Sarah Davachi Lucky's Comics, Vancouver BC, June 7

Sarah Davachi Lucky's Comics, Vancouver BC, June 7
Photo: Steve Louie
Originally from Calgary but now based in Vancouver, Sarah Davachi headlined one of Music Waste's many fine free shows. In the carpeted back room of Lucky's Comics, decorated with a string of Xmas lights and a banner of birthday flags on the wall, Davachi sat on the floor with nothing more than a Boss RC-50 Loop Station and a Korg PS-3100, a wood panelled late '70s vintage fully polyphonic synth with a couple patch cables and an array of knobs. With fingered arpeggios and slowly evolving chord progressions, the occasional delay and click as the 40 year-old machine's circuits flickered into action, she produced a 20-minute ambient drone piece that would have done Brian Eno's period recordings proud, with softly percolating ethereal timbres, discreetly looped and layered.

After a brief flourish of knob adjustments, there was an intense timbre shift about 14 minutes in, a rising line that sounded like it might break out in an old Underworld track, but instead left the audience, who were spacing out while sitting on the floor around her, teetering on the brink of analog oblivion, waiting to exhale. The experience had all the ineffable electricity of the moment before a first kiss, but Davachi rolled back the intensity before anything vulgar could occur, and brought the drone sweetly to rest. Obviously, her time earning an MFA in electronic music at Mills College was well spent.

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