Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Michael Morley: Gate and The Dead C

So recently I've really gotten into the sound of blurred guitars, vocals, drums, and noise that is New Zealand's Gate and The Dead C.  The man behind both is Michael Morley.  I'm going to go on a rant right now, which is at least a bit related.

If you are in the music industry, or any industry, or alive, USE THE FUCKING INTERNET!  I could've seen Michael Morley live!  Recently! Apparently he was literally just in San Francisco live at the Great American Music Hall.  What the fuck.  Unless the website I found was wrong.  But seriously, I don't research what is playing every single week in my area, because you've seen my blog.  99% of the shit that plays I don't care about.  So that means when an artist I care about comes, unless they have an online presence and mention it, I am likely to miss them.  Case in point:  I saw Fennesz when he came to SF because it was on his website.  I missed Michael Morley cause he has no web presence.

Anyway.  That aside.  I love static soaked, low-fi sounds that reverb the fuck outta the listener and crumble away just as they begin to make sense.  Michael Morley, apparently, is also a fan.  I got into the Dead C and Gate just recently, and it is a unique moment for me when I listen to something for the first time and alreayd know: yes, I'm going to love this band.  I am going to love The Dead C and Gate.

They are different in their styles and intensity.  let's start with Gate, cause that's where I started.  Gate: The Dew Line.  This is more drum-free, more noise soaked approach to music.  The droning groans and distorted instruments lull you into a trance like state as they simultaneously ease you down and build you up.  it's strong, somewhat undefinable harshness yet extremely calming and accessible.

I like the vocals in this a lot.  A mixture of shoegaze, and just pure "I don't fucking care" vocal approach, and the lyrics seem to be a bit out of nowhere.  Morley sings, "I needed all the words..." for no apparent reason, or at least none I'm aware of, on the track "Needed All Words".  All of the lyrics are similar, feeling disembodied, unreal, another part of the surreal dream that envelopes you as you listen to this music.

Dead C is like the Skullflower of Bower's projects.  Those of you who are like "wtf" this means that it's Morley's more typical band like approach to music.  With a drummer, and another guy, they create as normal music as you'd expect.  It too takes the low-fi, drenched in decay approach.  It is equally bizarre on different albums, the style changing from garage rock to extreme noise, to just plain strange (I'm looking at you, The White House).  To say that this music is easy to define is a huge mistake.  It is constantly changing, and it never does the same trick twice.

One this that it always is, unique.  Unique, interesting, diverse, and enlightening.  Here is a small weird selection:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KhdrGJIasM  (same artist.  weird, right??)

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