Live Concert Photography: Communion at Rockwood Music Hall 12/6/16 feat. Ocean Park Standoff, Blonde Maze, Brika and Blonder
Communion is a monthly, carefully curated night of music hosted in small venues across both the US and States in which both known and up-and-coming local and national acts play in intimate settings. Earlier this month, Communion was back at Rockwood Music Hall‘s three rooms featuring electronic music artists and electronic-leaning artists including Santa Monica, CA-based act Ocean Park Standoff; Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay artist Blonde Maze; Miami, FL-based JOVM mainstay electro pop Brika; and Brooklyn-based blogosphere darlings Blonder, among a series of incredibly talented artists. Check out some photos below.
Opening the night was the Santa Monica, CA-based indie pop act Ocean Park Standoff. Comprised of primary trio Ethan Thompson, Pete Nappi and Samantha Ronson, the California-based trio specialize in a rousing, anthemic pop that had a fairly packed Stage 2 dancing.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’d likely be familiar with Amanda Steckler, a New York-based electronic music artist and producer, best known for her recording project Blonde Maze, which specializes in slow-burning and icily aching atmospheric electro pop, which thematically focuses on longing for someone, who is a distance away — both geographically and physically. However, her latest single “Antarctica” is a slick, glittering and swooning house-music track featuring layers of cascading and shimmering synths, marimbas, layers of cut and chopped vocal samples, stuttering and skittering drum programming and hand claps paired with Steckler’s breathy and tender cooing. Interestingly, the song focuses on a profound emotional connection — but at its core is that weird dichotomy between the fear and sting of loss and the sense of dependence that comes up within every relationship, even the most functional ones. And it captures that with an emotional honesty and wisdom that belies the artist’s relatively young age.
Along with Blonde Maze, the Miami, FL-based pop artist Brika has received attention across the blogosphere and this site for an electronic pop sound that possesses elements of trip-hop, jazz, contemporary electro pop, house music and R&B — but paired with the Miami-based pop artist’s jazz-influenced vocal phrasing. Interestingly, Brika was backed by a trio of musicians who helps her perform her slickly produced material in a mostly acoustic set.
Headlining the night was Blonder, a New York-based act lead by the mysterious singer/songwriter Constantine Anastasakis. Over the past year, the project has received praise from the likes of Clash Magazine, Pigeons and Planes and Nylon, as well as several Spotify Playlists, including Indie Mix for a sound that nods at The Strokes.