Queen City Sounds Podcast S2E28: Darren Keen

Darren Keen, photo by Tom Murphy

The musical creations of Darren Keen would be challenging to define by genre as it reflects his broad interests in music, its creation and its presentation. For many he first came to the attention of people in the American underground with The Show is the Rainbow which he launched in Lincoln, Nebraska around 2003 and the project became a fixture at DIY spaces and situations across the USA and in various corners of the wider world. Do a search on the internet for videos and releases and you’ll find an unusual mix of sounds and styles but always with an energetic and compelling live performance that mixed, matched and amalgamated art rock, hip-hop, electronica, punk and noise rock. Keen’s surreal sense of humor and keen insight into culture and his own psychology has led to a fascinating body of work beyond The Show is the Rainbow and into his collaborative projects and his current touring moniker of PROBLEMS which has been releasing recordings on the respected experimental electronic music imprint Orange Milk and other outlets for Keen’s prolific output. In this sprawling interview Keen discusses his roots in making music and touring as an artist whose work isn’t always easily marketable to a mainstream audience, his involvement in the broad American DIY music network, his personal struggles and reconciliations in the continuing to be a figure who is focused on pursuing his creative curiosities that have had an undeniable impact on the realms of glitch, digital hardcore, underground techno and noise.

Darren Keen on Instagram

Darren Keen LinkTree

“VALE” is mirrored fatality’s Futuristic, Mystical Deconstruction of Late Capitalism’s Unraveling of a Sustainable World

mirrored fatality, photo courtesy the artists

The layers of image and sound represented in mirrored fatality’s “VALE” is the kind of glitch collage style mashup that pushes aesthetic boundaries. There’s no formal structure but that of the project’s own. It is a recursive flow of textures, tones and raw noise assembled as a reflection of the constant barrage of information to which we’re subjected daily. Except mirrored fatality in the video presentation of the track gives context of the erosion of our infrastructure and eco-system through neglect and the hubris of late stage capitalism. To someone conditioned completely to seek out only sound art in the form of conventional music might see and hear this stuff and think it’s just shy of random recordings of abstract internet memes placed together and that might in some ways not be far off the mark but it misses the point entirely. But people who have been tuned into what labels like Orange Milk and other forward thinking labels have been releasing in the realm of glitch-infused electronic music and artists like Giant Claw, Darren Keen, Goo Age and Andy Loeb will find that mirrored fatality’s aesthetics and arrangements not to mention the visual style much to their liking as the duo deconstructs the dubious virtues of our post-industrial society partly by creating music beyond the conventionally accepted zones of creative endeavor. Watch the video for “VALE” on YouTube and follow mirrored fatality on Bandcamp.