Transitional Species CD Release Show June 9th: Rise of the Damn Dirty Apes
Transitional Species is the long-running sound performance project of Minneapolis-based noise auteur Kevin Cosgrove. Friday, June 9th he will be celebrating the physical release of Rise of the Damn Dirty Apes (2017, hb004) featuring a compelling CD package designed by local magnate Paul Metzger.
Over the last decade, Transitional Species has quietly secured a reliable exploratory legacy within the Twin Cities arts scene. Through curated collaborative experiments, improvised sound collage, and full-blown ritual magick, Cosgrove can delight as well as provoke an audience to great effect. And while any live experience suffers from delegation to a dispensable medium, Rise of the Damn Dirty Apes is, classically, a record; but not a tune – a document, a sonic history lesson; a story to which you may not be able to shimmy, but you sure can shake.
The two main characters in this story seem to be the Ether and Humanity. As in any good drama, there is neither protagonist nor antagonist. There just “is”; and I think that’s sort of the point.
Our story starts, as stories are want to do, at the beginning – “the first millionth of a second after the big bang”. Throughout Rise of the Damn Dirty Apes, Humanity tries to cut in with a word or two (“American zombie”) but the Ether always swallows everything up again (“missing”). “Cursed Night” reminds a person (who might have acted irresponsibly during the 90s) of Massive Attack. Each piece is evocative and meditative, yet morbidly blithe at times, like flickering film stock of dancing spirits and devils, breathing, sighing, singing – even evolving.
At the album’s titular climax, Humanity actually manages to infiltrate the Ether. Breath becomes song becomes voice becomes language. Like Kubrick’s ape discovering violence, language is incredibly arresting, but rudimentary and destructive. And just like every one of its endeavors, Humanity pervades the whole, beating back the Ether into nothing before collapsing under its own enormity. Transitional Species has presented us with the definitive version of this dire fable at the most appropriate of times.
Transitional Species will be sharing the Twin Peaks room of the Eagles Lodge #34 at 2507 E 25th St this Friday, June 9th, with Paul Metzger and Eire, Pennsylvania’s onewayness. Music will start at 9:00 PM and admission is $5.00.
Adam Johnson lives in Minneapolis with his wife, cats, and guitars.