Members of Dallas Acid were as enraptured by the projections as the rest of us.
The very first Astral Projections, a series, created by K23, that pairs esoteric electronic music with psychedelic visuals, went down at San Antonio College's Scobee Planetarium on Saturday night (April 1).
The evening brought together consciousness-assaulting visuals (on the dome screen, of course) by Mustachio Light Show and the deconstructed sonic starscapes of Dallas Acid.
To say that Gem and Glenn Hotvet, the musical/vibe curation duo behind K23, were out of their orbit with Saturday's show at the Planetarium is not just a relevant pun, but an obvious fact. No doubt, the folks at the state of the art institution were as anxious as the Hotvets to see everything go well, to prove that the hippies and the scientists and everyone in between really can groove together.
Fortunately for all parties, including the hundred or so attendees at the sold out affair, the show was overwhelmingly, mesmerizingly terrific from start to finish.
Photo Credit: Mark Sobhani
The Scobee Planetarium and Education Center at San Antonio College.
While at a typical concert, visuals might take a back seat to the music, this was really a collaborative production, with the visuals and sounds forming a thoroughly engrossing whole. At times it seemed you could hear the colors and shapes and see the richly textured sounds.
The whole thing was like a trip into a rainbow vortex, a wormhole to and through the crystal center of a moment. It was string theory visualized in radiant and fertile depths that never stopped pouring. Gazing into the center of the light-storm overhead, I saw DMT elves with paintbrushes, dancing in a bath of pixelated songs that atoms sing to satellites mistaken for stars.
Twenty minutes or so into the hour-plus show, right about the time Dallas Acid carried its song "Punic Wars" to its subtle and tantalizingly stretched out crescendo, everyone had settled in and we were all flying.
The Austin band's performance, which featured a gong (plus a couple other implements of percussion), and a few different synths, including a sweet modular behemoth, could best be described as an ambient and incantory set of sincere spirituals for brains in a vat—alien, but somehow radically romantic. It's music that builds and releases tension like an irregular tide lapping up on the back porch of your awareness itself.
Mustachio Light Show's visual work felt like the hallucinatory mathematics of Jackson Pollock vomiting digital liquid light.
It was such a consciousness-expanding experience that, when the band first departed, before coming back for an encore, no one clapped, because the performance had the special gravity of a mass or some other spiritual ceremony.
Word is, the second installment of Astral Projections is already in the works—so be on the lookout for details.