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February 25, 2008 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Spartacus R and Sound Architecture Review

Six-piece, Wellington band, Spartacus R, returned to play the Fringe festival with “Delusions in 3D”, a surreal movie-scape extravaganza combining psychedelic/groove-heavy tracks, Quadraphonic sound and six short films – in 3D!

The films, directed by Giles McNeil, explored ideas of disorientation and delusions – from a bizarre forest, laden with guitars, to paranoid hallucinations after excessive alcohol consumption. Although it unquestionably “push(ed) the boundaries of music”, and it is always fascinating to see bands experimenting with different mediums, I think the coordination of the music and film would have worked better if the band had been able to see the screen and therefore react more to the visual cues.

Enhancing these visuals was the Quadraphonic sound (sound split into four separate channels), manipulated by ‘Dr’ Lee Prebble via a sort of “sound joystick”. This ‘manipulated sound’ provided each of the four corners of the cinema with a different version of each song that was being played.

The whole experience actually made me feel incredibly anxious, what with vocals pounding in my left ear (from the speaker on the left) and bass throbbing through my right side (from the speaker on my right) whilst watching a 3D movie about someone, clearly out of their mind on some illicit substance, stumbling down Cuba St. It also dragged on a little bit, lasting about 2 hours, and I felt the whole event could have concluded after the last short film segment, rather than continuing on to screen the entire series of 6 movies backwards.

I left The Paramount feeling very unsettled, so it was not a totally enjoyable experience, but it definitely was a unique and interesting one. And I came away with a free pair of cutting-edge, 3D glasses. So who can really complain?


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