Event Recap: lespectacle 6 Transcends Time

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One of my all-time favorite attempts to capture the ethos of music with words was penned by the American author, Richard Powers, in his novel, Orfeo. The story follows an aging avant-garde composer who attempts to biohack musical patterns into a bacterial human pathogen. One night while reflecting on the metaphysical nature of music in his home lab, he concludes, “Music forecasts the past and recalls the future.” The morning after experiencing my first lespectacle at the Paper Box in Brooklyn, I couldn’t stop relating this profound quote to that profound night of music.

On Saturday night, the meteoric death-funk trio, lespecial, organized and executed a near sold-out marathon of music that featured a succession of visionary performances by The Beatbox House, tsimba, Ross Jenssen, The Supersillyus Life Band, and of course, lespecial. The abstract stage design and deco imagined by The Reliquarium paired perfectly with lights and visuals of Vin Pugliese to shape a truly bizarre celebration of an ancient Samhein theme. This cryptic visual experience artfully clashed with each futuristic, genre-shattering musical performance to create a transient world inside the Paper Box that was neither here nor there, neither in the past nor future. In other words, the musical experience powerfully transcended time and got right to the heart of my favorite quote.

My other all time favorite music quote was written by the 19th century fairy tale author, Hans Christian Andersen, who succinctly mused, “Where words fail, music speaks.” I think this conclusion also applies to images, so for the remainder of this review I’ve added music and photos to recap each performance (in order of lespectacle’s schedule). Special thanks to Scott Harris for providing photos that skillfully capture the visual essence of lespectacle 6, and to each musician for sending complete set lists from the night. I’m already looking forward to lespectacle 7, and hope this standout event evolves into a seasonal celebration.

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tsimba (set 1)

Setlist:

Chiuta
Ivy Lab – Spookydub
Sprial Arm
Two Fingers – 101 South
Proper Element
Smigonaut – Lost at Sea (DeeZ remix)
Formless
The Beatles – Come Together (David Starfire remix)
Kursa – Psych Out

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Ross Jenssen

Setlist

Improv
Calibration
Tall Tale
Curmudgeon
Hell or Highwater
The Gorgonizer
Illumination
Balderdash
Ten Tonne Skeleton (Royal Blood)
Rigamaroll
The Chronicle
I’m Afraid of Americans (David Bowie)

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lespecial (first set)

Setlist:

Fruit Wolf Dance
Skull Kid^
Leaps Evil
Piggy*
Third Antler>
4th Antler Improv>
Improv%>
Gallows Hill
Pressed for Time

*Nine Inch Nails
% feat Gene Shinozaki on beatbox
^ feat Jesse Stoker on flute

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 lespecial (set 2)

Set 2:
Pentachronic
Harambe Zombie•
Jackwise
Frizzle Fry#
With you Friends~
Fade+
DnB^>
Buggn@
Squid Rising

*Nine Inch Nails
•Fela Kuti arrangement
#Primus
~Skrillex
+Kanye West
@TNGHT

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The Supersillyus Life Band

Setlist:

Raging Semi
Aeon Bahamut
First Light
A List of Instructions for When I’m Human
Great Shenanigan
Gamma Goblins
Plus or Minus
Charade

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tsimba (set 2)

Setlist:

The Roots – What Goes On (tsimba remix)
Raw Reefer
6″7′ x Drop It Like It’s Hot
Weeble Wobble Slime
Troyboi – The Messenger
Signals
Low Life
Razat – Dbeat
Onflow
Oldschool
Quasimoto – Jaylib (Thelems remix)
Bling Blong
Pwala
No Quarter (tsimba remix)
Orbiter
TBA (unreleased)

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