Strange Machines
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Strange Machines

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Funk

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Boston-born, New England-based Strange Machines just released their first full-length studio album Voice of Color, and it’s an absolute must-listen for music fans. While Strange Machines’ previous album Turn The Tide leaned more toward the reggae-centric, the group’s latest studio effort takes listeners far deeper into the reaches of progressive experimental rock and funk, offering a diversity of sounds and styles, all of which are delicately woven together. In the time since Turn The Tide, the band has evolved into an entirely different animal, but has managed to do so without neglecting their musical roots. It’s this subtle yet profound expansion in sound that makes Strange Machines’ future so exciting to anticipate.


Strange Machines’ latest album, Voice of Color, envelopes you from start to finish and spits you out the other end. The band uses different effects to add texture to Voice of Color, making for a robust and cohesive sound. Though this can be said for many albums, it’s only when a collection of musicians’ individual contributions ring out as a single entity that music becomes enrapturing, and the new album succeeds on this front.

Strange Machines is known for powerful, high-energy live performances that explore the depths of their music and cater to a breadth of listeners. None of the band’s beloved characteristics are lost on the album—rather, Voice of Color offers precisely executed arrangements of Strange Machines originals while still embodying the looseness and exploration you’d find at a live performance.
One standout song on this new release is “Golden Rule,” as the track beautifully encapsulates the band’s versatility. “Golden Rule” starts out with an eerie trip-hop vibe that’s accented by chucking rhythm guitar and looming synth lines ahead of the song’s catchy theme riff which serves as the song’s intro. The track boasts perhaps some of the strongest vocal work on the album as well, and that paired with the songs thought-provoking lyrics make it a truly compelling piece of music. Around the midway point, bassist Craig Holland creeps in with a descending bass line, while guitarist Mike MacDonald and keyboardist Christian Perron tickle over top of the track in playful unison. This section eventually dissolves, leaving that bassline alone to bring the tone of the song downward, building and releasing the tension before Mike MacDonald brings it home with a blistering guitar solo.

“Golden Rule” is undoubtedly a marquis track off the album, but the rest of Voice of Color delivers with just as much authority. Title track “Voice Of Color” is dominated by Christian Perron’s funky keyboard groove, while “The In-Between” boasts a fun call-and-response instrumental section that will get the even the most rigid listener in the groove. For a taste of something heavier, check out “Enter The Interceptor”, which features synth-centric power-riffs.

You can check out Strange Machines’ new album, Voice of Color below. Happy listening to all you folks at home, and as always; stay strange. For more information on the band, you can check out their website here. - Live for Live Music


It’s finally Friday, the sun’s shining, and the 4th Annual Wild Woods Music and Arts Festival is in full swing. Nestled in the woods of Page Farm in Croydon, New Hampshire, Wild Woods has evolved into a premier boutique New England music festival since its modest beginnings in 2014. This year the event is projecting its best attendance to date anchored by a diverse lineup with major headliners like Space Rock powerhouse Papadosio, electronic virtuoso Emancipator, and a host of outstanding home-grown musicians.
Leading the pack of featured local talent is the progressive electrofunk rock outfit, Strange Machines. Comprised of Mike MacDonald (guitar, vocals), Christian Perron (keys), Isaac Civitello (drums, vocals), Craig Holland (bass), and Matt Calabrese (lights), Strange Machines has made huge strides in the East Coast jam scene since its inception in 2011, winning over a loyal fanbase often called “Strange Fam” with energetic performances, a diverse palate of musical influences, and standout improvisation.
The band is currently mixing and mastering its debut LP, which was almost fully funded by a Kickstarter campaign embraced by the dedicated fans they’ve won over the past 6 years with live performances. If that success story isn’t reason enough to catch their set on the PHTea Stage today at 5:15, then maybe this interview with lead guitarist Mike MacDonald will solidify Strange Machines in today’s music schedule. Have a safe weekend, don’t forget about tomorrow’s meteor shower, and stay tuned for our Wild Woods recap and photographs next week.

David DeCrescente Photography
Sound Fix: Hey Mike, thanks for taking some time to catch up with us ahead of your performance at Wild Woods. To start, tell us about your year so far. What are a few moments or landmarks that have been a highlight for Strange Machines in 2017?
Mike MacDonald: 2017 has been a blast so far. We’ve in the studio recording the new album, working on new material and playing some great shows. There’s been a bunch of standout moments already this year. Our show at the State Theatre in Portland with Twiddle was definitely one of them – that was the biggest venue and crowd we’ve ever played so far. I’d also have to say our 1st Annual Strange Days Fest in New Hampshire was a highlight. That was the first time we’ve put on our own mini-festival and it went off without a hitch so we’re looking forward to kicking it up a notch next year. Also we can’t forget Michael Franti unexpectedly jumping on stage with us and Hayley Jane at Floydfest in Virginia to sing “Naive Melody,” that was crazy. I could go on and on, it’s been a great year so far.
SF: Looking ahead to the weekend, you’ll be performing at Wild Woods at Page Farm in New Hampshire on Friday. This isn’t your first time performing at this festival, so tell us a bit about your past experiences at the venue and with this event.
MM: We are playing Friday afternoon from 5:15 to 6:45pm on the PHTea Stage. This will be our 3rd year at Wild Woods and we really love this festival. We are Boston and New Hampshire-based so you can’t beat a festival where you’re surrounded by hundreds of your closest friends. Our Wild Woods set last year was one of the most fun shows of 2016 for us – it was giant dust storm dance party while the sun went down and we can’t wait to do it again this weekend.

SF: Without revealing too much, what can you share with us about your plans and setlist for Wild Woods?
MM: I don’t want to say too much but we’re playing one or two new songs that most of the New England fam has not heard yet.
SF: Last time we talked a few weeks ago in NYC you mentioned the band is close to finishing its new LP. Tell us anything and everything you can about the new release.
MM: You are correct! We just started mixing our new album Juxtaposed a couple weeks ago and it’s coming along great! This is our first full length album and we’re extremely proud of how it’s coming out. It features 11 tracks and is a great representation of everything this band and our sound has come to be. The album will be out this fall and we’ll be announcing an official release date in the next few weeks.
SF: When Strange Machines hits the drawing boards to write material what process or methodology does the group take when creating new music?
MM: It varies but I would say most often a song will start as a riff or improv jam at practice and we’ll find some cool things throughout the jam and then myself, Christian or Craig will go home and build off that and turn it into a song. A lot of times Christian or Craig will have a piece they wrote or have been toying around with that I’ll hear them play at practice and really dig, and then I’ll go home and put lyrics over it. Then other times I’ll just come to the band with a nearly completed song and they help me tie the loose ends together. The process is a little different for every song.
SF: Looking ahead, what’s a solid defined goal the band hopes to accomplish in 2018?
MM: I would say our main goal is to keep getting tighter as a band, keep new ideas flowing and pushing the jams to new levels, as well as touring more and really growing our fanbase in the new places we’ve been playing like the Mid-Atlantic and South East. We want to see the Strange Fam get as big as it can and we’re hoping people dig the new record.

SF: How did you think of the name Strange Machines?
MM: The band was started by myself and my old hometown friend Ricardo Barraza. We originally had 2 guitarists but he left the band in 2014. The name came from the first song he and I ever co-wrote. In the song “strange machines” were a metaphor for human beings and how crazy and different each and every one of us are. That song never really saw the light of day and probably wasn’t very good, **laughs** but we liked the name and felt it was a great fit for the band we were starting since we all had such diverse influences and the songs we were writing were representative of that. It just kind of stuck.
SF: Besides Wild Woods, what’s one concert or festival you’re most looking forward to?
MM: There’s a lot we’re looking forward to but can’t say yet, and we’ll be announcing a Fall tour in the next two weeks. From what is public knowledge already, I would have to say we’re most looking forward to closing out the main stage at Harry’s Hill next weekend and playing late night at Adirondack Independence Music Festival in Lake George, NY right after Twiddle.
SF: Finally, I like to cap off interviews with an open forum. Is there anything else you’d like to share here that we haven’t covered?
MM: I just want to thank everyone who donated to our Kickstarter campaign and made this album a reality for us, it means the world. And just an overall thank you to everyone who comes out to our shows and supports us doing what we love. Be on the lookout for Fall tour and album release announcements coming real soon, thanks Sam! - Sound Fix


Strange Machines share pro-shot video of their new song "Canopy", filmed at their sold-out show in Portland, ME back in January. The band has been gaining some serious steam all over the East coast this past year, packing venues and playing alongside the likes of Twiddle, Dopapod, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Tauk and more. Much like the band themselves, "Canopy" is a multi-faceted composition that takes you through the band's many dimensions, all while keeping you grooving and singing along. "Canopy" is a great representation of their new musical direction, filled with improvisational risks and a playful back and forth between members.

Strange Machines has just announced phase 1 of their 2018 Spring / Summer tour which includes shows with The Motet and EOTO, as well as the second year of their NH-based mini-fest Strange Days (lineup drops 3/13). Check out "Canopy" and be sure to catch these guys on the road this year! - Grateful Web


Discography

Voice of Color (Oct 2017)
Turn the Tide (Nov 2014)

Tour History - https://www.bandsintown.com/en/a/1203048-strange-machines

Photos

Bio

Boston-born, New England based quartet Strange Machines have been steadily making a name for themselves in the East Coast jam scene. A true melting pot of musical fusion, with sounds catering to funk, livetronica, rock, reggae and a multitude of other genre’s, all while stringing them together seamlessly to create a fluid and captivating live performance. Their original songs are nuanced by creative composition, practiced precision, and a looseness that allows them to truly explore the music they create.

They have shared the stage with national-touring acts such as The Disco Biscuits, Twiddle, Dopapod, EOTO, The Motet, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, TAUK, Deep Banana Blackout and more. Strange Machines have carved out their own niche in the east coast music scene and show no signs of slowing down.

Strange Machines released their latest studio album October 7, 2017. With this release the band has honed in their sound and hit their stride as a four piece. "Voice of Color", the bands first full length release, is a representation of what the band has developed into, diving further into progressive experimental rock and funk more than ever before. Striving to consistently deliver a high energy and engaging live performance, the band has continued to gain momentum in the Northeast and beyond. This album aims to capture the diversity and big sound you will experience at a Strange show.

"Strange Machines is known for powerful, high-energy live performances that explore the depths of their music and cater to a breadth of listeners. None of the band’s beloved characteristics are lost on the album—rather, Voice of Color offers precisely executed arrangements of Strange Machines originals while still embodying the looseness and exploration you’d find at a live performance." - Live For Live Music

Band Members