Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TVD's Alternative Ulcer | Sesshin No-Fi

The last time I saw Sesshin No-Fi was during Art-O-Matic last year. It was their first gig together and the band consisted of a drummer, a guy with some turn tables, and a bassist. Many months have passed since that first gig on the first floor of a vacant building down near the waterfront and with those months some changes have been made—mainly in the form of a new drummer and the addition of a guy whose skills are translated through a drum machine and some synth programming.

This week is a pretty big week for Sesshin No-Fi. Last night they opened for Phantogram, who have sold out a few shows on their tour, at DC9. If you missed it you have a few more extremely groovy opportunities to see them this week in our nation's capital.

I guess the best way to describe the group's sound is in its own words: "Sesshin is a Japanese terms that translates to "one mind" and is used by Zen Buddhists to describe periods of intense meditation. Experienced practitioners have reported feelings of inner calm and a heightening of the senses. No-Fi is a combination of the genres No Wave and Lo-Fi and is a term used to describe media created outside of conventional standards. No-Fi is an extraordinarily diverse aesthetic, covering many mediums other than just music, such as video manipulation."

I've been told by one of its members that their sound has really come together since the addition of the new members and that at their last show at Iota some really awesome music was made. Perhaps the coolest thing about Sesshin No-Fi is that their sets are often improvised with new independent sounds being created by four individuals that come together to form hypnotic engaging music that seems to be all too rare in DC. For some reason the sound goes well with these cold snowy nights we continue to be hit with.

Their next two shows sound like a pretty fantastic ride. Tonight they'll be playing at The Fridge, a gallery and performance arts space located in Eastern Market, for its Dinner Party event which showcases "experimental dance, music and performance art." For its gig at the Fridge Sesshin No-Fi will be doing an audio/visual installation with a 30 minute ambient set. Local artist Monica Stroik will be accompanying them with live video projection as well. As for Wednesday, the group will be opening up for Demivolt at Chief Ike's Mambo Room and will again be accompanied by Monica Stork and I am told it will be an all-out "funk throwdown."

Sesshin No-Fi - Movement 1 (Mp3)
Sesshin No-Fi - Movement 2 (Mp3)
Sesshin No-Fi - Ft. Ted Zook (Mp3)

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