Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, childhood friends, are the duo that make up the musical genius of Mountains. They play tonight at Soundlab, a venue that is all about bringing in experimental music.
“Soundlab is a club with many distinct faces – as opposed to a singular one – and often people who are used to one [genre] might be surprised that there are so many others,” says Craig Reynolds, director of Soundlab.
Both Anderegg and Holtkamp trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after beginning their collaborative efforts here, bouncing ideas off of one another. As each of them progressed with their own solo projects, they decided to form Mountains.
This band, taking a route unknown to the mainstream, is significantly different than any other band out right now. Not only do they produce recorded music that sends the listener on a cosmic journey, but they do it in a way that is tailored to offer the same entertainment value as live performance.
Mountain’s third album, Choral, was recorded in the winter and spring of 2008 in Brooklyn. The combinations of spacey sounds used to create these tracks full of varying tones is achieved through the usage of field recordings, organ, electric piano, synthesizer, accordion, subtle guitar strumming, and other unique instruments of choice. The astonishing acoustics reverberate, creating a state of ultimate relaxation.
Thrill Jockey Records (TJR) showcases Mountains as one of their many bands who look for musicians who do something interesting, unexpected, exciting, and of the highest quality.
“Their music is affecting in a strange way and is completely at odds with the environment in which it’s made – Brooklyn. So I think that juxtaposition, and the fact that it’s all done live, makes it extremely exciting to watch,” says Dave Halstead, National Publicist of TJR.
“Telescope” begins with bouncy upbeat acoustic guitar riffs that instantly create an uplifting mood, transitioning into the ongoing background current of a steady stream. Later, this sound is topped off with more prominent orchestral melodies, causing the song to truly come alive. Each individual sound feels like it’s reminiscent of another time and place that exists like something out of a fairy-tale.
Then there’s “Melodica,” that commences with chiming bells followed by rustic clamors and sounds of symphony. With each song, including this one, there is always a methodical build-up that unfolds within the music. This quality is one of the most compelling aspects of their music; the melody is unpredictable, with new images appearing each time you listen.
Reynolds anticipates a show where the viewers can expect complete ambience; the ability to soak up the music as it creates a memorable moment etched in time.
“Since Soundlab isn’t a bar, and isn’t open except when music is being played, the atmosphere is always an expression of the music and the community that supports it. In this sense, Soundlab is unique in Buffalo nightlife in that it is willing to open itself up to art, music and performance that contradict the commercial incentive of selling drinks,” explains Reynolds. “It allows the space to become what it wants to be at that moment, which might mean a dance club or it might mean an underground art space, depending on what’s happening at the center of it all – the stage.”
Mountains will be performing tonight, Wednesday January 27th, at Soundlab,110 Pearl Street, 9PM. They will also be joined by special guests Tape and All Them Witches. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $8. For more information and music tracks from Mountains check out Thrill Jockey Recordings.