“We decided we wanted something that doesn’t exist,” Bobby Bray (the Locust), a student of interdisciplinary computing and the arts at UCSD, says at the Camel’s Breath Inn in Mission Valley. “So we rolled up our sleeves and made it ourselves.”
The Pure Data Machine, a collaboration with Bryan Oczkowski of Batwings, is a customizable effects controller based on an open-source program called Pure Data. The box of knobs, switches, lights, photocells, and a joystick runs off of a thumb drive, so data is easily exchanged and modified. The apparatus was recently unveiled during the Experimental Guitar Show at Soda Bar.
“It can be argued that sound and timbre metaphorically symbolize thoughts and feelings that cannot be explained otherwise via language,” Bray says. “If you believe that to be true, then you are going to become reliant upon effect companies to define what you can communicate.”
Innerds, Bray’s most recent musical incarnation (with drummer Brandon Relf of Sleeping People), is described as “post prog-skronk space-tropicalia math-lounge” on the band’s blog, a designation that Bray and Relf jokingly accredited to Tom Fudge of KPBS. The act sees Bray on vocals and mostly finger-tapped guitar, triggering piano samples via a MIDI controller. The title of their pending summer album, Western Spaghettification, is a play on words intertwining Stephen Hawking’s concept of spaghettification (what theoretically happens when you cross the event horizon of a black hole) and Spaghetti Westerns, which were filmed in Italy, with Italians portraying Mexicans, to save money. The cover art was designed by Bray’s girlfriend, Monsterpussy (Heather Brosche). Innerds are self-recording the album at UCSD’s Conrad Prebys Music Center, where Bray is making use of the studio’s Yamaha Disklavier MIDI-controlled piano, which, unlike guitar samples, registers sympathetic vibrations from the acoustics of the piano.
Innerds will be touring Japan this summer. You can get spaghettified February 25 at Monaco Beer Club (Mexicali) with Upsilon Acrux, Kenseth Thibideau, Hosanna, Noise Beat Propaganda, THErapist, and DJ Monsterpussy or April 19 with Capillary Action at the Ché Café.