POSTED:: December 13, 2023

FILED UNDER:: In-Studio Performances, Local/Live

Join Music Director Sid McCain and DJ Maggie on Tuesday, December 19 for another episode of Local/Live

Bernadette is the solo side-project of Chris Belkofer; one half of Milwaukee’s gothic post-punk duo Genau. Keeping the dreary tones and darkish vibes of that project, but leaving most of the song structure behind, Bernadette is rooted in the no wave and post-punk musical traditions of using a guitar to create music that doesn’t necessarily sound like it was made with a guitar. Maybe like Bobby before his epic battle with Satan in the “Kids in the Hall”, you could describe the work of Bernadette as “experimenting with sound shapes”, or maybe instead as drone rock, noise rock, ambient drone, minimalist, dark wave, or even avant-garde “compositions”.

Alternate tunings, various effect pedals, and tape loops are used to create evolving textures and drones that evoke a sense of place and mood. More zoned out than rocked out; arrangements and melodies are broken down and rearranged as micro parts that rely on chance, improvisation and guitar effect pedals as instruments in and of themselves. Bernadette incorporates the unpredictability of these tools to create music that can’t be played the exactly same way twice.

Panic Songs, is a collection of works that are in response to personal manifestations of psychological stress, mental anxiety, and the experience of recurring panic attacks; an attempt at self-soothing that fails to smooth out the edges, but hopefully is the better for it. Just sit with the negative feelings, like Andy the therapist says, don’t try to fix them.

Rather, the goal is to try to evoke a conversation between sounds in a relational aesthetic that is alive and in the moment. An open intention (say a strum, whack, or a pluck) leads to a sound that leads to a feeling that guides a response that leads to another intention and a new sound and so on. This emergent follow the music approach to looping and the resulting aural disruptions are intended to mimic the repeating intrusive thoughts and feelings often associated with anxiety disorders.

 Bernadette’s debut EP, Panic Songs, was released on November 24, 2023 via Triple Eye Industries.

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POSTED BY:: Sidney McCain