Unbate your breath, the Ecstatic Music Marathon is now streaming online. Last month, I was in New York for the kickoff of the Ecstatic Music Festival, which continues through February and March, featuring a wide array of hip, genre-deconstructing composers. The opening Marathon was 7 hours long, so to save you from sifting through wheats and chaffs, I made this handy listening guide. You could also read what festival curator Judd Greenstein says.
Coming at the end of the evening, Buke and Gass (rhymes with Juke and Face) managed to take the evening in an entirely new direction without losing the audience. Before they took the stage, there were thorny post/modernist string quartets, meandering minimalism, and hyper-repetitive loop music. And yet the duo, consisting of modified ukulele and guitar/bass, built upon that foundation and then proceeded to rock out: immediately listenable songs with ear-catching infusions of funky polyrhythms. Call it math-folk with a side of prog, funk, and rockabilly?