Locals Only: : New Day Roesing
Chris Roesing works to bolster the local experimental music scene.
Mickey Morgan’s Blue Bottle was very strange. With Morgan’s voice-over poetry, creepy music from Roesing Ape and scary repetitive video from Spencer Yeh, the piece defied understanding, at least from this audience member. Sections indicated the main character to be dreaming, seeking, in exile and “new to her body.” Excruciatingly slow movement from Morgan’s “Malika” character took her on a journey during which she finally covered herself up in bedclothes and emerged with no hair, to be wrapped in a white cloth by what I think were the Wizard’s blackbirds. Morgan has a lot of stage presence, but somehow the piece just did not fly, although I must admit I turned it over in my mind curiously for several days afterwards.
Bergerk Studios Sound Gallery Label, Australia 2001
This amazingly eclectic sound project comes in 2 forms. The first is a full box set of 6 CDS’s in which the Fucks Me collection contains all of Roesing Ape’s recorded works over the last 3 years. The second form (which the Sound Gallery stocks here) is the single CD which comes in 6 different colour codings, and each colour has a random collection of material from the box set. Roesing Ape’s skill lies in the collection of numerous sounds and sound bytes and combining them in ways that produce fresh new logics, rhythms and sound experiences. Percussion, spoken word, keyboards, static and unrecognizably sourced sounds. This is sound collage, but more than just that. On first listen you pick up on repetitive sounds and loops rolling over and around each other, but repeated listens defines it as a sense of evolution and a constant motion pulling you along.
CityBeat, December 13 2001
Within the confines of such a conservative and isolated breeding ground as Cincinnati, it makes sense that the city has always had its fair share of musical fare that exudes mind-twisting experimentalism and staggering originality. The area music scenes’s more avant-garde side has been represented over the past decades by artists like the Wolverton Brothers, 11,000 Switches, Current Quartet and Roesing Ape, not to mention the long-running Art Damage radio program on WAIF (88.3 FM).
Dialogue, January 2002 / Everybody’s News, August 1996
(original at http://www.blastitude.com/11/pg10.htm)
ROESING APE: Fucks Me 1998-2001 CD-R
Roesing Ape is the project of Chris Roesing, a Cincinnati musician who plays drums for the estimable Death Beam. Fucks Me 1998-2001 is a series of six different CD-Rs that can only be told apart by the color of the sparse sticker that graces each sleeve. Of course, the music within also tells ’em apart. This is the second one I’ve heard. The first (I forget which color — green, maybe?) I heard in a van driving on shoulders at 50 MPH through a Chicago traffic jam while having conversations, so it didn’t COMPLETELY register, though I do remember a kind of avant-polyrhythm thing goin’ on, like Tony Allen jamming with Pita and Jonathan Cain from Journey, only Cain’s at some packed NFL stadium filming a video and some subtle no waver has hijacked his Roland. The memory is a bit fuzzy, but I recall the drumming really standing out, unifying the tracks and making the disc NOT just another formless dive. Makes sense, that’s what Roesing does for Death Beam too. THIS one, the second I’ve heard (color: orange), isn’t a formless dive either. Again, there is a rhythmic drive to everything, although this time it’s a different rhythmic drive from track to track. The first track is basically a pop song, with drum-machine rhythms, and actual sung lyrics, done in that quirky child-of-Ralph way. Wild electro-sounds high in the mix and skronk guitar low. Track two is a bit like what I remembered of the other (green?) disc, nine minutes of groove-drummin’, with a strange band and odd vocals playin’ along, all given a brilliant airy mix. Ralph Records? Biota? Yep, that kind of thing. Track three has an industrial-loop rhythm track, and vocals that are actually ‘dark new wave’. Track four is a weird track for solo vocoder-voice, reciting what could be a sexually explicit tale. The fifth and last track is a jam for airy synth and more of that great tweaked light percussion groove style. That’s the album — refreshingly concise! I should hope it would be if it comes in a series of six. What can I say, collect ’em all!
Short clip from a documentary on the Cincinnati underground music scene. Please inform me of original creator and title and link to full film.