Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

STRFKR

STRFKR

Gigamesh, Psychic Twin

Tue, November 29, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$22.00 - $24.00

This event is all ages

STRFKR
STRFKR
Being No One, Going Nowhere. The title of STRFKR's fourth album may seem bleak at first. But hold it in your head a minute, feel its weight, and you may recognize the phrase for what it is: a goal. In the era of the personal brand -- amid the FOMO Age -- it's increasingly hard to shed a stifling sense of self, or to just be in the moment that you're in. Well, consider this an invitation to get blissfully insignificant. That's what STRFKR founder Joshua Hodges aimed to do when he exiled himself to the desert to create this record, but he returned with his most significant work yet: a set of darkly glistening dance songs rife with sticky beats, earworming hooks, philosophical heft, and bittersweet beauty.

The album opens on "Tape Machine," and the difference is readily apparent. On 2013's Miracle Mile, STRFKR refined a full-band sound, but this doubles down on and completely reimagines the project's electronic and pop roots. The initial synths could fuel a rave, and the ensuing groove could score a Drive sequel, but the song is richer still, with cosmic effects flying overhead and a psych-folk earthiness below. It isn't that the band sat this LP out -- drummer (etc.) Keil Corcoran penned the thick astral disco of "In the End," and he and bassist (etc.) Shawn Glassford both pitch in throughout. But Being No One, Going Nowhere was born in Joshua Tree after Hodges packed up his Los Angeles apartment and moved to that tiny Mojave outpost under the great big sky. "It came together for me in the desert," he says. "Out there, it's easy to feel small and slow."

When Hodges started STRFKR in 2007, it was designed to be success-proof. The name was both unfit for radio and a jab at fame-chasers. But the project was also meant to be bright, playful and brimming with energy. He stumbled upon a winning juxtaposition that's a STRFKR staple to this day: dark (or heavy) lyrics set to happy music. Hodges credits that to Elliott Smith's influence, although Being No One, Going Nowhere has closer sonic kin in Italo-disco, kosmische musik and Tony Hoffer's work with Phoenix, Beck and M83. English thinker/writer Alan Watts, a scholar of Eastern philosophy, was another muse for Hodges -- his voice appears on nearly every STRFKR release, including this one. That's him on "interspace," talking about sloughing off preconceived identity to find one's place in the universe, which is the story of Hodges' eventual career: stop trying -- no, start not trying -- and succeed.

This album's name actually paraphrases the title of a book by Ayya Khema, a Buddhist nun, but the concept came to Hodges in a less chaste setting. "I had an experience at a BDSM club that was really freeing," he says. "I realized that the appeal is letting go of your mind and stress. You can be super present with the pain, and then the pain isn't even pain. It's a gateway to freedom." In a way, each song on Being No One, Going Nowhere seeks that end. There's the reality-refracting fantasy of "Never Ever," the hard truths about addiction's ravages on "Tape Machine," a death-defying coming of age tale on "Open Your Eyes," and references to Hermann Hesse's 1919 novel of self-realization, Demian, on "When I'm With You." If the words don't set you free, the music -- exuberant, enveloping, incredibly catchy -- should do so handily.

None of which is to imply that STRFKR is drifting along aimlessly. To the contrary, Hodges crafted this album's dance bent with the stage in mind. The live setup these days includes a custom-made LED wall and a homemade light show that syncs with the rhythm of the songs (also, the occasional crowd-surfing astronaut and band-in-drag). Plus, he camped out at the house of producer Jeffrey Brodsky (Yacht, RAC) for a week and a half, working all hours to ensure Being No One, Going Nowhere sounds as crisply booming over PAs as it does in headphones. Even if Hodges is too busy pushing the future of indie dance-pop forward to possibly attain his goal of unplugging, his aspiration is everything: "Existing is it. This moment is enough."
Gigamesh
Gigamesh
Gigamesh is the stage name of Matt Masurka, an American multi-platinum selling music producer and DJ. His numerous remixes and two EPs have earned him a swiftly building reputation as one of the most versatile and consistent names in indie-dance music.

Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, it’s no surprise Gigamesh has developed a keen taste for funk, disco and pop. The sound is immediately recognizable in much of his music, however he maintains a flexible aesthetic. Gigamesh is an ardent fan of minimalist concert music, film scores, classic rock, italo disco, French house, Miami bass, and genre-bending electronic music. These elements have all combined to forge his all-inclusive approach to music appreciation and creation.

Gigamesh first gained exposure on music blogs for bootleg reworks of pop hits from Michael Jackson, New Order, The Clash, Stardust and dozens more. He went on to produce a #6 Billboard Single (also iTunes 2010 Pop Single Of The Year) and very well-received remixes for Foster The People, Two Door Cinema Club, Katy B, Theophilus London, Citizens, Grouplove and more. Now a multi-platinum selling producer and frequent member of The Hype Machine’s popular chart #1 spot, Gigamesh has firmly established himself as a respected trendsetter in modern dance music.

In October 2011, Gigamesh released his debut self-titled EP on Our Label International, which received wide acclaim in the disco and indie-dance community. Following his debut, Gigamesh began to develop a close relationship with French record label Kitsuné resulting in an invitation to perform on their highly-anticipated U.S. Club Night tour and the release of the “All My Life” EP by Kitsuné in May of 2012. In support of this EP Gigamesh has been touring the globe, including Asia, Australia, North America, and UK/Europe.

Gigamesh continues to gain recognition as one of the top producers of modern dance music going in to 2013. With no time to waste, Gigamesh is starting off the year by releasing a new single, ‘Enjoy.’ ‘Enjoy’ features a remix by Oliver and will be out on NYC’s fresh house label – Nurvous Records (Feb. 12th).
Psychic Twin
Psychic Twin
Two and a half years ago, Erin Fein began to pen a series of songs that would become the music of Psychic Twin. These songs emerged as intensely personal, nervously rhythmic, and indebted to the '80s new-wave of her youth. While recording by herself, doubling her vocals and singing ghostly counter-melodies, she was overcome with the surreal but persistent feeling that she was writing and recording with her twin. "In an ideal situation," she says, "there would have been two of me singing and playing the music."

Rather than a musical clone, Brett Sanderson provides a fluid backdrop, joining Fein's new material with propulsive electronica and a shimmering synth-rock atmosphere. Lush synthesizer washes and incisive keyboard lines fade in and out over subtly persistent beats that begin simply, but reveal their complexity as songs take shape. The music is anchored by the bright melodicism inherent in Fein's songwriting, as verses and choruses shift and expand over the course of a song. Psychic Twin makes pop music that is romantic and mysterious; infused with an ineffable longing for escape, for the unattainable, like the impossible desire to make music with one's own double.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123