevin Blechdom] share ideas and jokes and, when we're getting along, help each other stay afloat," says Blevin Blectum, who'll be performing solo this Saturday at Blackbird. "Our ideas feed off each other like a revolving door food chain. When I work alone, it's like my half of that turned in on itself, not out towards her (or Ryan [Junell] or J [Lesser, Blevin's collaborateur and concubine]). We want happy lives. Subverting is a byproduct of a certain kind of honesty, I think--but really, this stuff doesn't come out of me too coherently in word form, so you can take this all with some grains of salt."
Lately, Blevin has been performing quite a lot on her own, though Blectum from Blechdom is still playing shows. Primarily, she's been scoring music to a digital video made by Junell entitled Talon Slalom (starring herself and Drew from Matmos). Half of the film is tracked with her music. For the other half, she plays live with samplers and a laptop, finding inspiration in everything from "bargain bhangra videotapes," "Jad Fair," "Baltimore breaks," Cats, and perhaps even her day job (she makes sounds for toys, though she says it's not a glamorous affair). Blevin says she seeks to "find sounds that sound compelling to me, organize them in a way that seems satisfying, change the work process so it doesn't stagnify like a rotting old bee grub that stung itself away in a fit of anger." With a propensity for punk robotics and avant, electronic chirps, 'stagnification' doesn't seem like something Blevin Blectum has to worry about.