Posted: November 26th, 2012 | Author: Sander | Filed under: Artist Feature | Tags: Featured Artist, Group Rhoda, Night School Records | Comments Off
Photo by Suzy Poly
Concentration – a better word to illustrate the oeuvre of Group Rhoda simply doesn’t exist. While tuning into the music of Mara Barenbaum, things get intimate, and the space you find yourself in will be absorbed with pure focus.
Night School Records recently answered the begging for an album filled with the tropical cold-wave charms of this San Franciscan. The LP named Out of Time — Out of Touch is industrial of nature, but too psychedelic to limit to just one genre. The inspirations behind the record are surprising, but also quite logical.
“Cabaret Voltaire is my favorite. I like strong, dark, abrasive, physical textures over somewhat debased songwriting”, says Mara. “I think minimal- and cold-wave are definitely an influence. It’s dark, often synth-based, and touches on detached dystopian themes.”
An unexpected drive behind Group Rhoda is rap music: “I love a lot 90s west coast rap, and southern rap melts my heart. I think the production is so imaginative; there are a lot of beautiful ideas underneath the hard edges”, Mara continues. “I am also finding a lot of inspiration from dark dance tracks. Especially the psychological textures, and focusing on how small changes can actually have a large impact on the feel of a song. Dancing is wonderful – music is very connected to physicality for me.”
The influences behind Out of Time — Out of Touch are clear, but the themes overshadowing the record are another thing. “I always always feel like I am fighting time. I feel behind. I get something done, and there is something else I want to do. I often feel the weight of my ambitions”, Mara says about the first half of the title. “Out of Touch. That is me. I have no idea what is going on other than direct observation or what gets filtered through my peers. I do not participate in absorbing much media other than music. I am not interested in social media, I think it’s anti-social for the most part.”
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Posted: August 16th, 2012 | Author: Sander | Filed under: Audio | Tags: Group Rhoda, Night School, Out of Time Out of Touch | Comments Off
Listen to Group Rhoda. Now describe what you just listened to and what happened doing that.
-It felt like riding an unairconditioned car – piloted by Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Check.
-You experienced the sensation of being slightly disjointed. Affirmative.
-Getting hit by a Californian sunstroke, which is caused by a tasty lick of gloomy psych. Well done.
All right, then. There are probably a couple of hundred other familiarities you could link to Out Of time – Out Of Touch – the debut LP of Mara Barenbaum. The woman in question is a genius when it comes setting a mood on record, and we’ve heard talks of her live performances that could impress one even more. And to add a little more gossip to this joint: she’s already recording a follow up!
Fire is another terrific preview of the album that is about to come out through Night School. Check this former post to hear two other tracks that will be on it.
Posted: July 24th, 2012 | Author: Sander | Filed under: Audio | Tags: Group Rhoda, Night School, Out of Time Out of Touch, San Francisco | Comments Off
A gospel of transcendental pop music.
Another female electronic music project from San Francisco that you should keep your eyes on is Group Rhoda. You might know Maren Barenbaum from a collaboration or two — Bobby Browser and Water Borders, anyone? — but she is about to unleash her unearthly debut LP through the Night School imprint.
References to minimal synth practices from the 80s, industrial oddities, and funky bass vibes are definitely not avoided on Out Of Time – Out Of Touch. The tracks that are showcased so far send out a restless atmosphere — all led by the head-preacher of this gospel choir of eerie pop jams. Witness this curiosity for yourself and get absorbed by this extraterrestrial phenomena.