Lukas Ligeti & Atlantic Drone Trio – March 29th

Posted in Events on February 13, 2010 by metropolisunderground

Lukas Ligeti - Photo by Kava Gorna

Atlantic Drone

Lukas Ligeti – Transcending the boundaries of genre, composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, as well as world music, particularly from Africa.  Known for his non-conformity and diverse interests, Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free-improvised, often exploring polyrhythmic/polytempo structures, non-tempered tunings, and non-western elements. Other major sources of inspiration include experimental mathematics, computer technology, architecture and visual art, sociology and politics, and travel. He has also been participating in cultural exchange projects in Africa for the past 15 years.

Born in Vienna, Austria into a Hungarian-Jewish family from which several important artists have come including his father, composer György Ligeti, Lukas started his musical adventures after finishing high school.  He studied composition and percussion at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and then moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University before settling in New York City in 1998.

His commissions include Bang on a Can, the Vienna Festwochen, Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet, Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger, the American Composers Forum, New York University, ORF Austrian Broadcasting Company, Radio France, and more; he also regularly collaborates with choreographer Karole Armitage.

As a drummer, he co-leads several bands and has performed and/or recorded with John Zorn, Henry Kaiser, Raoul Björkenheim, Gary Lucas, Michael Manring, Marilyn Crispell, Benoit Delbecq, Jim O’Rourke, Daniel Carter, John Tchicai, Eugene Chadbourne, and many others.  He performs frequently on electronic percussion often using the marimba lumina, a rare instrument invented by California engineer Don Buchla.

His first trip to Africa, a commission in 1994 by the Goethe Institute to work with musicians in Côte d’Ivoire, embarked him on an exploration of cross-cultural collaboration that continues to this day.  In Abidjan he co-founded the experimental, intercultural group Beta Foly which lead to the release of his first CD Lukas Ligeti & Beta Foly in 1997.  He has worked with Batonka musicians in Zimbabwe; collaborated with Nubian musicians in Egypt which culminated in a concert at the Cairo Opera; and composed a piece for musicians for various Caribbean cultures which premiered in Miami Beach.

In 2005, Lukas was featured at the Unyazi festival in Johannesburg, the first electronic experimental music festival in Africa, and in 2006, he was composer-in-residence at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Lukas also traveled to Uganda in 2007 to collaborate with the music/dance/theater group, the Ndere Troupe.  In 2008, he taught composition at the University of Ghana at Legon (Accra). Lukas’ band Burkina Electric, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, combines African traditions with electronic dance music and has been touring internationally.

Lukas recently toured in the UK, performing at Oxford’s Holywell Music Room, Arnolfini in Bristol, the London Jazz Festival at the Purcell Room/Southbank Centre, and at the Dialogues Festival in Edinburgh, among other venues. Other recent highlights include a nationwide U.S. tour of Lukas’ electronic percussion solo CD Afrikan Machinery (Tzadik Records) and performances at the Ottawa Bluesfest, the Electric Eclectics Festival (in Meaford, ON), the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, and the Whitney Museum’s Composer Portrait Series.  He also completed a month-long curatorial project at The Stone in NYC and an American Composers Orchestra commission and world premiere of “Labyrinth of Clouds” at Carnegie Hall with Lukas on solo marimba lumina.

Atlantic Drone’s music holds all of the sensations associated with true psychedelia: the meditative hypnotics of prog forefathers Can, the reckless propulsion of free jazz, the kinetic energy of early King Crimson, the soaring intensity of Soft Machine, the swirling throbs of early Butthole Surfers, the natural beauty of Brian Eno’s ambiance and the schizophrenic scuttle of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. Far from creating a nostalgic tribute to a previous age, ATLANTIC DRONE is a redefinition of the sonic trip, creating a sound that is both exhilarating and Zen-ful; serving up an atom to the melting molecular soup of Post Psychedelic Hypno Mantras that point more to the future than to the past. Featuring Steven Cerio, John Bateman & Mike ((P))

Lukas Ligeti & Atlantic Drone Trio

March 29th @ 8pm

$5-$10 Donation


Tin/Bag – January 14th – 2010

Posted in Events on January 8, 2010 by metropolisunderground


The first show of the new year!

Tin/Bag & Words For Snow

January 14th @ 8pm

$5-$10 Donation

TIN/BAG, the bi-coastal duo of  trumpeter Kris Tiner (LA) and  guitarist Mike Baggetta (NYC) deals with a music that is spare,  ethereal, and highly exploratory, “clearly cut from cloth that hasn’t been designed yet…” (­Improvijazzation Nation). Both are among a generation  of young creative musicians contributing original new  music and pushing a re-examination of the roles and possibilities  of their instruments. Tiner and Baggetta have extensively toured the  United States presenting their original duo compositions  and improvisations. Their two previously issued CDs, “There, Just as You Look For It” – issued on pfMentum – and “And Begin Again” – issued on Evander Music – have been met with high praise by both critics and audience members alike.

Kris Tiner is active on the West Coast as a trumpet player, composer, and improviser. His music has been described as “extraordinarily inventive” by Signal to Noise magazine, Cadence Magazine calls him “a really compelling voice,” and LA Weekly jazz critic Greg Burk claims, “Trumpeter Kris Tiner can turned barbed wire into beauty.” He has performed at concert venues and festivals throughout North America and in Europe and West Africa.  He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America’s French-American Jazz Exchange, the International Association for Jazz
Education (IAJE), and the Kennedy Center’s Jazz Ahead program. Among the many notable musicians he has performed and/or recorded with are Vinny Golia, Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Donald Robinson, Gerry Hemingway, Nels Cline, Mary Oliver, Ken Filiano, Kraig Grady, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jeff Kaiser,  Motoko Honda, Harris Eisenstadt, and Lukas Ligeti.  His group,The Empty Cage Quartet, issued their latest CD on the Clean Feed label with a second to be issued on Clean Feed soon.

Guitarist Mike Baggetta is one of his generations most original jazz improvisors and composers.  He has performed and/or recorded with Tom Harrell, Conrad Herwig, Ralph Bowen, Adam Kolker, Lukas Ligeti, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, George Schuller, Jeff Hirshfield, Tony Reedus, Steve LaSpina, Jamie Baum, Bill McHenry, Nate Wooley, Bucky Pizzarelli and Ruth Brown among many others.  It has been said that his performances are “totally compelling” (Jazz Journal – UK), “his melodic sense is truly beautiful” (Jazzreview. com) and that “each piece he performs creates new worlds of possibilities” (The Hartford Courant). Mike Baggetta recently received an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his compositional talent, and the first album of his works for the Mike Baggetta Quartet – “Small Spaces” – has recently been released on the Fresh Sound New Talent label.  Mike currently lives in New York City and is an endorsing artist for D’Addario Strings and Evans Custom Amplifiers.

“Radiant… there’s an open, intensely emotional quality to the duo’s
playing… spare, haunting, with hints of modernist avant garde gestures.”
-Andy Hamilton, The Wire (UK)

“Excellent… trumpeter Kris Tiner and guitarist Mike Baggetta explore
abstract yet jazz-derived realms of expansive lyricism and liquid melody.”
-Time Out New York

“Careful listening is always evident as the two play off of each  other, whether shadowing lines or counterbalancing densities  and textures of the freely evolving pieces… What stands  out is the tension the two create as they shape the improvisational  forms with the juxtaposition of raw extended technique  and resonating tones and hanging harmonics… the two  maintain a taut, insightful approach to duet interaction.”
­- Michael Rosenstein, Cadence  Magazine

“There  is a strong balance of written and free sections, intricately  put together… both players are well matched, listening  and responding quickly and creatively.”
– ­Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery NYC

Words For Snow features Mike ((P)) & Scott Oliver w/Special Guests Steven Cerio & John Bateman.

Happy New Year!

Posted in News on January 8, 2010 by metropolisunderground

Thanks to everyone that supported Metropolis Underground over the last year! We had some amazing shows over the years and 2010 won’t be any different.

Happy New Year!

Mike ((P)) – Metropolis Underground

MV&EE Duo – November 13th

Posted in Events on November 6, 2009 by metropolisunderground


MV&EE – In fact still orbiting the earth in vermont is matt ‘mv’ valentine, once the brawn of the tower recordings, and erika ‘ee’ elder the CEO of Heroine Celestial Agriculture, together with their dog zuma they run the child of microtones terran library of exploratory music and sing songs with american avatars ‘the bummer road’ > ‘the golden road’. sometimes their own lunar blues, sometimes fingerstyle noise/space, sometimes lonesome frontier volk…always environments always rock. you will find many are one (mv/ee/willie lane/samara lubelski/doc dunn (and fellow golden roadster chris davis) and they kinda have their shit together on guitar dimensions/amp realms, cocola firebird/lap steel, jazzmaster/octron weight, solar strings/bass, pedal steel and mighty tubs…respectfully and yours hanging loose.

Also playing: Rob Coye Solo, Words For Snow, The Human vs. Mechanical Ape

$5-$10 Donation

Show starts @ 8:30

Atlantic Drone Record Release Party – October 30th

Posted in Events on October 24, 2009 by metropolisunderground
Atlantic Drone

Atlantic Drone

CIRC 001 ART lp COVER copy

ATLANTIC DRONE’S music holds all of the sensations associated with true psychedelia: the meditative hypnotics of prog forefathers Can, the reckless propulsion of free jazz, the kinetic energy of early King Crimson, the soaring intensity of Soft Machine, the swirling throbs of early Butthole Surfers, the natural beauty of Brian Eno’s ambiance and the schizophrenic scuttle of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band. Far from creating a nostalgic tribute to a previous age, ATLANTIC DRONE is a redefinition of the sonic trip, creating a sound that is both exhilarating and Zen-ful; serving up an atom to the melting molecular soup of Post Psychedelic Hypno Mantras that point more to the future than to the past.

ATLANTIC DRONE’s sound began with a lysergic vision of a swirling and fitful heaven which was then sweetened with thickly layered harmonies, blissful atmospheres and busy arrangements that arose as much from the quality of musicianship as from producer Steven Cerio’s command of studio orchestration and composition.  A sound arranged from a wealth of instruments; each competing for the one highest form and illusion: theremin, an extensive array of horns, organ voices, guitar textures and percussion varieties. Majestic amorphous cauldrons of melodic oddities and cosmic hymns lay twitching under clouds of swirling drones. Tantric struggles extending into the acid drenched space of post psychedelic hypno ragas. Mandalas of melodies as intoxicating as cheesecake layered with lyrics spoken in the cryptic language of psychedelia. Every sound blends ambience, rhythmic intensity, pastoral passages and lyrical lullabies. Every track is bred of the soaring beauty found in all true psychedelia.

ATLANTIC DRONE was founded in upstate New York by Steven Cerio, who for decades has designed graphics and posters for such diverse acts as King Crimson, Moe, Electric Frankenstein, Ministry, Les Claypool, White Zombie, Negativland, Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band, Monster Magnet, Echo & The Bunnymen and Man or Astroman? among others. Perhaps Cerio is best known for his wealth of animation and graphics for the blinkless stare of The Residents, which were recently inducted into New York’s Museum of Modern Art but as a musician, he has left a legacy of ambitious percussion on now classic recordings with: Dee Dee Ramone’s Sprocket, Railroad Jerk and Drunktank and has also performed live with Jad Fair (Half Japanese), Ron Asheton (Stooges), and free jazz legends William Parker and Jemeel Moondoc.

ATLANTIC DRONE has achieved a synthesis of historical proportions with a cast that includes: Dave Rick (Yo La Tengo, Bongwater, King Missle, Phantom Tollbooth), Wm Berger (Love, Uncle Wiggily, Fly Ashtray), Michael Duane (Dustdevils), Laure Barges (Dragibus), Sal Canzonieri (Electric Frankenstein, The Thing) and Jim Gibson (Wicked King Wicker, Toothfairy, Unholy Swill), Scott Oliver (Deciduous vs. Conifer, Autumn in Halifax, Oliver/Reeg, Torus, Words For Snow), Jethro Deluxe (Wallmen), Greg Pier (Mandate Of Heaven), Mike ((P)) (Beauty Scene Outlaws, Words For Snow), Jason Martin (Evolution Revolution, Brown Cuts Neighbors) Bryan Kieser (Brown Cuts Neighbors), Georgette Nicolaides, and Emily Church.

ATLANTIC DRONE is the answer to the trendy angst and dull-brained aggression of today’s numbskull dribble. Sonically charged without any sign of this stereotypical passive aggression and fashionable angst everyone has come to expect from the avant-garde and commercial radio alike. With their solid underground following firmly in tow, ATLANTIC DRONE have appealed to a broad spectrum of listeners. Their self-titled debut on the seminal NOISEVILLE label is a set of blissful psychedelic prayers, each wrapped in its own unique galaxy. A Vivified Sugar Cube Explains the Universe, their second release (and first by Chicago’s CIRCADIA RECORDS), continues the pilgrimage towards sonic delight. Welcome to the new universe.

Atlantic Drone ….12″ LP Record Release Party

October 30th @ 8pm

Atlantic Drone will be performing a set of improvised music inspired by “A Vivified Sugar Cube Explains the Universe”. Performers will include Steven Cerio (drms and perc), Scott Oliver (gtrs and harmonica), Bryan Kieser (alto, tenor sax and homemade horns), Mike ((P)) (gtrs), Jethro Deluxe (bass), Georgette Nicolaides (violin), Mike Burton (drms), Greg Pier (gtr) and others TBA.

$5-$10 Donation

Records and T-Shirts will be available at the show.

Jozef Van Wissem / Robbie Lee & Che Chen – October 24th

Posted in Events on October 14, 2009 by metropolisunderground
Jozef Van Wissem

Jozef Van Wissem

“Composer-lute player Jozef Van Wissem is renowned for his unusual approach of the Renaissance and Baroque lute. He cuts and pastes classical pieces, reverses melodies, adds electronics and processed field recordings made at airport lounges and train stations. The unusual wedlock of composition and improvisation creates an unheard amalgam of contemporary folk and late Renaissance music. He has accomplished the strange feat of bridging the idiom of seventeenth century lute literature and twenty-first century composition. Although Van Wissem uses subtle electronic sound manipulation, he has largely stayed faithful to the particular timbre, resonance and playing technique of the lute. Van Wissem first came to be noticed a few years ago because of his radical conceptual approach to Renaissance lute music: he deconstructed existing compositions, for instance by playing them backwards. He also composes his own pieces for lute, using palindromes and mirrored structures. His music therefore does not have a traditional linear progression, nor leads to a climax, it rather stays on the same level of intensity. His music is quiet and not so much demands concentrated listening, as it will bring the listener in a state of concentrated listening.

Van Wissem runs the Incunabulum record label, and performs extensively around the world. He has worked with Tetuzi Akiyama, Maurizio Bianchi and James Blackshaw. With Blackshaw he has formed Brethren of the Free Spirit ( Important Records) His solo CD entitled “It is all that is made” was released by Important Records in March 2009. He has lectured a.o. at Wesleyan Universtity, Mills College and Cambridge University on ‘the liberation of the lute”.

Van Wissem has received numerous commissions and grants, most recently from National Gallery, London Van Wissem performs around 80 lute concerts per year and has performed at prestigious festivals and venues like Expo Zaragoza 2008, Spain, Kr-aa-k Festival , Belgium, ZXZW Festival, Holland, Sonorités Festival, France, Serralves em festa Festival, Portugal, Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Suono Per Il Popolo Festival, Montreal, Sintra Music and Dance Festival, Portugal, Byzantine Fresco Museum, Texas, I.C.A, London, and Glasgow, Schindler House, Hollywood.

Some press clippings: “In “The Mirror of Eternal Light,” the Dutch lutist Jozef van Wissem catches his own reflection in tender, minimalist picking and gold-spray overdubs.”- – ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE


“Jozef van Wissem has been slowly reinventing the lute for the last three decades. Among the slew of fast-picking, fancy-fretting guitar players so prevalent today, his lute’s voice is a quiet oasis, and Stations of the Cross a small masterpiece”. The Wire “The way Van Wissem traces and retraces denying the listener any resolution or catharsis, is also pretty contemporary in its attitude of refusal; has there ever been a time besides now when more musicians refuted the expectations of audiences and authorities? The lack of pay-off makes the music potentially maddening; it actually stymies linear thought On an even more symbolic level, by constructing pieces that begin where they end and are therefore potentially endless, he subverts the march of time” – Dusted Magazine

Robbie Lee/Che Chen use a constellation of instruments that includes bass clarinets, baroque recorders, flutes, reed and pipe organs, renaissance keyboard instruments, bowed and plucked strings, bells, shakers, rattles, drums, blocks and the occasional electrical device,  make (mostly) acoustic, improvised music that unfolds slowly, guided principally by a sense of listening in the moment and by placing precedence in attention over technique. They have two cd-rs, “Live at EAT” and “Live on Triangulations” available on their own TELEGRAPH HARP imprint. LP’s are forthcoming.

Robbie Lee has released a solo album (cd/lp) of songs and instrumentals entitled, “Sleep, Memory” on his own I and Ear records as well as several cd-r’s of improvisations and compositions for Renaissance instruments, originally on his now-defunct cd-r label, “No Cat.” These albums, “New Sounds for Old Winds” and “Creatures Alone” will soon be re-released by Telegraph Harp in the near future. In addition to his own music, Robbie has also spent time recording and/or touring with: Neil Michael Haggerty’s Howling Hex, Baby Dee, Love as Laughter, Talibam! and others. Che Chen is also a member of True Primes, a duo with Rolyn Hu. True Primes have two releases out on Locust, “We Have Won” and a split LP with Black Vatican.

Che also edits a periodical anthology of experimental music, film and culture called “O Sirhan, O Sirhan”. Now in its second issue, O.S.O.S. has featured articles about, interviews with, and writings, drawings, films and ephemera Henry Flynt, Bruce McClure, Sir Richard Bishop, Sublime Frequencies, Jessica Rylan (Can’t), Jorge Boehringer (Core of the Coalman), Animal C.

$5-$10 Donation

Show starts @ 8pm

EXPO 70 – October 20th

Posted in Events on October 14, 2009 by metropolisunderground
Expo 70

Expo 70

Expo ’70 is the main driving improvisational essence of Justin Wright. Having started the project in Los Angeles in 2003, Wright has pushed his project to new levels, releasing a number of albums as cdr’s and 2 full-length albums. Expo ’70’s first album “Animism”, which debuted in 2007 on Kill Shaman, is an eclectic mix of krautrock, ambient drone, space exploration and minimal compositions. Comparisons range from Brian Eno, Ash Ra Tempel, A.R. & Machines, SunnO))) and Earth, but not directly sounding like any of those artists in their entirety.

Wright’s recent release “Black Ohms” on Beta-lactam Ring Records brings new life to the term drone. A world of sounds that catches the listeners subconscious and drifts them to alien lands and foreign terrain while maintaining a dreamlike quality with shifting melodies and moods. Mostly comprised of single guitar improvisations, Wright manifests rich textures and brooding low end passages full of energy that tend to sound like long synth compositions akin to early Tangerine Dream and early minimalist composers like Terry Riley.

Expo ’70 recently completed a West Coast tour, playing a sold out show in San Francisco with Wooden Shjips and ARP. Accompanying Wright was Matt Hill, a local Kansas City musician who studied at Berkeley College of music in Boston. Hill contributed bass and analog drum patterns underlying Wright’s ability to work up these long rich drones into what some might reflect a classic rock band. The live shows consisted of the two sitting indian style in front of their amps, forcing audiences to sit along with them while they build soundscapes. With a blast of smoke from a fog machine, the canvas was layed for them to rise up and get into so Pink Floyd and Hawkwind-like sonic psychedelic playing with Hill looping bass lines and Wright catching waves of melodic of guitar soloing.

Wright played Bordeaux, France late 2008 as part of a festival revolved around the celebration of French Psychedelic music which started back in 1968. The 3 day festival included acts from France and all over the world. Some act include Ame Son, Endless Boogie, Steve Gunn, Psychic Ills, The Telescopes, The Skaters, Stellar Om Source and many more. Wright was proud to have Expo ’70 included in this event.

Wright designs and packages most Expo ’70 releases himself building an aesthetic around the project as a long lost relic from the 1970’s underground music scene.

$5-$10 Donation

Show starts @ 8pm