THE UPCOMING AUDIOVISUAL RELEASE FROM TELESONIC 9000
EP RELEASE DATE: March 24 2023
SHORT FILM PREMIERE: TBA
In the new EP and its accompanying short film E.C.H.O., Berlin's Telesonic 9000 uses his unique brand of multimedia future rock to draw a connection between the promise of the early computer revolution and the fallout of the modern digital era.
LISTEN TO THE E.C.H.O. EP
WATCH THE E.C.H.O. SHORT FILM
Since the pandemic put a hold on a globetrotting run of live shows in clubs, cinemas, and underground art spaces, Dominick Gray - the American drummer, composer, and filmmaker behind the Berlin-formed multimedia outfit Telesonic 9000 - has quietly worked away at refining his idiosyncratic brand of art rock and retro mashup videos to produce the new EP and short film E.C.H.O.
Equal parts musical act and video experiment, Telesonic 9000 combines future rock sounds, decade-spanning film imagery, and left field sensibilities to explore the relationship between the early technological era and the 21st-century information age. On E.C.H.O., Gray uses his unique brand of multimedia to convey the intrinsic connection between the early computer revolution and the fallout of the modern digital era.
The four songs that make up the EP - Project Echo, Modern World, Information, and the ambient trip E.C.H.O. - intermix quirky speech samples and sound collages over a bedrock of Krautrock-inspired basslines, coolly removed mellotron pads, and Gray’s inventive, motorik drumming. Project Echo’s palindromic rise and fall, Modern World’s anesthetizing spoken words (recited by Berlin-based pop artist Mirna Stanic), and Information’s new wave energy mutate the naïve excitement of technological possibility into the unnerving anxiety of our tech-saturated society. True to form, Telesonic 9000’s music plays out like a musical rendering of a Twilight Zone episode transported into the 21st century.
E.C.H.O. movie poster
Assembled entirely of 99 remixed midcentury archive films packed into 11 minutes, the E.C.H.O. short film is framed as an audiovisual association experiment held at Telesonic Research Laboratories. It follows scientists administering audiovisual stimulus tests (comprised of the EP’s 3 retrofuturistic music videos) to measure the audience’s response to impressionistic sounds and imagery. The experiments, while presented as a loose organization of quirky film clips, also form a conceptual arc that climaxes at the information revolution’s logical endpoint: a technicolored multi-sensory overload. Made on the smallest of budgets from high quality public domain footage licensed from various archives, the short film re-contextualizes America's once-steadfast belief in a brighter tomorrow to reflect the doubts and uncertainties of modern times.
E.C.H.O. is a concise follow up to the expansive topics covered by T9000’s previous album/movie release, 2019’s Progress. Gray liberally fuses ephemera from different decades and merges it with vocoders, anodyne spoken word passages, and synth heavy rockouts. Scratchy celluloid, analog grain, and VHS fuzz create an uncanny, dream-like blend of textures and impressions with quick-change edits in the spirit of Parallax View. This kinetic link between modern sensibilities and a self-reflexive awareness of the past exemplifies the contrasting dynamics of old and new that define the world of Telesonic 9000.
In addition to its signature rhythms and sound collages, E.C.H.O. reflects Gray’s fascinations with cult-favorite movies and left-field musical excursions. Inside Telesonic 9000’s DNA are nods to Devo’s bizarro arthouse music videos, cut-and-paste documentaries of Adam Curtis, and tech-suspicions of Black Mirror.
2023 will see Telesonic 9000’s multimedia live shows - once described as “2001: A Space Odyssey for people who like rock concerts” - bring E.C.H.O. to the stage via tours and film festival screenings.
"E.C.H.O. is sparked by the discord between the wide-eyed techno wonder of the computer age and the tech-malaise of modern times. We’re living in a time which was once envisioned to be a utopia, that instead mutated into a digital world haunted by a loss of optimism."
TELESONIC 9000 SHORT BIO
Equal parts musical act and video experiment, Telesonic 9000 - the Berlin-based solo project of American drummer and producer Dominick Gray - uses an inventive audiovisual framework to combine future rock sounds, decade-spanning film imagery, and left field sensibilities to explore the relationship between the early technological era and the 21st-century information age.
At a time when pop culture artifacts are recycled, rebooted and reissued to capitalize on audiences’ eagerness for nostalgia, it’s unusual to find an outfit which somehow manages to combine the sensibilities of yesteryear with an eye pointed decidedly to the future. Enter the audiovisual anomaly Telesonic 9000.
The solo project of Berlin-based American drummer and producer Dominick Gray, Telesonic 9000 weaves together genre-bending songs with kinetic mashups of mid century films to produce an inventive brand of multimedia that is as retro-savvy as it is forward looking. The ingredients which make up the music - art rock explorations, Krautrock’s calculated rigidity, and electropop synth hooks - form the basis for a type of abstract storytelling that connects America’s once-thriving enthusiasm for a brighter future to the looming uncertainty of our information revolution. This synchronization of sonic elements and stylized imagery serves as ornamentation for themes which capture an essential feeling about our relationship to time, and how the past’s visions of tomorrow impact today.
Telesonic 9000 formed in mid-2010’s Berlin, where Gray — an eclectic drummer with an art school background, then working as a session musician amidst the city’s cross-cultural creative scene — began developing a solo project based around the idea of fusing the experiences of a concert and film screening. An obsessive fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey (he claims to have read dozens of academic essays which explore interpretations of the movie), computer age aesthetics, and media-mixing artists like Björk, Massive Attack, and Kraftwerk, Gray gradually merged his movie and music interests by integrating original electronic tracks with dozens (later hundreds) of public domain archive films. Editing to sound and composing to imagery, scenes of atomic era scientists and postwar idealism were reconstructed to transmute the sense of pleasantly assured optimism into larger concepts relating to technological advancement and the human experience.
The first what-would-come-to-be-called Telesonic 9000 show was held on a visit to the US in early 2015. At a house party in Detroit, without a working projector on hand, a basement crowd danced and watched the film from a computer screen perched on a stool while Dom played drums on a platform tucked in a dark corner. After returning to Berlin (and upgrading to a larger projection setup), this show evolved into an immersive live “film concert”: a 21st-century update to the silent cinema format built around the 3-way interplay between Gray’s reactive drumming, pulsing electronics, and large future-is-now projections. He continued refining Telesonic 9000, settling on a name that evokes the latest model of an all-purpose media creation machine and globetrotting with the show to Estonian art spaces, Italian cinemas, and Tokyo alleyways. This culminated in 2019’s album and film release Progress. Recorded with 2 microphones and minimal software, the album features genre-bending trips into new wave, electropop, and chillout. Its accompanying film is a 50-minute collage of 300 decade-spanning archive movies, covering expansive topics ranging from the life cycle of human beings to the space race. A 3-week tour of Japan and a feature slot at Berlin’s Future Soundscapes Festival followed.
“Making the first show, formulating it into Progress, and all of the touring that surrounded it was really a time defined by figuring things out myself, from moment to moment. Amassing footage and pulling off a full production with very little resources, navigating my way through foreign countries, and playing for audiences - sometimes very confused audiences - who had no idea what to expect allowed me to find ways to open people up to an unusual experience.” says Dom.
Telesonic 9000's latest release is the EP E.C.H.O. It consists of driving songs that intermix rhythmic synths, spoken word samples, and Gray's distinct style of motorik drumming. It is accompanied by a music video short film that framed an audiovisual experiment held at Telesonic Research Labs. The EP and short film condense ideas relating to the promise and fallout of the computer revolution into a kinetic audiovisual presentation. Live performances and film screenings in the US and Europe will follow. After basing himself in the Midwest throughout the pandemic, Dom returned to Berlin in summer 2023.
“When paired in the right way, music and film can create a kaleidoscope of idea and emotion.”
Credit: Christian Tan
"The project sees Gray weave driving electronic music and spoken word samples with archived mid-century video footage to create a retro-futurist collage of sound and vision."
"Telesonic 9000’s sound embodies a driving rhythm section, Mellotron textures, and sleek electronic flourishes. Combining pulsating beeps and rhythms, spoken word samples, and synths evoking the dawn of the computer era, Telesonic 9000 collages techno beats and sentiments surrounding vintage technology."
"The music on Progress fizzes with optimism, with krautrock-fuelled grooves, YMO-style electronic twinkles and, most notably on ‘Build Today For a Better Tomorrow’, electro-funk workouts – all tied together by his hypnotic jazzy live drumming."
Casa da Música - Porto, PT
Music Tech Fest - Berlin, DE
Live Performers Meeting - Rome, IT
Kagurane - Tokyo, JP
Live Fact - Kuala Lumpur, MY
Future Soundscapes Festival - Berlin, DE
Ann Arbor Film Festival - Ann Arbor, USA
Toledo Museum of Art - Toledo, USA
DISCOGRAPHY / FILMOGRAPHY
Progress - 2019
Information (Single) - 2021
Modern World (Single) - 2022
E.C.H.O. (EP) - 2023
© TELESONIC MEDIA WORKS MMXXII