Between the vast expanses and disparate extremes of space lies “The High Frontier:” a term coined by Gerard K O’Neil in his illustrated 1976 book depicting human colonization of space. In their new thusly titled LP, Lumerians send terrified primates into space in search of wonders both marvelous and harrowing. In a starship powered by gamma-ray-mutated rock, beer-goggled cartographers chart the absurd scales of outer space from subatomic to trans-galactic and the unfathomable void of inner space unbound by physical laws. Inward perception, both fluid and delicate, births, destroys, multiplies and collides temporal realities. Hacking through gnarled carnivorous plants with pyrokinetic machetes, Lumerians thrust forward with Krautrock inspired exploration, Afrobeat’s ritualistic rhythms, post-punk guitar noise and cracked-glacé synth lines culled from perverse 1970’s sci-fi soundtracks. As a followup to 2011’s “Transmalinnia,” “The High Frontier” sets scope outward, points blind-folded at a star map and sets off full blast without making course corrections.
Since forming in 2006, Oakland’s Lumerians have gained notoriety for their intense performances, stunning live visuals and thematic otherworldly releases. Recording from their self-built studio/brewery in a converted store-front church, Lumerians acknowledge the role sound and rhythm have always played in transcendent and ecstatic rituals the world over, from the repetitious drums of tribal animists to the penetrating electronic pulses of neon dance clubs.
Arguably the most prescient band of the entire late 70's San Francisco underground, FACTRIX released just one 7-inch and two pioneering LP's in the early 80's. Formed in 1978 by Cole Palme (one-time member of the LAFMS group Airway) and Bond Bergland (later of Saqqara Dogs), the two initially called themselves Minimal Man and performed a handful of shows along with Patrick Miller (who would go on to have a great solo career under the MM moniker). Soon they enlisted bassist Joseph T. Jacobs (Bay Of Pigs) and emerged from their Mission-district basement with their own unique take on the burgeoning English and New York post-punk scenes. The results were throbbing walls of damaged electronics, grim lyrical musings, droning bass, piercing guitar, and a modified Roland CR-78 played at 1/4 its slowest speed. Factrix's sole "studio" album, 1981's Scheintot, is a dark, moody, and penetrating work that grows more contemporary every year. Genuinely disturbing at times and often disorientating, it filters the influence of peers such as Cabaret Voltaire and DNA through the sonic and structural sensibilities of The Velvet Underground. An underappreciated masterpiece of the early industrial/No Wave era, Scheintot is a record that compels the listener to lift the needle from the run-out groove and listen again and again. (Look for the reissue on Superior Viaduct Records.) Julian Cope describes it best: "FACTRIX's Scheintot deserves to be experienced several times, preferably in the darkness and in a state of near exhaustion (and/or informed by psychoactive chemicals)." And this will be their first live performance in Lost Angeles since 1982. (!)
Li Xi use dream-pop vocal melodies and combine 60's psychedelia with contemporary electronics and vintage synthesizers. The sound has been described as "scratchy yet smooth", "shoe gazey, odd pop", "experimental pop", and "dreamy and dark"... They've been wandering the west coast since 2012. Maryann Tran's voice captures a similar essence as that of the singer Margo Guryan. James Vernon composes and produces the sound, while Will Cline plays bass and synth, and Dennis Galway covers the drums and percussion. The group has been active for the past year. They're touring the Southwest this March and plan a European Tour in the Fall of 2013. Look for their 7" Single release Macro Garden on 20 Sided Records.