Andy Votel, Gaslamp Killer, Free the Robots

Pub date July 7, 2009
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

PREVIEW A small portion of music nurtures body, mind, and soul. A minuscule subsect does so by ripping you magnificently out of your familiar musical safety zones with unpredictable and compellingly fresh organizations of sound. Some have baptized the songs that fall under this rarefied territory of music "face-melters," and for good reason. Assiduously dissolving toughened aural skin, face-melting music inspires knowledge of the outer galactic and inner expansive reaches of the embodied mind. Its dangerous allure has solicited varied responses from thinkers, poets, and musicians throughout history. Plato advises to obliterate such enigmatic revelry in The Republic. William Blake seeks to illustrate its destructive purity in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. More recently, Afrika Bambaataa’s "Searching for the Perfect Beat" embodies the infinite quest for mystical rhythms.

The DJ, producer, and deep crate-digger Andy Votel has made a career out of cultivating and archiving the face-melting phenomenon. Conducting the freaked-out, electronic psych epic Styles of The Unexpected (Twisted Nerve Records, 2000), and helping spearhead Finders Keepers Records to reissue international instances of obscure and intensely monstrous tracks from around the world, Votel is a leading expert on the limit zones of post-World War II music. Notable Finders Keepers reissues and compilations that will rewire your neural networks have emerged from Anatolia (Mustafa Özkent, Selda), France (Jean-Pierre Massiera, Jean-Claude Vannier), and Pakistan (this year’s comp Sound of Wonder).

One contemporary contributor to the Keepers catalog is Los Angeles’ feral beatsmith and DJ the Gaslamp Killer. A mad scientist of the Low End Theory collective, GLK psychedel-ifies hypnotic boom bap cuts and mutates vocals into chilling hums and fuzzed out screams locked toward another kind of prayer. But don’t believe me, peep his avant-garde corpse ringer mix I Spit On Your Grave (Obey, 2008). Once you’ve trained your ears on his radiated sewer funk, flip it fresh on Gaslamp’s collaboration with fellow Theorist, Free The Robots, for the jazzier side of the gutter on The Killer Robots (Obey, 2008).

To mark the third birthday of SF funk wizard DJ Centipede’s Catch the Beat party, Votel, GLK, and Free the Robots have come together for a face-melting good time. Leave your mask at home.

CHANGE THE BEAT 3RD YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY With Andy Votel, Gaslamp Killer, Free the Robots, DJ Mahssa, DJ Centipede, Citizen Ten. Fri/10, 10 p.m., $10. Paradise Lounge, 1501 Folsom, SF. (415) 252-5017.