Phoenecia Opens for Modwheelmood

Nothing about the Fourth of July exactly screams "clanging, experimental electronic noise" -- but then again, the elusive, quasi-legendary Miami duo Phoenecia doesn't appear live too often, either. So for fans of the loosely labeled genre known, unfortunately, as IDM ("intelligent dance music"), this show adds a little luster to the holiday.

In a nutshell, here goes: in the mid-1990s, the twosome of Romulo del Castillo and Joshua Kay was known as Soul Oddity, and released one album of more straight-ahead electro on Astralwerks in 1995. (That was back when Astralwerks was still largely a left-field electronic label!) A year later, they went off the experimental deep end and changed their project's name to Phoenecia, abandoning most recognizable song structure, and starting their own label, Schematic. And thus, they veritably changed the face of electronic music. That's a weighty claim, but true -- Phoenecia and fellow Schematic artists took the left-field tendencies of labels like the British imprint Warp, and dragged them to their logical loud, skittering conclusion. Phoenecia and Schematic are, in fact, often credited with inventing IDM, ironically named, though, for its utter lack of danceability.

The first Phoenecia album, Brownout, appeared in 2001, but the pair's output since then has been sporadic at best. Still, with Schematic they've helped launch the career of similarly minded musical offspring like Otto von Schirach and Dino Felipe. Lately, though, the Schematic web site has featured new tracks from and multimedia collaborations by Phoenecia proper, so perhaps this show in West Palm might mark the pair's tentative return to the public eye.
Sat., July 4, 8 p.m., 2009
 
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