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Festival Review and Photos: ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror, September 30 – October 2, 2011 – Asbury Park, NJ

Colin Stetson

Photo by Christopher Alvarez

Oneida presents The Ocropolis III

When doing lineup research for a festival, standard practice dictates checking out the event’s official Spotify or YouTube playlist, and then selecting some discographies to prioritize. For Oneida presents Ocropolis III? None of this was adequate preparation. For the eight hour marathon, the Brooklyn experimenters made the famously long sets from the oft-yelled “Broooce” look like sprints by comparison as they improvised a blend of psychedelic noise and krautrock. Joining the band throughout the day were collaborators such as Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley and Yo La Tengo’s James McNew. Oneida’s brand of improvisation is like a compelling noise rock song where the climax is stretched beyond recognition for such a long time that the notion of a “song” ceases to have any meaning. In the Asbury Lanes, it generally generated a reaction of either head-scratching befuddlement and a prompt exit or the kind of captivation that causes one to become lost in the jam for hours and accidentally miss Foot Village and Silver Qluster.


Photo by Christopher Alvarez

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog

Photo by Christopher Alvarez

Foot Village

Photo by Christopher Alvarez


Photo by Christopher Alvarez

The Horrors

Photo by Christopher Alvarez


After the departure of vocalist/guitarist Tyondai Braxton last year, the announcement that Battles would continue came as a surprise. A year later, their sophomore effort Gloss Drop revealed that Battles were mostly the same: unpredictable and rhythmically rich, but not quite as propulsive. Some of the power may have diminished, but Battles are still a force of nature live that gets the body moving. In the Convention Hall, the vocals of Braxton were played as a background sample during “Atlas,” as with Gloss Drop guests Kazu Makino and Matias Aguayo, effectively driving the point home that they are in control and can get along without him.


More than making an impact, explosive post-punkers left a smoking crater in the music world in the 80s. Rather than getting the band back together to plow through the “hits” for some quick cash, frontman Michael Gira recently gave Swans a proper reformation, returning with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky, their most entrancing album since 1987’s Children of God. Swans employed some of the weekend’s most thrilling uses of repetition, cycling the same pattern of dissonant guitar chord and thunderous gong strokes for several minutes at the set’s midpoint while the deafened, awestruck crowd watched with their mouths agape, and in some cases, air drumming.

Photo by Christopher Alvarez

Ultramagnetic MCs

Photo by Christopher Alvarez

Peanut Butter Wolf

Photo by Christopher Alvarez

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