A&E » Arts

LA matter makes its way to Whistler



Innovation and improvisation the nucleus of Particle

Who: Particle

Where: The Garibaldi Lift Company

When: Dec. 8

Innovation, and improvisation, are the name of their music game.

This month the electronica quartet Particle take fusion and funk elements outside their LA base for the first time to bring Whistler audiences a variety of sound bytes from Particle , their self-titled EP.

Bassist Eric Gould took some time to describe the units of the band that include Charlie Hitchcock on guitar, Darren Pujalet on drums and Steve Molitz on keyboards. Hitchcock joined the lineup last January, replacing former guitar player Dave Simmons who passed away, ironically, Dec. 8, 2000.

That fusion is a mix, often improvised, which blends keys, guitar, drums and bass, created in their Santa Monica and LA-area based recording studios.

"We’re improvisational. We never play the same song, in the same way, twice," says Gould. "We try to make the song different – it’s a mix of both. A lot of times one of us will go off on a tangent, and we play a language through music."

Kneeknocker is an eight-minute sound journey of one continuous ’70s groove, mildly meditative with only instruments; no lyrics.

Additional tracks include idepinga, Road’s a Breeze, and Ed & Molly. Ed & Molly sounds like it could be a sci-fi soundtrack; the repetitive electronic beats conjure up images of outer space.

That spaceship imagery is a prominent visual in the band’s artwork and adds to the persona of Particle. Projectionist Scott MacKinnon uses fractals (computer-generated images in rainbow colours highlighting irregular lines and surfaces) with old film clips as backdrops for each set. Alongside improv lines, he experiments with the mix, depending on the melody being played live.

And while the projectionist adds a dimension to the Particle band, so too has the Internet, in terms of introducing their sound to a wider audience and publicizing gigs.

"There’s so much opportunity now through the Internet," says Gould. "Sites like jambands.com and other bands’ Web sites that list photos (and sound clips of music), all sorts of chat groups talk about the bands and what they think of them, which has given Particle a lot of exposure."

Particle spends a lot of time on the road. Those trips, a way of life in the music industry, are reflected in their song material.

"The song Ed & Molly tells the story of mystery characters, and (the listener) is taken on a journey of storytelling," says Gould. "I feel like each piece of music we create has a beginning, a middle, and an end.