The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'casionova'


Last night, I went to see Mink Engine. They were pretty good; two people with laptops doing music and visuals. The music seemed to be largely prerecorded, though the visuals made the whole thing: there were definite Japanese influences there (bizarre anthropomorphised foodstuffs, cartoonish graphics, and photographs of teenage fashion victims in Harajuku or someplace like that, with amusing speech balloons superimposed over them), as well as a bit of early-80s-style high-tech lettering and some video of the two members of the group in action. What was the music like? Probably somewhere between Daft Punk and Felix Da Housecat; a very 80s-synthpop-referencing electrohouse sort of thing. It was all mixed in one mix, meaning that people could have danced to it had they not been transfixed and watching the visuals.

Afterward, Casionova played. This time he had visuals (on a VCD player; could these be the new MiniDisc backing tracks?). However, his show was beset with technical glitches; devices weren't plugged in properly or didn't work, and sometimes he spent a minute or two fiddling with gear. By the time the show got back on track, the video had run one song ahead of the show, and he seemed to have lost his confidence, and to be trying too conspicuously hard to please his audience (perhaps lest they start throwing cocktail limes at him or something), and cracking self-deprecating jokes about not having a girlfriend and risqué puns on "knob". The stage presence he had at Kent St. last week seemed to have largely evaporated. Though the visuals were good (in a geeky sort of way); had the rest of the show gone better, it would have been impressive.

casionova gigs mink engine photos 5


I finally got around to seeing CasioNova, a local musician who plays songs on 80s Casiotone keyboards, 8-bit computers and such. He played at the Kent St. Café in Smith St., getting up on stage attired in white shirt, knee-length pants and knee-high socks, and proceeding to sing and play a number of pop ditties and throw shapes as he played his keyboards. The kit he used consisted of a bunch of Casiotone and Yamaha home keyboards, as well as a Commodore 64 with the Music Machine cartridge and keyboard overlay, and, at one stage, a GameBoy.

So what was the music like? Somewhere between electropop and outsider music. Parts of it were a bit like electroclash, only without the distressed denim and designer trucker caps, perhaps sounding like The Emergency with lyrics, or a more 1980s-retro Talkshow Boy. There was a definite geeky quality to it; you could tell that this is someone who would rather stay at home and tinker with his gadgets than do cocaine with the coolsies on Chapel St. There was something sincere, improvised and passionately unhip in CasioNova's act, and that's a good thing.

CasioNova's going to an electronic art conference in Helsinki soon (and is raising funds to do so); he announced that he has made a pact to not return if John Howard wins the next election, and if he doesn't get a girlfriend. Before he leaves, he is playing again next week, at the Pink Spunk electro night at Loop, along with some folks named Mink Engine.

casionova chiptunes commodore 64 electropop gigs 0


Local home-keyboard cabaret artist CasioNova on How to Make Music. Mostly ignores the use of computers and software in favour of budget hardware (such as Casiotone keyboards, asuming that their prices haven't yet been bid up to TB-303-like levels by a new wave of post-Ninetynine bands with major-label advances, that is). (via Rocknerd)

casionova casiotone diy howto music 0

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