Paint and Copter
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Paint and Copter

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Music

Press


"Paint and Copter in Willamette Week"

[FREE-FORM PSYCHEDELIA] The music of Paint and Copter has a decidedly amorphous quality, a slippery, formless sound akin to watching a splash of half and half warp into long white ribbons in a cup of black coffee. It’s that same nebulousness that allows guitarist Dave Tollefson to admit, with a straight face, “We’re a jam band.”

The tracks on the Portland trio’s latest album of ambient psychedelia, Damnatio Memoriae, were the result of long improvisation sessions between Tollefson and multi-instrumentalists Andy Brown and Jason Frank, edited down into song form after the fact. “The arrangement happens in the computer,” says Brown (a former member of Portland experimental pop acts Jessamine and Fontanelle), “but 80 percent of our recorded output is first takes.”

The strategy worked brilliantly on tracks like the dubbed-out “Determinacy” and the gorgeously trippy “Times New Roman.” In keeping with the free-form structure, Paint and Copter’s live performances often expand on the groundwork the trio laid down in Brown’s home studio. “It’s pretty jazzlike in that way,” says Brown. “You get the basic structure and you play around in it.”

P and C finds itself altering the songs as a reaction to both the space in which it is playing and the films that Frank creates for the band to play against (which can be anything from heavily distorted Vietnam War footage to homemade secret-agent movies). “These days, I’m sampling a lot of religious footage,” Frank says, “dispensationalist preachers who say the end times are coming.”

Onstage, the door of influence swings between the audio and visual inspirations. P&C finds as much inspiration in current events as it does in itsmusical interests, Brown says: “Half our band practice is spent with us going, ‘You hear about this?’ or, ‘You hear about that?’”

Tollefson agrees: “It’s always fun to see who can bring in the story that’s the most shocking,” noting the story most on their minds lately was the recent beheading of a man on a Greyhound bus by a fellow passenger. “I listened to the last practice we did after we talked about that,” remembers Brown, “and the jam was totally dark and evil sounding. We definitely react to what’s going on.” - Willamette Week


"Live Preview"

"Few bands in town are as adept at fusing music and visuals ideas as Paint and Copter. (They) are more akin to scientists or conceptual artists than your stereotypically drunk-and-shaggy band dudes. Paint and Copter's performances always weave a web of interactive surprises: Drum pads may trigger flashes of light, or the movement of an audience member might trip a series of hazy, digitized images." (Josh Blanchard - Portland Mercury - Oct 13th, 2005. Vol. 6 No. 20) - Portland Mercury


"Another Live Preview"

"Paint and Copter produce droning noise that draws listeners in and never bores them. They are ably aided by visual artist Jason Frank, whose bizarre and brilliant movies flicker behind the band and help define the overall sensory experience." (Courtney Harding - Portland Tribune - Mar.4 2005) - Portland Tribune


"Terrascope album reviews"

From the space-rock heartlands of Portland, Oregon come two albums by Paint And Copter, a trio of sonic alchemists with many years of underground music between them. The first release, "Damnatio Memoriae," is a groove-laden melting pot of guitars, pattering drums, synths and various acoustic instruments (oboe, harmonica), with vocals dropping in and out as the tracks evolve. It's like a slow, gothic Hidria Spacefolk, or a tripped-out Transient Waves. Dark and melancholic is the mood, and the theme. Occasional female vocals are provided by Mae Starr, and these bring an alternative feel, particularly on "Remote Viewing," which sounds a bit like a darker and rockier Portishead. Elsewhere, "Determinacy" bounces along in funk Hawkwind style. Variety of tone and sonic originality make this an enjoyable release.

Next up is "Semper En Obscurus," the follow-up to "Damnatio Memoriae," a release collecting new work and two remixes. As before, the mood is slow and reverberant, as seven cuts of bleak rocktronica skulk by. Opener "Always In The Dark" is a highlight, with strange, droning vocals, while later "Bad Intentions," with its terrific descending chord sequence, and the intense "Don't Ask Any Questions" grip the listener in macabre fashion. "Ghost Squadron" is what The Doors might have sounded like had they survived into the early 'eighties; a very good track, this, but too short! Great handmade artwork complements the release. Fans of Massive Attack yearning for more rock and less technology might like this band, while devotees of the earlier Porcupine Tree sound would also appreciate them. - www.terrascope.co.uk


Discography

"Semper en Obscurus" CD EP on Nillacat Records, 2008

"Damnation Memoriae" full length CD on Savage Jaw Records, 2008

"Manziers"
single on PDX Pop Now! compilation - 2006

"The Wizard"
single on Submit compilation - 2006 (Nilla Cat records)

Photos

Bio

Inspired by early 80's experimental/pop electronic music like Cabaret Voltaire, Suicide, Bauhaus and Fad Gadget, as well as contemporaries in electronic musc, Fennesz, and alternative, Low, Paint and Copter blends these influences and mixes in a generous portion of experimental video collages with subtle social commentary and dark humor.

Andy Brown - Other Projects: Fontanelle (Kranky), Project Perfect (Red 76), Southerning (Histrionic), Jessamine (Kranky)

Dave Tollefson - Other Projects: Secret Puppets, El Doras, Bering Sea (Red 76), Viridian Sun (Hypnos)

Jason Frank - Other Projects: Valet, Ovidmedia and various gallery installations

Jason and Andy also host/curate a monthly experimental audio/visual event at Portland's Someday Lounge called Hexasion.