Monday, April 27, 2009

Have synth, will trip: Psychic Ills jam their way through sound

By Meredith Deliso

(Published in the 4.23 issue of 24/Seven)

The synth-heavy sound that defines the Psychic Ills has taken a few years to take shape.

When first formed six years ago, it was just two people, no drums or synth. Slowly they added bodies and instruments until it became Elizabeth Hart on bass, Jimy SeiTang on synth, Brian Tamborello on drums, and Tres Warren on guitar.

“I would say it has evolved quite a bit,” says Hart. “We’ve been together for quite a while. We’re really comfortable, like family. When we play together, it just seems to come pretty organically. We can get on the same vibe.”

After spending 2007 working on other projects (Hart is also the bassist for Effi Briest and is a member of the improvisational dance and music collective Skint; Warren is one half of Messages, the other being visual artist Taketo Shimada; and Tamborello occasionally plays with Mike Wexler), the group spent 2008 worked on their follow-up to their debut, “Dins.” “Mirror Eye” came out earlier this year on Brooklyn’s Social Registry, eight tracks of otherworldly sounds and sonic experiments where you can happily get lost in the drone.

The ambient, rock-lounge hybrid, with its loose form and near non-existence of vocals, was the product of much improvisation.

“We just jam, and if we feel like something’s going somewhere, we’ll expand on it,” says Hart. “So that’s how that one was made.”

Their method leaves it open to further explore things live, and the band has three shows coming up in the next couple of weeks to do just that, starting with the Mercury Lounge on April 26 and Death By Audio in Williamsburg on April 29, both with London DJ Spectrum, as well as (Le) Poisson Rouge on May 8.

“It feels good to play in New York,” says Hart, who lives across the water on the Lower East Side, while Tamborello and SeiTang reside in Greenpoint and Warren in the East Village.

The band is in a constant state of playing, it seems, whether it’s with their frequent live shows, or in the studio. In addition to their latest album, the Psychic Ills also have a mini-LP they just finished with Social Registry that will be coming out in July, as well as a 12” coming out in Australia on the native label Spring Press.

“We already play songs in the set that are going to be on the next, next record,” says Hart.

Hear these tracks for yourself when the Psychic Ills play Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston St.,, 212-260-4700) on April 26 at 7 p.m. (tickets $10), Death by Audio (49 S. 2nd St., on April 29 at 8 p.m. (tickets TBD), and (Le) Poisson Rouge (, 158 Bleecker St., 212-796-0741) on May 8 at 11;30 p.m. (tickets $12).


Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP