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Their turntable is instrumental:
A Boston Globe article on the Toneburst collective

by David Wildman

In Boston, where the music scene tends to be ruled mostly by alternative rock groups, very little music is created expressly with the dance floor in mind. The Toneburst Collective would like to change that.

"Dancing all night is a powerful thing, and people should get together and do it as often as possible," says Rafi Loiederman of the Collective, acknowledging the group's affinity for the primal nature of Rave culture. But the Toneburst Collective, a loose aggregation of DJs, musicians and visual artists consider themselves to be about more than just an endless pounding beat.

"We wanted to make our shows affordable to people, give them something interesting to look at, like video interaction, give them food, and stimulate other areas as well," says Loiederman.

The group came about in 1996 as a result of a one-man project by Massachusetts College of Art student Jake Trussell, who was performing in clubs with drum machines and sound samples under the name the "Electro-Organic Sound System." When he was offered a show at the Art Space in Gloucester, he brought along Loiederman and Mike Esposito, two Harvard students who were making experimental music together as Spool and Embryo, and Ethan Eves, a computer sampling whiz who calls his one-man group OJMOJ. Continuing to work together, they began to stage their own events at Mass Art, bringing in video artist and sculptors.

Eventually they landed a weekly performing slot at The Phoenix Landing, and Irish bar in Central Square that was willing to let them experiment. Their sound was probably the weirdest thing ever heard in an Irish bar, and the gig only lasted five weeks, although is is possible they will be returning soon.

Live shows gave the group a chance to experiment with new performance ideas, mixing electronically treated, prerecorded tracks and sounds from turntables with live acoustic instrumants like the melodica. It also allowed them to experiment with the concept of what a DJ does.

"I like to think of myself as a turntable instrumentalist," says Trussell, "making music out of something that has already been recorded."

"A DJ is closer to being a conductor," offers Eves. "You are directing the instruments."

Adds Loiederman" "And don't forget that DJing was the first sampling."

The young group (all are in their mid-20's) hope to push the limits of what is possible with the bizarre soundscapes and atmospheres they create. They will be releasing a CD soon as the Toneburst Collective, and are planning an ambitious multi-media event on Feb.20 at Mass Art. For more information, call 268-6240


a message from toneburst... ... ... ... ...

It was nice of Dave Wildman to write an article on us in the globe ("Their turntable is instrumental") but it is unfortunate that it was so factually incorrect. According to the article Spool/Embryo and OJAMOJ (spelled OJMOJ in the article) played at the first toneburst at Art Space in Gloucester. Embryo played, but Mike, Alex (Spool) and Ethan (OJAMOJ) weren't in attendance and hadn't even gotten involved yet. Sasha (splice) and Jace (/rupture), who not only played there, but were also talked about durring our interview, as founding members of the collective, were not mentioned in the article. It is unfortunate that Andy Barker was not mentioned as a member of Ethan's "one-man band OJMOJ." Jenn Leong was also mentiond at the interview as being one of the producers, as well as a video artist who has been part of toneburst from the start. Neither her nor Lynn Stabile (an environmental artist with toneburst), who was present at the interview were mentioned in the article.