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Rustpunk & Icebox Review

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Rustpunk & Icebox Review
Submitted by capdog on Monday, July 2, 2007 - 19:14

Balloon headed monkeys mingle with faceless children, talking loaves of bread, and limbless Christmas shoppers. The pick of Icebox for me was definitely this animated short called "Marvelous, Keen Loony Bin", a surreal and exquisitely produced piece of art.

For those who don't know, Icebox is a collection of animation and visual art totaling just over an hour, screened this year at the Kwasuka Theatre as part of the DIFF. This was to be followed by a very well-promoted "party of the year" event involving the Rustpunk crew, at a bit of an unusual venue.

Firstly though, if you're a fan of dark animation, I highly recommend watching this. Each frame was painstakingly hand-drawn and scanned into a computer to create the finished product.

Overall the package of shorts at Icebox was well chosen, although several of the epilepsy-inducing computer generated ones were pretty horrible. Data Flow was definitely a culprit. And so were a few others, that resembled more an acid-induced fit of hysteria than actual visual art.

Speaking of acid, the organisers must surely have dropped a couple of tabs while planning the after-party, which was for all intents and purposes a huge crock of shit.

The venue had a lot of potential, being the floor below the Roma Revolving Restaurant. It's got great views of the harbour and Esplanade, helpful waitrons and a cosy atmosphere. However that potential was wasted on Friday night by a dismal show of planning and preparation.

The projector was balanced on the top of a stack of speakers at an angle to the screen, causing the tiny view area to be warped out across it. This is decidedly amateurish; surely these performers who place emphasis on graphic art could at least get the displaying of said art done correctly? The content being projected wasn't awful, but for some numbers just seemed to be a bunch of clipart pics flying around a white background - not exactly cutting edge stuff.

For some reason, the organisers didn't bring any lighting for the dancefloor. Nothing at all; in fact the only preparation of the venue they did was set up a table, a stack of speakers and plonk down their laptops.

The party started at 9:30pm, and the lights came on at 1:00am as everyone was thrown out. C'mon, you call that a party? There was literally nobody on the dancefloor until after midnight. To make matters worse, the event was hyped up, and I in turn had convinced a friend of mine who was skeptical of the quality of such events to fork out his hard-earned cash and try something different.

Man, were we both disappointed. What was supposed to be a night of stunning visual graphics and awesome tracks turned into a very short night of standing around feeling decidedly irate about our predicament.

The cost of entry, a whopping R40, far outweighed the quality of product inside. I wanted my money back. Hell, I STILL want my money back. If you see those guys tell them they owe me forty bucks.


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Subject:  ICEBOX - cold shoulder or hyperboreanly hip ?!
kliktrak's picture
Author:  kliktrak
Date:  3 July, 2007 - 08:34

Firstly let me say bigup and maximum respect to Rustpunk for working really hard for a long time to actually make the ICEBOX "subfest" happen and score the big one, as part of the official DIFF 2007 programme - a big achievement in its own right !

ICEBOX Durban consisted of a number of workshops ranging from topics such as Stop Frame animation to electronic music production. The final two events were a screening of short cutting edge video art by local and some international producers, and then a party /"club night" event - that capdog has reviewed above.

I must say the ICEBOX reel of shorts for me, was decidely a mixed bag, the thing that irked me somewhat was the disjointed order, mixing up styles and themes, my opinion is that they should have been grouped together to reflect similar technique/styling/design/theme/content

However in todays cut and paste, resample and mashup world that was actually probably the design behind the viewing order.

Overall though there were some exceptional pieces and well worth seeing, I can only hope and support any efforts to make ICEBOX or similar events an annual institution as part of the DIFF in future !

Regarding the Rustpunk organised ICEBOX club night/party - I can only feel for the organisers who had a very late abrupt change to venue forced on them - and with the lack of venue options in Durban, especially with the current politically motivated clampdown on nightlife and entertainment in Durban, this was no mean feat to pull off. I will reserve any comments about organisational issues and wait for the organisers to respond.

However mention must be made of MtKidu - who also presented a workshop on their audio-visual mashup techniques the day before at the ICEBOX workshops.

This trio of super talented visual artists, designers and musicians from JHB, really did impress me - i expected possibly more of a Real Estate Agents derivative concept, but they blew me away with their complex musical improvised compositions, that to me left a more fullfilling feeling, than the usual REA glitch cutup minimal beat style - there were synth and melody and vocal parts that counterbalanced the frenetic beat cutups.

Also the improvised visuals by their VJ Chinxxx also added to a full performance experience - hopefully they make it down to Durbs soon, at a venue and event that at least has a bigger screen, and also allows more people to groove down , and not be distracted by stunning views or organisational glitches.

Lets hope Mtkidu felt our love, and one day will ask us to make them a sandwich...maybe even a polony one ! ;-)

Must also not forget the return to Live performance of Captain Asthma - again stunning compositions, by this super talented musician and artist, and veteran electronica producer - that I think were slightly lost on an audience not quite attentive enough to realise that a live performance was underway !

KLIKTRAK
http://www.kliktrak.com


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Subject:  Icebox
Author:  rustpunk
Date:  3 July, 2007 - 11:29

Capdog, with regards to the gig, much of what you said, mirrors my own thoughts on the event. There where a number of complications along the way, but at the end of the day, the significant fact is that the organizational end result was far from satisfactory. It wasn't for want of trying though. 2 months of hard organization went into the selection of screening material/organization of workshop contributors, workshops venues and equipment/ and organization for the gig. I know it's hard to believe that as much work went into organizing the gig, as the rest of the festival. Even I had trouble reconciling the sweat with the result.

As for the 1am closing time- It was advertised as 9:30pm -1am , for anybody who bothered to read the flyer properly. Nobody was thrown out- everyone was left to leave at their leisure. We made a call to use an unusual venue for the benefit of the punter, but because of residential issues, it meant closing down early. Obviously we know not to do that again, but hey we try to steer clear of the safe options in attempt to keep things interesting for you, the partygoer.

Since no mention was made of the live artists in your article, I'd like to compliment Captain Asthma and MtKidu on their respective performances. Great stuff.

At the end of the day, I'm sorry if you, or anybody else, didn't enjoy themselves, particularly since we organize these events to get interesting music out onto the streets of durban, and for people such as yourself to get out and have a good time. Apologies if we failed. On this occassion, even hard work and the best intentions weren't good enough.


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Subject:  Ouch.
captainasthma's picture
Author:  captainasthma
Date:  4 July, 2007 - 10:45

Ouch. Sorry you were disappointed, capdog.


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Subject:  Guys thanks for responding.
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  4 July, 2007 - 17:46

Guys thanks for responding. I do understand the issues that have been mentioned around the first venue pulling out and the problems it caused.

I have faith that the next gig will correct the mistakes of the past, and I will definitely be there wherever and whenever it may be!

Peace out.


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Subject:  My 2 cents
the_looking_glass's picture
Author:  the_looking_glass
Date:  5 July, 2007 - 09:19

First of all, Icebox was such a great end to the festival for me (being my last screening attended). With the "gamble" that you face when seeing an artfilm, a sour end could have spoilt my memory of this year's fest. My best was the "bits of human", if it was called that. I agree some of the "eye candy" got a bit monotonous, but would still make impressive visualisations for events.

As for the afterparty, I had mixed feelings. I thouroughly enjoyed captain asthmas performance which I have been wanting to see for a while (although there was misleading hype about the live performance of circuit bent toys). Unfortunately though, when dj's and producers now use the same machinery ie. laptops, its hard for a crowd to distinguish and appreciate a live performance for its real content, and not just overall audio appeal.

With regards to mtkidu, I found their style unique and out the box, but a bit random from a dance point of view (and at that stage of the party, I reckon people wanted non stop electroclash, knowing that it would be over by 1am). Their VJ's performance was awesome, loved the pink, black and white combinations, and I'm sure their was even some subliminal porn thrown in there.

The 1am story was my only disappointment, and the lighting as well. I, too was in desperate need of the "Epic Party" I had heard about for so long. The setup was a bit confusing, mixed between a chillout, exlusive lounge and the hovering hype of a pounding party. My disappointment never outweighed my view of the entire package tho.

Good work guys, hoping this was just a teaser for the next BIG one.


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Subject:  what's the difference?
captainasthma's picture
Author:  captainasthma
Date:  6 July, 2007 - 12:22

the_looking_glass, I'm glad you enjoyed my set. I understand that it is difficult to tell anything apart with this kind of music. Although I also toned it down a bit in the performance - I haven't performed my stuff in front of an audience in 3 years - I was (incredibly) nervous and kept it safe when I prepared.


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Subject:  agent smith aka agent provocateur
kliktrak's picture
Author:  kliktrak
Date:  6 July, 2007 - 13:57

looking glass - maybe those lenses need a cleanup ?

maybe if you had been at the workshops the day before it would have all made sense ! ie what live electronica performance can be !

hehehe ;-) just stirring it up

KLIKTRAK
http://www.kliktrak.com


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Subject:  Re: My 2 cents
Author:  rustpunk
Date:  11 July, 2007 - 14:13

Looking Glass, thanks for your comments. In response to your view that "the setup was a bit confusing, mixed between a chillout, exlusive lounge and the hovering hype of a pounding party. ", that was definitely a problem and was unfortunately again largely a result of the last minute venue change that was made necessary when Skido's, which was the intended venue for the gig, had its trade licence revoked by the council.

The new venue demanded a change in the direction of the party which I think, some found, a little jarring. Re: lighting - no contest, it did look drab, and the projector problems didn't help any. Prepared to be blinded next time round ;-)

(And thanks for your comments on MTKidu's and the Captain's, live performances, as these where after all, the focal point of the evening.)


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Subject:  2 cents
Author:  adelle
Date:  12 July, 2007 - 09:06

why do you put in your 2 cents but only get a penny for your thoughts?

where does the other cent go


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