The Sedona Effect

Filed under: Live Music,Recorded Music — doktorjohn March 26, 2014 @ 1:52 am

The R Bar
March 9, 2014
New York, NY
By Doktor John

Kai  cover

Female-fronted Brooklyn-based, dark electro band The Sedona Effect put on two screenings of their newly-released (January 2014) music video “Cross the Line” at the R Bar on Manhattan’s Bowery on a recent Thursday night to a large crowd of black-attired, dark wave fans. This band is the solo project of German-born, classically-trained soprano and dramatist Kai Irina Hahn who has recently come to NYC from London where, it can assumed, some of her conversion from lyric opera to EBM and industrial developed.

The video features a mesmerizing, layered electro-industrial track that builds through several crescendos. On screen are Kai, in the form of a femme fatale — alternately bathed in eerie, blue and red light — and in the background phantom-like, masked and fetish-clad characters.

Kai hisses her call to “cross the line.” During a black-&-white segment she holds the blade of a knife to the throat of a lethargic young male and succeeds in seducing him into final action. A large and slithering, spotted snake weaves its way throughout the video, bridging between several scenes, reminiscent of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. So —come to think of it — is Kai herself! Just the kind of thing to awaken the amoral side of the poetic persona. Parts of the video were actually shot at the RBar.

Kai Anke ShedKai snake

Besides the video, there were live stage performances featuring duets of performers, the first a “Celtic Kabuki” with Duchess Wendi and Sean Monistat who wore a deer-antler helmet. The second featured Ess Moonking and Kai herself performing parts of the choreography of “Gloomy Sunday,” a cabaret piece that she staged last year at Bizarre Bushwick in Brooklyn where Kai now resides.

A pair of very interesting photo exhibits was held as backdrop to the video release party. Anka Jurena’s work was largely b & w and quite creepy, and it included some available prints of Kai intertwined with her snake. Jesse Kleitman’s photography display featured traditional subjects, colors, filters and Photoshop enhancements.

The turnout was excellent and the video was well received, which portends an even more successful launch of The Sedona Effect’s upcoming album “Vortices,” due out in the fall of 2014.

QXT’s Art Series IX: Kaliyuga

Filed under: Art Reviews — doktorjohn March 25, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

QXT’s Art Series IX: Kaliyuga

March 21, 2014
Newark NJ
by Doktor John

Number nine in the series of art and media exhibitions held every other month at QXT’s, Newark’s iconic underground dance club featured a fascinating array of displays. Curated by multitalented impresario, Ben Faresich and his artist partner Nicole Zanetakos, who collectively conduct their operation under the title “Dactsaurylus,” this occurrence, as previously, featured around thirteen exhibits with displays of paintings, drawings, videos, electronic music and installations. An artist in her own right, Nicole comes up with a unique theme for each alternate-monthly exhibition based on her wide-ranging knowledge and interests. Ben, a remarkably accomplished photographer, works on developing Nicole’s ideas and helps bring them to fruition.

Many exhibitors were highly accomplished, i.e. attaining a professional level of proficiency. Other works were more raw and amateurish, rich with sincerity and honest ambition. The emphasis as always was on surreal, dark—even horrific—imagery. Training among the exhibitors always runs the gamut from those with graduate training in art through those who have never shown their works before to those currently enrolled in art schools.

Repeat exhibitor Charlie Garlette, who runs Bent Nail Studio, displayed some stunning, “DieselPunk” installation pieces impressive for their elaborate, electro-mechanical and mysterious nature. Flashing, multi-colored lights flickered around the base of a columnar array of metallic constructs, atop of which sat a fluid-filled, illuminated tank containing a biological specimen of god-knows-what creature. Behind and separate from this installation sat a diorama of sorts on a shelf, at its center a creepy bare tree upon which were arrayed true-to-life casts of Charlie’s fingers —eerily lit in dim blue light and set against a background of an electronic board.

Bent Nail blogBent Nail 2 Blog

Artists came from as far away as Long Island, spectators from as far as Brooklyn. A raffle was held that permitted lucky attendees to leave with artworks that had been generously offered as prizes by the artists.

raffle winner
Raffle winner and model Jessica Graves receiving prize from artist Celine Paz. Rob, DJ NueMatic in back. Curator Ben Faresich at far right

QXT’s was full like I’ve never seen it, although I wouldn’t say it was uncomfortably crowded. A great mix of goth, industrial and New Wave kept the dance floor packed with the frenzied and the enraptured.

Filmmaker Ryan Polukord showed his film, “Danger Zone,” a project he has been working on for two years. He took the time to film some of the artists at the show, and is working on a promo video for QXT’s Art Series. Rob Simscuk (AKA DJ NueMatic) performed his original electronic music, ranging from atmospheric and dark ambient to drum-and-bass for dance.

Look for a recurrence of this event at QXT’s in late May, or better still attend the Dactsaurylus-curated art show scheduled to take place at the easy-to-search Seed Gallery on Market Street in Newark on Saturday, April 26th.