The Last Sound, “Three Rock”

Sjimon Gompers

The electro school of The Last Sound's Barry and Bryan. (courtesy of The Last Sound)

Dublin, Ireland experimental pop duo The Last Sound carves out human expressionism in the component recipe mix of synthesized lines, drum patterns, and piano phrases. Comprised of Barry Murphy and Bryan O'Connell, the two premiere their new track,”Three Rock”, that follows up their recent electronic psych-sun-riser, “Sun Forever” from the upcoming album Rainbow Xplode. Seen over the years playing as part of former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki's live band and half of the psyched out Whirling Hall Of Knives (who took their name from a Butthole Surfers song); Barry channels these learned musical languages from the other worlds with Bryan to convey new pop conventions that occur within the man and machine dichotomies.

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The duo builds a core bonded synth loop progression that drops you into the places the central keyboard from Madonna's “Like a Virgin” never took you. As the keys dip into the mathematical sequences of beats and equations, Barry and Bryan count the strength in numbers before soaring up into the effects laden sections of bliss unbound. Behind and in between the vocal constructions that bridges the percussion layout and sequencing; a wealth of keyboard tones unleash a plethora of audio manipulation and trickery that shines denser than a choir of LED lights. In the continuum between the digital mechanics and manual man-made constructions, the technological singularity is disrupted as these two Irish blokes rise higher than the rise of the robots with a human touch the machines cannot function without.

Barry Murphy and Bryan O'Connell wrote us the following exclusive on The Last Sound's survey of mechanically enhanced humanities, along with interpretting the electronic noises surrounding Can's Damo Suzuki after all these years:

“The Last Sound was never meant to be machine music. From the start until the present, though each composition is sequenced, the components (whether synth lines, drum patterns, piano phrases etc) are often played manually over a few bars and those larger sections are sequenced rather than single-bar strictly looped machine monotony. This allows for an imperfect human element to soften the robotic edges. The building blocks are sometimes crude but are bonded together and kept in check by the machine.”

“Damo Suzuki in his Can days was very much the human facade of the eerily synchronized four-part musical machine of Jaki/Holger/Irmin/Michael. Not that they didn't play with feeling but in the groovier tracks they were so tight that it seemed there was surely some technological trickery behind it. In the times I made electronic noise playing on stage as one of Damo's 'sound carriers,' it's fair to say we fell somewhat short of the proficiency of his early 70s backing band but it felt oddly as if this time Damo was the “sequencer” – the machine holding it together while we filled in the gaps. It's always inspiring to see an artist that much in the zone, though he still allowed lots of room for the improvised calm and chaos to unfold/soar/collapse around him without judgement. Singing and yelping on stage night after night in a language that doesn't exist must be extremely gratifying.”

“No matter what money is thrown at Google Translate you will never see the setting “From: Damo Suzuki > To: English”, so the machines will always need us.”

The Last Sound's album Rainbow Xplode will be available June 8 from Osaka.

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