Fuck Buttons evolve live performance, toy with the traditional

Fuck-Buttons3Photos by Pedro Paredes // Written by Kevin Quandt //

Fuck Buttons with Total Life //
The Independent – San Francisco
June 27th, 2014 //

An evening of non-traditional, also known as experimental, music was presented to a radical crowd that hinges itself upon the progressive more than the the mainstream. There is hardly a ‘beat’ to dance to. There are no massively recognizable samples. Basically, there is noise summoned from the depths of circuitry heaven, or hell for some, molded and formed into intricate pieces that challenge both the producer and the listener. The Independent pulsated to various frequencies on this given Friday night that featured full blown drone music from the opener, Total Life, and an updated set from UK act, Fuck Buttons.

Ah, the thrill of drone music as you ease into a well earned weekend. Kevin Doria is Total Life and he has paired music down to it’s simplest element of sustained tone in a manner which would make John Cage smile, while simultaneously making the masses cringe. Many in the crowd couldn’t handle the ultra-exploratory nature of his singular sounds that shifted only the slightest amount as he masterfully filled the room with individual notes.

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Fuck Buttons would expand on this singular thought in a more methodical manner, as is to be expected form this heralded duo of button pushers, knob twiddlers and forward thinkers. On this evening, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power jumped out of the gates, opting for immediate immersion over introduction. The opening featured Hung hollering into a mic that, in turn, sounded like something reminiscent of a whale call. The duo eased into a set that featured incredible tempo and one of the best visual shows in a while, accompanied the smorgasbord of electronic styles that were served up.

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Similar to the Caribou, Fuck Buttons stand out in a sea of artists that could be categorized in the same vein, yet the majority fall short of something special, unlike the aforementioned. There were moments of gut-rumbling distorted bass and more upbeat segments that could best be described as ‘dark disco’. This particular tour is more accessible to new fans as a layer of their drone-music past seems to have been shed as portions of the show could have fit in perfectly with the likes of the Low End Theory crew. The preciseness of their sound is truly something to behold, nay, experience.

WIN TICKETS: Fuck Buttons at The Independent 6/27 (FRI)

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Enter to win a pair of free tickets to this show below.

Fuck Buttons with Total Life //
The Independent – San Francisco
June 27th, 2014 (FRI) //

Fans of all things progressive have got to check out this Bristol, UK duo which lovingly goes by the name of Fuck Buttons. For nearly a decade now, the pairing of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power have produced some seriously left-leaning electronic masterpieces, relying on the collective knowledge and power that each member brings to the table (they literally play off a missive table which is loaded with wired contraptions). The ‘post-everything’ approach they bring has delighted critics for over a decade, and their 2013 release, Slow Focus, received praise across the board. In fact, it was ATP (All Tomorrow’s Parties) Records’ first release to break the top 40 charts in their home of Great Britain.

Sure, it’s a Friday night and ya may have plans. Yes, it doesn’t have a 4-on-the-floor beat. However, you’ll be experiencing something fully unique and mesmerizing in one of our favorite rooms in the City.

Total Life is set to open on this evening. This project is a solo offshoot by Kevin Doria, popularly known from 00’s drone band, Growing. 2013’s show at the Indy was pretty stellar, so we suggest making moves on this one. -Kevin Quandt

Buy tickets if you know you want to go!


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New Music: Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

Fuck ButtonsSlow Focus

4-BamsTop Tracks:
“Brainfreeze”
“The Red Wing”
“Stalker”

Album Highlights: After a lengthy 4 year wait for the third album from the Bristol duo Fuck Buttons, Slow Focus has arrived with all it’s droning brilliance. Right out of the gates, it’s not terribly tough to see that Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power have been busy collecting more circuit-bent gadgets and rare synths to create a whirling dervish of art-wave post-rock. Though trying to place this act in any genre is a bit of disservice, kind of like some of their influences like Aphex Twin and Mogwai. Alas, this sonic venture is full of exploration, easily demonstrated on the long-play opening track, “Brainfreeze”. Fans of My Bloody Valentine may eat up this thick, wall-of-sound style approach that is served up on this release, and the explorative tracks top ten minutes in some cases à la Kevin Shields, as well.

Comparisons aside, Fuck Buttons truly bring something original to the table, and the crossover nature of this release is one of the more dynamic aspects to dwell on while listening. Tracks like “Stalker” lurch close to a dance beat, but won’t allow for overt shoegazing as the song bends and limps towards a rising focal point. It’s uplifting in ways, while leaving the listener to decide if it’s the sound of apocalypse or a new beginning.

Album Lowlight: Much like their influences, Fuck Buttons won’t fit neatly into any category, therefore fans of the avant-garde will eat it up, while others may not appreciate the pioneering aspect of these two experimental Brits. Closing track “Hidden Xs” is formatted very similarly to the prior song in song structure, length of track and overall feel. “Hidden Xs” does have a more distinct “rock” feel with it’s relatively clear guitar tones, almost reminiscent of jamtronica purveyors such as The Egg. It remains to be seen whether this album has a ton of replay value, but the depth of the songs tend to make one think it will.

Takeaway: If not familiar with this act, Slow Focus is a perfectly acceptable jumping off point before burrowing into their back catalog. It’s likely that their recently announced Fall tour will garner buzz and sell out in many key demographics, so don’t sleep on Fuck Buttons in the later summer.

Hung and Power are masters of their craft, and truly sculpt aural landscapes with the best of them. One standout track, “The Red Wing”, could be a stand-in for a more ruckus take on Boards of Canada, an act that shares the same envelope-pushing ethos. All in all, these rising stars bring something truly unique to the table, a table that is increasingly overflowing with new takes on the state of electronic music, even if hidden under the moniker of post-rock.