Rebecca Marx Photo/Video Credit Tony Nelson
Children do it, they grab any sort of utensil-like object and bang it, succumbing to the primal urge to make noise, to lay claim to a rhythm that exists within them somewhere. We have the same response when we satisfy the instinctual need to groove as we find ourselves nodding our heads or tapping our feet to a song. Musicians will tell you that nothing feels better than finding that beat or groove that is just right…
Since 1988, the four members of Savage Aural Hotbed (Mark Black, Stuart DeVaan, Dean Hawthorne & William Melton) have been taking that primal urge to a whole other level. Imagine Taiko drumming, but with a wholly industrial bent.
The aural attack at Public Functionary on February 10th by Savage Aural Hotbed included the making of music with a wide variety of found objects, including the likes of a Culligan water bottle assaulting a length of sheet metal, a funnel-like trombone, and a deafening grinder applied to a steel drum that showered the performance space with a burst of arcing embers.
This was not a sit down and play your music type of a show. NO, this was a full on high power work out, the band moving in a sort of syncopated dance as the percussionists laid down the beat, a bass guitar providing the underlying rhythm that was punctuated by intermittent, aggressive vocal utterings.
The full house at Public Functionary’s/NEMAA’s Biennial Juried Wintertide Art Exhibit was enamored of the performance, especially when the band moved out into the gallery space, and while tethered to one another with lengths of amplified industrial springs they created a reverberating sound that engulfed the listener from the outside, in.
Savage Aural Hotbed gigs seem to show up randomly, so you really need to be on top of their shit. When they post about an upcoming show, put it on your calendar and show up! Follow them at: