Steve Bates, Canadian musician and sound/video artist, has the biography of someone restlessly in pursuit of possibilities. His background as a key figure in the Winnipeg anarcho-punk community through the 80s to explorer of more avant/experimental territories over the past decade has been expressed through an evolving catalogue of music, curation and art works.
Probably best known to electronic aficionados for releases through ‘The Dim Coast’ imprint, where he has collaborated with both Timothy Herzog and Sophie Trudeau of Godspeed You Black Emperor plus members of Big Brave, he has now been signed to the mighty Constellation. His new solo album ‘All The Things That Happen’ awaits release on 23rd September, a record which Bates reveals started out leaning towards ambience but then spiralled in more dynamic directions as, staying true to his influences, he ’kept reaching for more texture and noise’.
Intriguingly the record was built from the pared down basics of his well-worn Casio SK-1 keyboard sampler, then abstracted, sometimes distorted, through a flourish of electronics and effects. You get a sense of the impact of such daring redefinition on the first share track from the album, the graphic ‘Destroy the palace’. Announcing itself with an elegiac sombre organ processional, only the faint muffled rumble beneath the chord progression hints at the disintegration that will follow. It’s an avalanche of sound, crumbling further than any conventional granulation, climactic and almost uncontrollable before any calm resumes.
Anarchic and cathartic, the track certainly travels a fair distance in just under four minutes and signals that ‘All The Things That Happen’ is likely to be some wild, emotive journey.
Pre-Order ‘All The Things That Happen’ from your local record shop or direct from: https://constellation.bandcamp.com/album/all-the-things-that-happen