The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Big Hurt  |  CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Jazz  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

Static circuitry

Boy in Static sets a date, Rise prize, and Slaine
By DAVID DAY  |  March 8, 2007

VIDEO: Boy In Static, "Where It Ends"

One of Circuits’ favorite local acts, BOY IN STATIC (a/k/a ALEX CHEN), is preparing to release Violet, the follow-up to his remarkable debut, Newborn, on May 29. As previously reported here, the album was picked up by Mush Records, and if the first single is any indication, it’s a gem. What Chen does so well is integrate electronic production with typical rock stylings for an eloquent blend of modern sounds, one part dreamy ambiance, one part rock riffs.

“Where It Ends” is endowed with strings, covered in reverb, and soaked in melancholy. “It’s based pretty closely on real events from my life,” writes Chen via e-mail. “It’s sort of a pre-break-up song about predicting the inevitable. I played all the strings on this recording. Playing in school orchestras as a kid got me interested in classical arrangement.” Chen’s production abilities then take over. “I write out string arrangements on paper, like a traditional orchestra score. Then I perform each part on the viola. It’s like cloning myself 20 times to form a live orchestra in my apartment.”

Chen created a special Web site for the video that includes a bonus stream of Japanese-only remixes, one from Her Space Holiday and one from local producer HELIOS (a/k/a Keith Kenniff), another Circuits favorite. Kenniff’s rework is a marvel of string-heavy ambiance. “We both just happened to be listening to each other’s music,” Chen says of Helios, “and started e-mailing. He has actually joined the Boy in Static live band, which has expanded to about six people now, for upcoming shows later this year.” The pairing of Chen and Kenniff sends shivers down the spine. “We definitely found things in common. We both record in our apartments and are big fans of early Depeche Mode. Also, neither of us has a car, so we haul all our gear to gigs in taxis.”

Boston's beloved underground techno club, 808, resurfaces this week at the Enormous Room, where they are bringing ALEX UNDER in for a live set. The appearance is worthy of worldwide attention as the Spanish Under is considered one of the finest live techno acts on the entire globe. Under's sound is quite minimal, but very melodic and playful "He makes cutting edge late night party music that is somewhat genre bending between house and techno," says promotion robot BLEEP (aka BRIAN MERZ of ROBOTLOVESONGS) on email, "but decidely different from the norm in any of those genres. "Hopefully friday will be one of those magic nights with lots of what I call 'disco moments,'" he says, "which seem to happen most often when you put an amazing artist and performer in a small intimate room packed with likeminded people." The appearance is being supported by local dub-sound designer TRITON (aka Eddie Odabachian) with an early set at 8pm, and DJs DAMIENCULVALIER and ERIC MCLAUGHLIN from the 808 clan. "Both own Alex Under records and might play them out on a normal night," says Bleep. "Damien's sets are perfect for a party, and Eric sets defined the 808 sound." Get there early and stay late…

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: High techno, Happy accident, Static movements, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Music, Music Festivals,  More more >
| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 02/13 ]   "Aphrodite and the Gods of Love"  @ Museum of Fine Arts
[ 02/13 ]   "Processes and Dreams"  @ Panopticon Gallery
[ 02/13 ]   "Artists' Books: Books by Artists"  @ Boston Athenæum
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DAY BY DAY BY DAY  |  September 18, 2007
    Two years ago, the Phoenix asked me to write a weekly column about Boston’s growing electronic music and DJ scene.
  •   THE DUFF CONNECTION  |  September 12, 2007
    “I really haven’t had to deal with any crazy paparazzi, since we usually keep a low profile and sneak in the back door of places.”
  •   BASSTOWN NIGHTS  |  September 12, 2007
    If 2006 was the year Boston germinated, 2007 is the year it grows up.
  •   PARTY PROS  |  September 06, 2007
    Weekend Warriors, or WKND WRYRZ, is the Sunday-night lounge party at ZuZu in Central Square.
  •   CITIZENS OF BASSTOWN  |  August 29, 2007
    The proliferation of dance parties in Boston has led not only to a rise in the number of DJs but also to a growth in the ranks of dancers.

 See all articles by: DAVID DAY

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed