THE UPCOMING AUDIOVISUAL RELEASE FROM TELESONIC 9000
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In the new EP and its acocompanying short film E.C.H.O., Telesonic 9000 uses his unique brand of multimedia 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
In the new EP / short film E.C.H.O., multimedia artist Telesonic 9000 uses his unique brand of multimedia to convey the the intrinsic connection between the early computer revolution and the fallout of the modern digital era. Equal parts musical act and video experiment, Telesonic 9000 - the Berlin-formed Midwest-based solo project of drummer and producer Dominick Gray - 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.
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 anodyne/anesthetizing spoken words, and Information’s future-is-now energy form an arc that mutates 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 from remixed midcentury archive films, the E.C.H.O. short film is framed as an audiovisual association experiment held at Telesonic Research Laboratories, following 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.
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 remixes ephemera from different decades and merges them 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. In collecting, sorting, and re-constructing the dozens of films which comprise E.C.H.O., Dom says “There is a clear divergence within the optimism of the technological revolution and the uneasy, confounding nature of our current digital landscape. As time goes on, one era informs the other; the future echoes the past.”
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.
TELESONIC 9000 SHORT BIO
Equal parts musical act and video experiment, Telesonic 9000 - the Berlin formed Midwest based solo project of 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 American drummer and producer Dominick Gray, Telesonic 9000 weaves together genre-bending songs with kinetic mashups of midcentury 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 - left field 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 — 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 collecting dozens (later hundreds) of public domain archive films and integrating his original electronic tracks with them. 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 - globetrotting with his show to underground bars in Berlin, Estonian art spaces, Italian cinemas, and Tokyo alleyways. This culminated in 2019’s Progress, a no-budget album and film release with genre-bending trips into new wave, electropop, and chillout; the film is a 50-minute collage of 300 decade-spanning archive movies, covering expansive topics ranging from love and 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.
Gray’s art school background and oddball fixations make their way into Telesonic 9000’s DNA, informing the project’s acute creative sentiment and idiosyncratic visual style. Now operating out of the Midwest, Dom says “When paired in the right way, music and film can create a kaleidoscope of idea and emotion.” 2023 will see the release of the upcoming short film / EP, E.C.H.O., which condenses ideas relating to the promise and fallout of the computer revolution into a kinetic, 13-minute music-film, as well as live performances/film screenings in the US and Europe.
"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
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