The Brooklyn band Starring, fairly new darlings of the avant garde Northern Spy label, have made significant sonic evolutions since their 2010 release Wife of God. With the addition of Matt Mehlan – best known for his work as Skeletons - to the already-talented roster of players, the band’s sound has moved away from their more kraut and punk-leaning earlier material toward the type of longer-form prog-psych compositions that Mehlan is known for. This year’s ABCDEFG-HIJKLMNOP-QRSTUV-WXYZ (a keyboard’s worth of an album title), which was played almost in its entirety at this show at the Knitting Factory, places Starring most closely in tradition of great current New York bands like Oneida and Black Dice and classic acts like Neu! and Sun Ra. You can hear the range of ideas and influences at work in the song “best”, where a driving backbeat and accompanying violin build blends with trippy organ, guitar and flute parts, and frontwoman Clara Hunter’s most obvious lyric is the borrower chorus of the Tina Turner classic, “Simply the Best”. There is a lot going on in this and most of the band’s other songs, and for fans of post-structuralism, there is almost as much to like about the mere attempt as there is about the result. That said, the night’s most accessible number, “aphonia”, which reminded me a bit of late period Battles, may have been more straightforward, but well might have been a stronger demonstration of the band’s chops. Starring is the type of band that refuses to remain static, and I’m sure by the next time I see them, there will be yet more dimensions to explore.
I recorded this set with MBHO KA200N microphones and an excellent soundboard feed by the Knit engineer, Rob. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!
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Brooklyn, NY USA
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Recorded and produced by acidjack
MBHO KA200N>MBP603>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Rob) >> Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition (mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ)>Audacity 3.0 (set fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )