Commend There 003

Nuke Watch — Countdown

The third installment in Commend’s THERE series offers optimal out-there-ness for our space’s enduring in-here-ness. Nuke Watch is an amorphous entity emanating out of Bog 65, Beat Detectives’ former, and foundational, hideout / headquarters. In the familiar freewheeling formation of Aaron Anderson, Eric Timothy Carlson and Chris Hontos, studio mates, collaborators and friends, the Nuke Watch project transpired during a flurry of recording sessions with kindred spirit and central force Leonard King, visiting NYC from Minneapolis in early 2019.

Over a few days of synths and psychedelics jammed to tape, a formal tone began to foam on the surface of this chimerical soup. The crew let it ferment for a while. Hontos then syphoned the brew into segments, movements, songs and vibes, which he and Anderson added some new ingredients to. Finally, in true potluck style, the duo invited friends to overdub on the original tracks, adding the unique flavors of like-minded souls Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw), Sameer Kapoor, Bryce Hackford, J T Bates, Zack Stafford and Jason Edmonds to the batch. Countdown collects about half of the tracks extracted from this process.

Shaped by the aged n’ saged energies of an Ensoniq Mirage keyboard sampler, Korg Polysix, Korg MicroX, Yamaha DX7 and a Korg Poly 800, this collection conveys a process more than a classifiable sound (if such a project of classifying sound is relevant here, or at all). In the improvisational and exploratory aura of the studio, the concepts of “sound,”“rhythm” and “music” freely circulate and interact to become textural mind environments. Listening to Countdown is a rippling, multi-sensory experience that warms, beguiles, puzzles, tickles and eases the listener. It’s the medicine you didn’t know you needed, made with fruit (and fungi) picked fresh from the environment of its creation.

As with all Beat Detective excavations from Bog 65, Countdown conveys a strong visual side to the sound, indebted to the radical optic component of the second floor factory’s productivity. Anderson speaks to this link: “It just takes a ‘natural movement’ to confuse a cinematic gesture, in the same way an off-grid rhythm can pique the vibe of a song.” A limited edition cassette release of Nuke Watch’s first hallucination will be released alongside a dream sequence of complementary videos for total energetic immersion through Commend’s channels.