This past weekend, NYC presented a number of only-in-NYC type concerts to help locals feel like they did some unique shit before the summer was over. For me, that meant seeing Lemonade, Reggie Watts, and Small Black at a open-air dumpster pool party that served lobster rolls for refreshments (that was a first), and joining Scott, Corban, and Juicy J at the Fool’s Gold party on Labor Day where the refreshments were considerably danker (ditto). But the best of this Very Special Weekend’s shows was also the freest: a no-cost, relatively intimate double bill in the taco-carted backyard of Williamsburg’s Union Pool, featuring a sunlit set from Brooklyn’s finest dark-wave/post-punk dramatist duo Light Asylum, and more uniquely, 40+ minutes of music from a project called IIII.
You’ll want to know about IIII, since you already know about most of its members: the “2 synths/4 drummers” project was precisely that, with old-school Korgs tapped for melody and effect by Robert AA Lowe (Lichens) and Ben Vida (Soft Circle) at the center of a drum circle manned by fellow fill-freaks Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Chris “PowPow” Powell (Man Man), Ryan Sawyer (Lonewolf), and Hisham Bharoocha (Soft Circle, ex-Lightning Bolt, ex-Black Dice). “This is our third show as IIII,” Lowe mentioned before the set. “The first time we had 40 drummers. Not sure they’d all fit if we did that this time.” Verily, IIII chewed up lots of the yard’s environment, though the circumference of their drum circle was lined with the sort of satisfied faces that come when good weather and polyrhythmic, avant-garde, polyglot rhythms meet liquor. It’s fair to think of BOADRUM — Boredums’ 77 and 88 and 9 drummer pieces from 2007, and 2008, and 2009 at T5 and ATP NY — in part because each of these drummers has been a part of those projects at one point or another. (All three for Bharoocha.) IIII ultimately seemed just as exploratory though slightly less “whisper down the lane,” the product of a smaller group with quicker idea transmission, with more overtly R&B grooves and sensual undertones in passages.
That passage in particular is at the outset of this single-shot video from the day that comes compliments of Cincecycle. It then morphs into something more propulsive and BOADRUM styled. After you watch that below, you can also take in a cut from Light Asylum’s set thereafter, which held up and pushed forward the day as only an electronic duo consisting of Shannon Funchess and Bruno Coviello could.
And here is a more cut-up and styled-out take on Light Asylum, shot and edited by grossymmetric.
(Thanks for the Light Asylum vid tip, @kmarler.)