Thursday, April 5, 2012
Similar to electronica oddities like Deadmau5, the Santa Cruz musician known as Mantle or Mantle Sound Core doesn’t like to divulge his real name. He’s also a man of few words; he’d rather let his assortment of pungent electronic arrangements and hallucinogenic movies do the talking.
Mantle’s live shows are Acid Test-like spectacles involving analog drum machines, synthesizers and vintage cassette blasters blaring homemade ambient noise collages. In addition to the audio, there’s live video manipulation that usually consists of a screening of Holy Desert, Mantle’s feature-length film, which was shot in Death Valley.
The film’s trailer breathes with uneasy surrealism and infinite desert landscapes reminiscent of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s work. The imagery is a fitting backdrop for Mantle to create soundscapes just as otherworldly.
“The shows are like a live art installation, broadcasting images on a handful of old boom boxes with built-in TVs mixed with ambient soundscapes,” Mantle says. “There’s crowd interaction through the use of live video manipulation synthesizers and old 8-bit Nintendo games that can be played live and projected on a giant screen.”
Mantle’s current tour, including a stop on Saturday at the Alternative Cafe, is in support of his debut album, which will be available only on cassette tape.
No World Order, performing Saturday as well, also knows no boundaries in its music. Steve Baker (guitar, chapman stick, percussion and synths) and Nelson Basden (keys, percussion and synths) concoct multi-faceted layers of psychedelic and spacey ambient music that pulls in world beats and even a little prog rock. The duo’s tune, “Soundscape 5/Lost,” could be the background music for a Salvador Dalí painting; every sound, tone and beat bleeds into the other like a clock melting over the limb of a dead tree.
MANTLE SOUND CORE and NO WORLD ORDER play 8:30pm Saturday, April 7, at the Alternative Cafe, 1230 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. $5. 583-0913.