Electronic musician and spoken word artist Darius VanSluytman of seminal alternative hip-hop and electronic bands The Infesticons/Majesticons and No Surrender will read new work over his own electronic compositions.
I experienced many of the highs, any independent musician can hope for in their careers. Sometimes artists embody or employ (both if they are lucky) terms like “alternative” and “experimental” in hopes they will give their careers an extension past the natural expiration dates most musicians dabbling in the alternative-rock or pop scene tend to have. I toured, saw myself on the big screen, played stages in cities I’d only dreamed of visiting, and read about myself in the same magazines I learned about my heroes in.
But sometime the trick doesn’t work. The academics in the “experimental scene” thought we were too pop. The electronic scene we came from thought us too academic. Or so I convinced myself. The labels stopped calling. The venues stopped booking. And when it all went away, I found myself homeless, depressed, and felt like I had failed myself and everyone. I was in a hole inside of myself. I stopped performing, and found myself incapable of completing music.
I’ve always been obsessed with time. Wasting it. Watching it run from my hands. Wanting more of it. I was at an open mic in Bushwick and heard a poet who reminded me of a younger me. He inspired me to turn back to poetry. I started my career at open mics doing one or two poems per “set.” So, I started there again at DIY literary spaces reading things, and finding myself. In time I found my synthesizers, and we talked.
Still, in the interim, more time passed, I watched my friends go gray, enroll their children in high schools and universities. I watched loved
ones pass. Some who went without remembering who I was. Some who were in too much pain to hold on to what is here. I decided I don’t have much more time to be who I am.
This body of work hopes to suspend in time some of the worst of the bad moments. To bind them, and give birth to beautiful moments. New spells. A bit of grace I hope someone might stumble upon, one day when they too feel like they are running out of time.
Darius VanSluytman has performed with a number of ensembles and under a number of pseudonyms. He began performing in the alternative music scene, in classic venues (C.B.G.B.’s, Brownies, Baby Jupiter), D.I.Y. spaces (Rubulad, Dante’s Fried Chicken), and alternative arts venues (Galapagos, The AlterKnit at the original Knitting Factory) of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg scenes in the late 90s and early 2000s. His band No Surrender were early entrants on the Afropunk scene playing their 2006 and 2007 block parties. He has also performed alternative musical theater with John Zorn protege Raz Mesinai at Etna Fest in Catania, and Mike Ladd at The Kitchen. He has performed with Vijay Iyer, Jessika Kenny, Shazad Ismaily and other luminaries of the new music and jazz scenes. He has recorded with Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, celebrated score composer Costanza Francavilla, and producer Johan Karlberg (Mumford & Sons, The Very Best, Lazarus). He has appeared on screen in the feature film Lifted (2010), and performed at SONAR Festival in Barcelona (with No Surrender), The Whitney Museum (with VisionIntoArt), The Frist Museum in Nashville, and Il Teatro Manzoni in Milan, the Notting Hill Arts Club in London and more. His work has been covered in VICE, Rolling Stone, SPIN, MTV, Time Out London, Mojo, NME Magazine, Dazed & Confused and other outlets. He has also published poetry, articles and short fiction in a number of publications. He received his Masters in Music at NYU’s Steinhardt Music Technology program where he studied under electronic music pioneers including Joel Cadabe and Kenneth Peacock, and respected producers like Paul Geluso. His current
synth/spoken word duo Low Wave performs regularly on the Brooklyn D.I.Y. and literary scenes.
“Brags about making future music…and guess what? They deliver” – Popmatters
“Groping and grimy” – RCRDLBL
“After a time there is another time.” – Thomas VanSluytman (R.I.P.)
https://lowwave.bandcamp.com https://www.facebook.com/nosurrendermusic www.dariusvansluytman.com
Mike Ladd, Raz Mesinai, Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio),
INTERVIEWS AND PRESS