Hassle Fest, Went There



KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN has been around the block, gone around again, wrapped the block in patch cords, and strangled the block until the block saw stars. He’s collaborated with the likes of Matmos, Deerhunter, and Terry bleep-blooping Riley. He’s scored dances choreographed by some of the hippest minds in the field, performed at such mythical spots as the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. And yet KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN, who looks like some nordic water god by the way, is equally comfortable playing to a jagged crew in the basement of the Elk’s Lodge. Thank Thor for this guy’s performance. He stands over his equipment as if performing surgery on some nightmare jungle creature, nursing the monster from the brink of silent death to an almost danceable groove, then slipping into a hyperventilating state of shock, which quiets to a nauseous murmur that lingers and whimpers until Whitman musters the strength to pull the plug. Whitman plays god. His meticulous breed of noisemaking is incredibly visual, conducive to closed-eye zoning out in a dark bedroom. But Whitman also commands the live performance format with tree-like intensity, something similar artists struggle to do.

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