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Divine Reason 

The third annual No Reason for the Season brings Bloodhouse, Bad Vibrations, Mean Mug and Transfixed together at the Khyber

click to enlarge Witness Transfixed’s transcendence Saturday at the Khyber
  • Witness Transfixed’s transcendence Saturday at the Khyber

For those already weary of holiday cheer and excess, this Saturday's installment of No Reason for the Season might be the ideal antidote. The third celebration of artful noise---hosted by Bloodhouse and Bad Vibrations---will rattle your chains and shake you out of your Yuletide stupor. The newest addition is Transfixed, an electro-industrial duo comprised of Matt Samways and Ian Phillips. When it comes to the trajectory of outré noise music in Halifax and beyond, these two may represent the ghosts of Christmas future.

The project began in Truro after the dissolution of Samways' noise-punk band PIG. The pair began jamming in Samways' mother's house, and Phillips later discovered it was the same house his grandfather had grown up in. "We decided to channel this bizarre and estranged encounter with reality into something tangible," says Samways.

Despite a 10-year age difference, the pair realized they shared a lot of the same musical influences like Suicide and Throbbing Gristle. While the pair's elegantly detached sound is reminiscent of these groups, the thoughts and feelings behind the music are timeless.

"With the lyrics, I am recycling the idea of transhumanism and the ability to transcend human emotive ideas," says Samways. "We're recycling ideas using the same mediums and tools as many of the music we listen to from decades ago, but there is also much of a contemporary influence to the production of our physical releases and imagery."

Transfixed is quickly attracting collaborators: the accompanying videos by Heather Rappard are as much a part of the overall experience as the music itself. Their newest single, released as a split between Samways' Electric Voice and Craft Singles, features a re-worked version of their "Physical Demands" with Dave Ewenson on sax, and the Khyber show will feature a mega-jam featuring Ewenson, Samways and members of Cat Bag, Bloodhouse and Bad Vibrations. The new version balances Samways' detached monotone with a New Order-ish dreaminess. Like Transfixed itself, it is a bizarre, strangely warm and oddly disorienting experience.

No Reason for the Season III w/Bad Vibrations, Bloodhouse, Transfixed, Mean Mug, DJ General Purpose, Saturday, December 10, 10pm, Khyber, 1588 Barrington Street, $7


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