Dave Gedalecia: banjo
Sophia Wang: live movement
thankU aQ ! !
aQuariusrecOrds' kind review of the Head Boggle Serge LP on experimedia : http://aquariusrecords.org/cat/newest.html
HEAD BOGGLE Serge Modular In Hi-Fi (Experimedia) lp
Derek Gedalecia is a man who gets around. The Bay Area synthwrangler has largely been releasing Head Boggle tapes on pretty much every cassette imprint under the sun (NNA Tapes, Fag Tapes, Rainbow Bridge, Tusco/Embassy, and his own Greedmink imprint amongst some two or three dozen others); and his two slabs of vinyl have come via pretty fucking high-profile venues. First up was his eponymous album back in 2012 via Spectrum Spools, and here’s this album released through Experimedia. The titular instrument that Gedalecia used was found at the Electronic Music Lab at SF City College. For those synth-nerds, this particular model was probably built by Serge Tcherepnin sometime in the late ’70s. Tcherepnin had designed this modular synth as an inexpensive alternative to the rather pricey Buchla synth that had been developed also on the West Coast around the same time. The schematics for the original synth are available for those with a soldering iron and considerable patience to build his or her own. With patchbay cables wildly pulled & plugged, knobs twiddled spasmodically, and oscillator switches toggled irregularly, Gedalecia creates a semi-improvisatory free-for-all feel akin to the pioneering work of Francoise Bayle or the polyglot analogue+digital systems of Keith Fullerton Whitman. Seeing him do this stuff live where he’s bopping around and literally head-banging to step-sequenced tone bursts, you get the sense that he’s having a blast doing this stuff. What separates Gedalecia from every other dilettante with a synth fetish.
The San Francisco Electronic Music Festival Corrals Academics, Noise Artists, and Cult Experimentalists
Experience the margins of sound at the fifteenth annual fest.By Sam Lefebvre
David Dunn’s biography is a lengthy scroll of academic achievements. It lists grants, lectures, exhibitions, and works (culminating with his current position as founder of the Art & Science Laboratory in New Mexico) all inked in decade-spanning chronology with a quill inherited from his dignified mentor, the storied, American avant-garde composer Harry Partch. Since 2010, multimedia artist Julia Mazawa has performed locally, mostly in illicit venues, with just a turntable and delay pedal, warping vinyl source sounds with a common effect.
Now, forget their backgrounds, because both artists are scheduled to perform at the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, an event that corrals divergent experimentalists like Dunn and Mazawa annually. The eclecticism brings underground artists and ivory-tower denizens alike to illuminate a common interest: the margins of electronic sound.
Now in its fifteenth year, SFEMF highlights a broad swath of “electronic music.” Dunn will present meticulously sourced and edited field recordings from the Florida Everglades that he described as a “radical compression of time and space.” The long-running and willfully enigmatic English act :zoviet*france: — known for setting drones, field recordings, and scattered percussion in post-industrial soundscapes — is also scheduled to perform. Nicolas Collins, a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, converts electronic hardware into playable instruments. Aside from Mazawa, other local artists include Headboggle and Christina Stanley, creator of fascinating “graphic scores,” or visual abstractions of musical notation. Sarah Davachi — a Mills graduate currently residing in Canada — will premiere new work written for an analog synthesizer. The festival relishes the ambiguity of electronic music as a genre, ranging from near-silence to cacophony and performed on cord-strewn tables or maybe just a laptop. Unless, of course, that music is commercial.
In the 1990s, rave culture brought techno music to a massive, youthful audience. In 1998, Miya Masaoka — a longtime explorer of the intersection of technology and music-making — assembled several of her colleagues to establish a festival for electronic music of the avant-garde variety. Pamela Z — an innovative vocalist, composer, and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship — was one of the founders. “The Bay Area has an amazing community of people who are inventive makers of electronic music with very individual voices,” said Z, who is the only festival cofounder still involved.
Though she was excited about the emergence of electronic music in the mainstream, Z envisioned the festival as remaining ahead of commercial developments. “The experimental stuff starts in a small group,” she said. “It’s rarefied … and then it infects the mainstream. I like that, but at the same time there’s a lot of disdain for when it ends up used in advertising or an engine to make a lot of money.” The landscape today is largely the same, with superstar DJs blasting EDM at enormously popular events while experimentalists in the Bay Area chart more outlandish territory.
Because dubstep and house music are frequently associated with the phrase “electronic music,” the festival’s name sometimes invites incorrect assumptions. “Sometimes people come [to SFEMF] expecting techno and spend a whole night hearing music without beats,” Z said.
The festival’s early years featured performances from Masaoka, Z, and other curators; this year, only Derek Gedalecia has the distinction of being both a creator and selector. Born into a musical family, Gedalecia started playing the piano at age five. He moved to San Francisco in 1999 and hosted a show on Radio Valencia. At night, he taped noise gigs. He started releasing music under Headboggle in the mid-2000s, amassing more than sixty releases of jarring electronic scree, zippy synth runs, and grating textures. As Headboggle, Gedalecia said the goal is to “unlearn” his musical training. For his set on Thursday at the Exploratorium, Gedalecia will play piano to backing tracks amplified by the space’s unique Constellation speaker system, while his father accompanies him on banjo.
In fact, beyond the figurative generations of musicians featured at SFEMF, the lineup also features a number of literal blood relationships. In 2011, Toshi Wada performed with his father, Yoshi Wada, a Fluxus member with ties to 1960s minimalism through his studies under the North Indian raga master Pandit Pran Nath. This year’s festival also features sound artist Ezra Buchla, son of the pioneering local synthesizer designer Donald Buchla, who performed in 2010.
Gedalecia’s experience as a refined pianist who decided to devolve made him ideal for the curatorial role at SFEMF. “It’s great to stoke out the untrained and underexposed,” he said. “But the budget also enables these amazing people, like David Dunn.” Still, Gedalecia noted that self-taught musicians and contemporary masters often arrive at similar sonic conclusions. Comparing Dunn to Mazawa, he observed, “They both work with loops a lot, but [Dunn] is a high-art approach and [Mazawa] is more intuitive, homespun, and DIY.”
Benjamin Tinker, now in his fourth year on the festival’s steering committee, echoed Gedalecia’s enthusiasm for the autodidacts. He studied music at Mills, but likened curating SFEMF to booking small shows before college. In 2011, the festival presented 0th, an art-rock group that Tinker once booked in a bar, alongside the more reputable artist Christian Marclay. “I’m excited when those paths cross,” Tinker said. “I was always interested in both the East Bay noise scene and Mills music. When they align, it’s great.”
Marclay’s story proves the value of crossing those paths. Long before he found art-world stardom with his widely exhibited video piece The Clock, Marclay performed by breaking and reassembling vinyl LPs as part of New York’s explosive downtown scene in the early 1980s. Mazawa’s work evokes Marclay’s unwieldy approach. “I look for strange sounds on shellac [and] home recorded discs found in thrift stores, then pick out the musical qualities from little bits of sound,” she said. SFEMF’s strength lies in its decision to feature pioneers such as Marclay alongside younger artists still working with raw instincts.
Each of the performers converging this weekend boasts an impressive résumé, a cult profile, or maybe just maverick ideas, but the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival doesn’t discriminate. “If you tried to divide the scene between weirdos and academic types, it would actually be hard,” Mazawa said. “Because the differences can be pretty superficial — maybe they don’t matter.”
Headboggle with Dave Gedalecia, banjo
live at Voice of the Valley VI: in Millstone, WV 8/9/14
Thursday, September 11, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
Location: Exploratorium, Pier 15, Kanbar Forum
Note: There is limited capacity for this program; seating will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Admission: Included with museum admission.
Please Note: Adults Only (18+)
EARLY SHOW !!! surround extravaganza … details to come….
My previous effort to get into the head of Derek “Headboggle” Gedalecia gave me a close look at the turbulent politics of the San Francisco Bay Area noise scene. After Derek had to cancel our meeting at the last minute, a resulting lengthy interview with Greg Garbage netted facetious death threats within hours of publication—and naturally, since the Internet gives us no access to vocal cadence or body language, Greg had no choice but to take them seriously. I learned some important lessons from that experience: (1) always double-, triple-, quadruple-check abso-fucking-lutely every statement of fact before sending a piece in for final editing and publication; (2) if you want someone to trust you, never assume they are okay with having every word out of their mouth printed for all the world to see; (3) smartphones are a great tool for making revisions while you’re running late to a class in which no laptops are allowed. If this was some sort of serendipitous hazing ritual, I eventually felt the relief of having passed the test. Welcome to the club, the scene seemed to say; but you better watch your mouth, buddy.
CHECK OUT THE FULL CONVERSATION here:
and check out the Serge album outtake i mixed down for this article:
— HEAD BOGGLE summer update --
Greetings, there’s a lot of news in the HB camp and I have some exciting new releases in print:
-Head Boggle - Serge Modular In Hi-Fi LP (experimedia)
-Quicksails / Headboggle – Mugen: Volume 6 split CS (hausu)
Grab merch at my bigcartel or at one of the upcoming Headboggle shows:
-Aug 6 - Now That’s Class, Cleveland OH w/Fluxmonkey + Dr. Quinn https://www.facebook.com/events/796378083747684/
-Aug 9 - Voice of the Valley IV, Millstone, WV w/many others http://voiceofthevalleynoiserally.blogspot.com/
-Aug 12 - Cafe Bourbon St, Columbus, OH w/Dr Quinn + Ryan Jewell https://www.facebook.com/events/1444127279199505/
-Sept 11 - San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Exploratorium, SF w/David Dunn http://www.sfemf.org/archive/sfemf-2014/
head boggle - serge modular in hi-fi (12inch vinyl lp)
*LP + Download. Edition of 300.* Head Boggle returns to the vinyl format with what is perhaps his most refined and focused work to date. “Serge Modular In Hi-Fi” was recorded in early 2012 at the S.F. City College Electronic Music Lab utilizing a vintage pre-STS Serge Modular Synth system and was conceived as a pseudo aural “cubist” sound piece with an intention to achieve pseudo 3D “cubed” sound through discrete recording and mixing techniques. The only effects utilized were four or more analog delays being played real-time a la dub/reggae mixing techniques. The final selections were then sent to Kramer at Noise Miami for hi-fi correction and an aesthetic mastering treatment and then to Jeremy Bible for a final mastering treatment specifically for the vinyl format resulting in a sonically rich listening experience of hallucinatory synthesizer ragas.
Derek Gedalecia has commanded the attention of the avant/noise underground as Head Boggle or nearly a decade now, showcasing his unpredictable live performances and omnivorous synth mastery in DIY venues across the country – and on over 60 physical releases on labels like Baked Tapes, 905 Tapes, Spectrum Spools, and his own Greedmink imprint. The Head Boggle catalog speeds into the future as a continuing experiment with new equipment, compositional processes, and live performance tactics, as each release pushes the boundaries of his gear and his mind into more and more maniacal post-post-Subotnick free-for-alls.
All sounds/edits by Derek Gedalecia
Recorded at CCSF Electronic Music Lab & Mixed at Hyde Street Efficiency Spring 2012
Mastered by Kramer at Noise Miami
Art by Greg Gorlen
Layout by Jeremy Bible
A1: ‘05 Special
A2: ‘68 News
A3: ‘59 Rhapsody
A4: ‘19 Orchestra
A5: ‘53 Raga
B1: ‘63 Dance
B2: ‘67 Dressing Room
B3: ‘56 Tune
B4: ‘62 Cage
B5: ‘78 District Party Committee