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Club Circuitry featuring Anguidara and Shadow Fax

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Every fourth Friday of the month, Club Circuitry features live acts. Last Friday, the club presented Anguidara, a Sacramento-based band, and Shadow Fax, an artist from Modesto.

Anguidara usually consists of a complete instrumental lineup. However, for Friday’s show, only two members were present. Frontman David Wright sang, played a floor tom drum and controlled all preprogrammed sounds while Victor La Rocco played guitar.

“About two years ago, I had a live band that consisted of a keyboardist, me, a guitarist, a bass player, and a drummer,” Wright explained. “All of them have gone their separate ways, except for the bass player, who is still going to be able to come back and play for me. … I originally had a full band lined up for tonight, but because of my involvement with Savi0r and the Assemblage show, the amount of time that I was going to be able to dedicate to training a full band and teaching them all the drums, keyboard, and guitar and everything, I had to reinvest into Savi0r. In Savi0r, we’re bringing in a new member for keyboard, so I kind of had to readjust my priorities per se and it was just easier if I sang my part and played a little keyboard. And Victor from Savi0r, he picked up the guitar parts really quick, so it just kind of worked out that just the two of us would perform.”

With his involvement with Savi0r, Anguidara hasn’t been Wright’s highest musical priority. Friday’s performance at Club Circuitry was Anguidara’s first live performance in quite some time.

He talked about balancing Anguidara and Savi0r: “With Anguidara, I would hope that when Savi0r is not touring and we’re kind of prepping for another album, that during that time I can have a live team together to be able to actually play shows. Every once in a while I get the urge to just get up there and grab the mic and sing. So it’s just a way for me to kind of let that out and then still be in Savi0r and be kind of a behind-the-scenes guy playing drums or keyboard or whatever, letting somebody else be the front man. In fact that’s kind of what got me into Savi0r. I was at a point in Anguidara where I didn’t know where I was going with it. I didn’t have a vision and I was kind of losing track of my members. Everybody was kind of doing their own thing. Then Adam came along and invited me to be part of Savi0r. And I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll just put Anguidara on the side and I’ll go be part of this.’ Now it’s kind of getting back to where I want to get Anguidara going again, but at the same time not take anything away from Savi0r.”

Anguidara’s heavy guitar riffs, screaming vocals and energetic drum beats made the show appealing for heavy metal and industrial fans, but the synths and theremin added elements to the music that bordered on experimental. The band even played a couple of instrumental pieces.

“Anguidara is unique to me because it’s kind of my journal,” Wright said. “It’s something that I experiment with and I think that’s something bands should do. I use a theremin that uses a photo cell and another thing that we used to do as a full band was a complete instrumental piece where we pulled out toms and I had my bass and guitar players using crazy effects. It was kind of a little dance track with interesting layers that everybody brought to the table. I’m doing that again tonight, but it’s going to be a little bit thinner because it’s just me and Victor. But like I said, it’s a type of playground.”

Guitarist La Rocco, added, “There’s not a lot of structure in the instrumentals. I kind of just get to do whatever I want when I play. It’s a lot of fun when you have someone that cool that gives you that much freedom.”

Shadow Fax, a one-man-band/DJ/recording artist, followed Anguidara with a multimedia music and visual experience.

“I think I’m different because I try to put on a multimedia experience,” said Jason Rivers, the man behind Shadow Fax. “My whole set is sequenced to digital visuals. For me, it’s like writing a movie. It takes a lot of time. Like when I try to put on a show, I don’t do it like a typical DJ in San Francisco where there’s no visuals and just one light. So that’s the difference I think between me and other artists. For all the audio, there’s also accompanying visual and I think that makes all the difference.”

Even though he only had two laptops and a projector on stage with him, Rivers varied his set. One of the most memorable tracks was an uptempo song in which scientist Stephen Hawking’s computer voice said “Shadow Fax” over and over while his photo flashed on a screen. To calm things down, Rivers sang a very slow and sad track, giving his computers a small break.

Another aspect of his work that made Rivers’ set stands out from a disc jockey’s was his specialized equipment, which most DJs lack. And he didn’t use samples in the traditional manner.

“I don’t use turntables or scratch records,” Rivers said. “I use MIDI controllers and software to do the same thing … There’s so many different manipulations out there.”

Shadow Fax’s music is hard to categorize because it doesn’t fit neatly into typical musical genres.

“Shadow Fax is my own material, ideas, and samples that I have stuck in my head,” Rivers said. “It’s kind of hard to describe it. I guess it’s like progressive electro trance industrial. Every song is kind of different, but the album is a theme album.”

Anguidara doesn’t have any upcoming scheduled performances, but the music is free on their Myspace page.

Shadow Fax is working on a new album. Rivers is touring with his other projects, Rogue Sixx and Narcolepts. His music can be purchased through his web site.

Shadow Fax photos courtesy of Minh Nguyen

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