Members of Negativland will play a "secret" rehearsal gig tonight at Timbre Room in preparation for a heavy-duty European tour in October. This show—put on by local collective Synprov Corp.—precedes even more extensive touring in 2020 and 2021 in support of True False (out October 25) and the as-yet-untitled, interconnected follow-up.
The tracks from True False released so far—"More Data," "Discernment," and "Fourth of July"—examine the confusion and stress inflicted on nervous systems via media overload and the madness induced by being very online ("Facebook, Twitter—all tools of the left!" bellows a woman at the end of her tether in the latter track). Now more than ever, Americans are polarized and silo'd in their political beliefs, hell-bent on confirming their biases, and Negativland shine a spotlight on that predicament.
Negativland (Mark Hosler, David "The Weatherman" Wills, Peter Conheim, and Jon "Wobbly" Leidecker) elaborate on True False's approach on their website: "Juxtaposing Occupy mic checks with US militia rallies, FOX news hosts and ecoterrorists, and your own sanity with the home viewing habits of Negativland's lead vocalist, the Weatherman, as we witness the entrenched political beliefs of left and right cleanly switching sides in under one generation, when you put the word 'True' next to the word 'False', a broader reality reveals itself."
Musically, these pieces evoke the weirder end of the IDM spectrum and the later work of the late German electronic-music genius Dieter Moebius (Cluster, Harmonia). They're marvels of spoken-word collaging and psychedelic synth manipulations.
You should also be aware that Wobbly has a great new album, Monitress (out on Hausu Mountain November 8), which sounds like he's translating a DMT trip into sound with the most advanced software and hardware an underground musician can muster. Full of skittery rhythms and hallucinatory tones, Monitress comes off as one bizarre ride to the far side of insanity—even when heard in a brightly lit office on a weekday morning.