By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Long tables strewn with stencils and blank T-shirts of all colors and sizes were displayed at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios' Dead Week Print Show presented by Pan Ector and Gutterth Saturday night. Behind them, young men were busy at their craft, printing the words Florene and Melting Season onto the tees.
Upon closer inspection, there was music in the much darker adjacent room, too. There, the aforementioned Florene and Melting Season performed on a bill that also included After Hours with George Quartz. But while all three acts at Gloves on this night exist in the electronic music realm, they each offered up vastly different takes.
The night opened with Melting Season, which could be described Sleep Whale's Bruce Blay setting off samples from his iPhone and passing them through a series of pedals and filters. After the show, Blay admitted not spending too much time working out the live set. "This is a very side-side project," he said.
Later, After Hours with George Quartz, draped in the pitched-down stylings of lead singer and namesake Quartz, followed with an analog synth-heavy sound that seemed straight out of 1987. Putting on quite an interesting live performance, Quartz embodied the band's presence with not only his singing, but also his songwriting. "Those were mostly songs I wrote myself," Quartz later said. "I get other people to play the parts live. I don't really tell them what to do, I just show them the songs and let them do whatever they want. "
Florene closed out the night, delivering a set consisting exclusively of tracks off Mindsurfer and their upcoming June 8 release for Waaga Records, Homemade Extacy. Stacking mostly paper-thin synth parts, their songs somehow ended up big and full, washing over the room with a harsh calm. Florene seems at times to have accidentally stumbled upon ambient metal. The sounds of the Roland TR-707 drum machine were used in a way that didn't conjure thoughts of '80s boogie and early house as it normally does; instead, the punchy kicks and thick high hats were belting out half-time rhythms over actively manipulated synthesizers. Their creative use of the 707 was pretty ingenious.
"All the other stuff is getting pretty old at this time, and it doesn't really represent us how we are now," Florene's Gavin Guthrie said of his band's older material.
He's right. The band is in the midst of a transformation. And, judging from the amount of all-electronic music shows being booked at venues in Denton these days, so is Denton itself.