Sometimes using electronics makes life much easier for musicians. You can replace your band with backing tracks; you can make hella cash touring as two people instead of five; you can click a button on your Macbook and pretend to DJ while the computer handles the rest (yes, it happens).
But for bands like the Seshen, the computer doesn't offer an easy way out, but rather an opportunity for exploration. On both their 2012 self-titled LP and last year's Unravel EP, the Bay Area seven-piece utilize electronics and digital manipulation to add unexpected textures and sounds to their maximalist compositions, focusing on the sonic horizon where the human instrument ends and the artificial takes over.
Listen in as vocalist Lalin St. Juste, bassist/producer Aki Ehara and percussionist Mirza Kopelman explain the editing process behind their riveting track "Shapes," their love of weird, unstable pitches, and the tightrope act they call the "human-robot conundrum." And don't miss the band this coming Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Leo's, when they play the final show of their "Love, Oakland" residency.
Additional songs heard in this episode:
Harry Partch - "Windsong"