Burial Grid The Royal Monarch, Easthampton, MA April 6, 2018 Story by Liz Perry
To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at [email protected] Sweet Notes: a music review by a girl who doesn’t know music.
April 6th in Easthampton MA was a damp, chilly mess. Bogus for an early April night, but complementary weather for a listening party comprised of ‘doom synth.’ These are the two words that Adam Kozak (Tundra Toddler/ Northampton MA) uses to describe his latest project Burial Grid. The event took place at The Royal Monarch, a studio space that hosts monthly concerts and other creative events. The Royal Monarch is one of those enchanting Pioneer Valley venues that is itself a work of art. You feel cool for knowing that it exists and even cooler when you are there. It is the type of place that inspires you to dress up in an outfit that best expresses who you are. An outfit that allows you to show off a little. That night I wore a white lace vintage dress that I found at a Boston flea market and a pair of fishnet print nylons. The crowd, while racially monolithic, was a sweet blend of artists, musicians, activists, and in some cases, all three. All were very eager to experience what Adam had in store for us as he, and he will probably puke when he reads this, is a much loved gem in our Noho/Eho world. After we all settled in with our wine and crackers, because damn we are adults, Adam took the stage. He very joyfully explained the concept of his new project with humor and a hint of nervousness. You could tell that we were about to listen to something he was very proud of and passionate about. Adam told us that the inspiration for Burial Grid came from his love of horror movies’ ambient music and unsolved deaths and crimes. Saying with honesty ‘I know that this is something that has become so popular now, but it is something I have always wanted to do.’ Sometimes you need a little pressure to make that art you have always dreamt …” The debut album of Burial Grid is called Where We Go and releases on April 20th. It is not really his style to celebrate a stoner holiday, I can’t help wonder if Adam didn’t pick this date on purpose because what he has created a synth borderline nightmare (in the best sense) which is definitely something you can sink into your couch and absorb while your mind floats and takes you places. He played Where We Go for us that night via his computer accompanied by visuals that he handpicked from movie clips and other film oddities with the help of his friend Johnny Donaldson. The visuals were well synced and impressive, but the music doesn’t rely on them. I was, however, thankful that they were there that night as it gave us a spot to place our gaze. Otherwise I feel like we would have all stood around with our eyes closed while we made sense of what we heard, which would have also probably been cool. To be honest, I don’t know much about horror movie music aside from Suspiria and John Carpenter. I recently went to see Carpenter perform live with his band that included his son and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The energy of the music was thrilling and something I never fully appreciated when hearing it behind a theatrical scene. Burial Grid has no problem competing with that energy. The music is full of intent and, while you might not be picking up on Adam’s specific artistic vision, you come up with scenes in your own head that exercise your imagination. There were times I felt the stalker closing in on us. There were times I pictured the hero losing hope. There were also simply times where I wanted to bang my head because the pace was getting exciting. Each song had a wordless story of noise that made sense of chaos. Adam has said repeatedly that he has no interests in playing lives shows. I can understand why- electronic music is temperamental as in, if one piece of gear decides not to work, then it is not like you can simply change a guitar string on the fly or borrow a bass amp. That would be stressful for any performer, not knowing how well the show will go no matter how prepared you are. I do encourage him to schedule more listening parties, though. Where We Go is something you can totally enjoy solo, but aren’t all horror movies better with a group of friends?
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