Designed for a gallery set within an abandoned shopping mall, the latest from 555 Sounds presents the sound of an eerily peaceful dystopia. - Bandcamp
"The latest and most liquid offering by San Francisco-based experimentalist Chris Farstad aka 555 Sounds, Live From Dirtmall, takes its name from the venue it was created for: a virtual gallery set within an abandoned shopping mall. Inspired by ideas of juxtaposition, uncertainty, and the global commerce of detritus, the music follows an appropriately miasmic logic, oozing and percolating in surreal arrhythmias of electronic mirage. Mutating loops of Korg, Yamaha, and environmental texture crosshatch and refract through digital delay, equal parts playful and post-human, a 4th world fantasia as imagined by artificial intelligence.
In tandem with the audio Live From Dirtmall contains a visual counterpart, crafted using an array of psychedelic techniques, from oil and water dyes to stained glass, video synthesizers, crystal fragments, microscopes, plastic beads, FX software, and isopropyl alcohol. Rainbow waves of video feedback radiate and pixelate, strobing in time with abstract silhouettes among brief glimpses of circuitry, salt shakers, birds. Farstad cites the “G-rated surrealism” and subliminal messaging of Soviet animation from the 70's as a touchstone, guided by a veiled psychological arc rather than concrete narrative. Taken as a whole, the video serves as a transfixing, encrypted companion to the album, a compound eye rapture rippling with color, confusion, and complexity: “Matter into spirit, analog into digital, reassessing the value of each, forming a composite.” - Britt Brown
Audio: KORG MicroSampler, iPhone, Yamaha WX-7, Yamaha WT-11, Catalinbread CSIDMAN
Visual: Nikon D3300; Nikon Pb-5 macro bellows; oil & water dye; stained glass fragments; bismuth and selenite fragments; iPad visualizers: Matrix VR, Ions 2+, Uzu, Trippy Bird; "Waaave Pool" raspberry pi video synthesizer; Blender 3D; custom composite glitchbox; various MSDOS screensavers (eyecandyarchive.com
); Aven video microscope; Mustool video microscope; Intellab magnetic stirrer; various glass receptacles; antique glass electrical line insulator; potassium polyacrylate "water gel"; plastic beads; isopropyl alcohol; mineral oil; excerpt of Exodus (1991) video game; excerpt of Sylvia Massey electrocuting a pickle; Adobe Premiere Pro.