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Xvektor (EXP)
Xvektor (EXP)
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Abstract soundscapes and structured noise compositions. Progressive Chaos. Chapman stick, synth, guitars, violins, jackhammers, snaps, crackles, pops...
Xvektor began as an experimental collaborative project for creating abstract tone and rhythm compositions. Utilizing synthesizer, guitars, voices, violin, computer software and various other sound generating and processing devices the collaborative mixes elements of excess with minimal elements to create structures that seem chaotic, alien and familiar simultaneously. Progressive Chaos. The sonic equivalent of non representational abstract art. The unit continues to create experimental soundscapes while occasionally entering almost familiar territory. We've added the (EXP) to our name here to indicate our more abstract, noise oriented selections. The name Xvektor without the (EXP) is the same exact entity. We just felt that we wanted to put a different mix of sounds in one playlist and another in a seperate playlist. This allows us to create sonic environments to suit a different mood. A different listener. We've chosen to feature only our soundscapes, at this time, as they represent the bulk of our work. Quirky/classical guitarist Steve Thomas began recording with the collective last year. This new work is heavy on guitar and has a decidedly more improvisational feel and we're really pleased with the sound. It's some pretty crazy stuff. The first session produced 'As If Anyone Could Know That' and as the name implies it doesn't take itself too seriously. We've also recently put the finishing touches on a new composition called 'Battery Acid' that is as harsh and distorted as anything you are likely to ever hear. Created from several sessions with Steve, this all guitar bloodfest is right at home in the Noise genre and is currently at #5 on the Noise charts. It was originally planned as an alternative mix to the 3rd section of a sound collage titled 'Three Faces' but it took on a life of it's own and really bears very little resemblance to the original. So let's just call it new. (Note: We've just updated Three Faces with an alternate version with Jeff's Chapman rhythm added to the center section. The percussion track has been eliminated and the Chapman giving it all a more organic feel). Our latest composition is called 'Hostile Makeover Parts 1 & 2' and is a distorted trip created entirely from Steve's delayed out guitar madness. It is an extension of the shorter 'Hostile Makeover 2' and initially it sounds like total noise chaos. But upon subsequent listenings you begin to recognize a definite structure to it. This was probably the most difficult job of merging tons of files we've attempted. Our latest addition is called 'Evisceration Is No Way To Get A Guy's Attention' and was played entirely on Jeff's Chapman Stick. Of course, it's been heavily sliced, diced and looped but the core is all improv played by Jeff. This piece uses much less processing so that the raw sound of the instrument is the primary element. Several new compositions from our first sessions with Jeff's stick are ready for upload any day now. In addition to those we have some brand new stuff created from files Jeff and Robbie have had for several years and have now brought back to life. 'Eclipse.BUZZTUBE' is complete and a cool combination of Robbie's powerfully melodic E-Bow piece and Jeff's atonal, pulsing assault merged for a total clash of styles. More Jeff guitar processing delirium with the recently finished 'Kill The Smart Ones First'. It's composed of Chapman Stick and more freaked out guitar. And speaking of freaks, our new soundscape 'FREAK' is complete and online. It's from the same sessions as 'Kill The Smart Ones First', and created entirely of Chapman stick and, once again, Jeff's guitars. Headphone listening is a must! OK, we've decided to go ahead and release '2nd & 3rd Thoughts On An Improv'. It's about 3 years old and we did it at the same time as 'As If Anyone Could Know That'. On Steve's very first session with Xvektor, he began (after several brews) to play scales and riff and we decided to just turn the recorder on. Good idea, huh? So this is a fresh, very loose and relaxed cut with multiple overlays, loops and such. Not what you normally hear from us, but what the hell. We tried to corrupt it as much as we could. To start off 2009 we uploaded an abridged version of Chime Factory 2, a piece that we produced simultaneously with Chime Factory Part 1. This is pure ambient and it's a simplified and improved version of the original (which you've never heard so this is your original). Happy New Year! In the spirit of releasing cuts that have been on hold for a while for one of several reasons, we've released Mutant Virus, a fun little piece with vocal loops and Friggingeverything.Opinions which plays with vocal loops as well. Opinions uses overlapping vocal loops that begin to sound like 'something else' as they become more and more distorted.
Band/artist history
Xvektor began as a vehicle for mixing sounds, noises, pulses and guitars. Robbie Atkins and Alan Dean were the original members. Robbie was the actual musician while Alan simply liked synthesizers and weird noises. Robbie's freeform guitar madness and love for playing anything, anytime began the whole thing. As we progressed we got more and more serious about creating original sound collages (and an occasional song!). We were lucky enough to get the help of collaborators Jeff McLeod, who provided an atonal style, equal parts Robert Fripp and sheet metal being ripped in half, and eventually, Steve Thomas to complete the collective. Steve's contributions gave Xvektor a 'right-on-the-edge' madness that pushed the compositions further into abstract territory. Over the years our sound has gone from guitars and some MicroMoog noise to digital synthesizers and back to more guitar and Chapman stick oriented, mostly atonal compositions. The organic sound of the guitar allows us to achieve the particular mood/tones that we're currently striving for. Our compositional style could be described more accurately as 'visual translated into sound' rather than 'musical'. More recently we have had the great fortune to work with collaborators Zozimo and Adrianne from Astronomusic (out of Brazil) and David Briggs (from The Valiant Bs and Major Snagg from the UK). How cool is that?!
Have you performed in front of an audience?
This project is a recording entity only although most of the members perform with other bands and on various projects.
Your musical influences
Our musical influences are quite diverse. Primarily, this project was influenced by Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Aphex Twin, Steve Roach, Tangerine Dream, Laurie Anderson, Bill Nelson, Coil and many, many others. Our latest material was heavily influenced by a trailblazing album from Vangelis called 'Beauborg'. It was his effort to create a tonal environment, devoid of any musical intervention. Just noise. And very cool noise at that. The current Xvektor sound is created with a similar atonal, abstract structure although the instruments used to create this are primarily guitars with an occasional violin or jackhammer thrown in for good measure. Here is some info on our members: Robbie is one hard working SOB and the guy who started this evolving, pulsing, atonal thing maybe a bit unexpectedly or accidentally. One problem: Robbie has a great love for hard rock and the great shredders like Jeff Beck, Satriani, Randy Rhodes and many others. One can only imagine how he feels creating Abstract Electronica and Noise! But one of Robbie's great strengths is his ability and willingness to play any kind of music or contribute to any sound project. He just loves music and loves to create. Plus, he's a hell of a guy to hang out with. But he likes that nasty green beer. Jeff brought with him a love for King Crimson as well as Swans and a huge assortment of totally obscure bands. Jeff is one of those tireless, incredibly motivated, innovative and completely selfless artists who will play with anyone, sit in with bands who have lost a bass player right before a gig or help a musical novice to create 'space music'. Jeff plays many kinds of music and is a tireless ambassador of abstract, noise and ambient music. Steve has a vast and very diverse set of influences which includes Zappa, the Grateful Dead and Neil Young. You're not likely to hear any stuff that's anywhere near old Neil on this project tho. Steve's guitars inject a third edgy style to the mix with meandering guitar improvs born of classical guitar and psychedelia. And Alan, well he is the producer/concept nazi and is heavily influenced by the voices in his head. They mostly tell him to cut things up into little pieces (careful with that axe Eugene!) and put them back together again in abstract form. Kinda like Re-Animator meets the Wizard of Oz (Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! What the *#$@ is that thing growing out of your head?!). Anything that makes a sound is a potential instrument in the Xvektor compositional concept. But don't we all say that?
What equipment do you use?
Stuff with wires mostly...
Anything else?
1st Installment: We like Tater Tots! Oh, and still don't like stuff that sucks. 2nd Installment: OK, it's becoming evident that there is a growing amount of stuff that sucks. Its exponential growth is becoming something of a concern. 3rd Installment: This does not please Happy Fun Ball.
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