The experimental music scene in Asheville has seen exponential growth in the past year, thanks in large part to two local labels — Headway Recordings and Bathetic Records. The pair have inspired unconventional local artists to push the boundaries of sound exploration and promoted dozens of experimental shows in all sorts of venues, giving less accessible, yet nationally-known artists a new reason to make Asheville a touring destination.
This weekend, the labels combine forces to host an album release party for one of Bathetic’s most prolific (and indescribable) artists, Lazy Magnet, who visits the mountains to celebrate the release of Acts Without Error. The longtime solo project of Providence, R.I.-based Jeremy Harris, Lazy Magnet is about as schizophrenic and genre-obliterating as they come, delving into electronic dance music (prevalent on this years’ Crystal Cassette), chaotic noise, gentle acoustics, ethereal drones and just about everything in between. Yet, miraculously, there is a persistent and identifiable Lazy Magnet sound. We’re just not sure what it is.
Xpress reached out to Jon Hency, owner and founder of Bathtic Records, for his take on Lazy Magnet, with whom he’s worked for several years. Hency had this to say about Harris:
“I met him years ago when I spent a winter in Providence, where he is from. Since then, every set I’ve seen him play live, and every live video of one of his sets, they’ve all been pretty different. Some noise sets, dance sets, soft acoustic ballads — but all have been really good! It’s hard to pinpoint and lump the guy, or this record, into any sort of genre or sub-genre. If you can find his last proper album, He Sought for That Magic by Which All the Glory and Mystic Chivalry Were Made to Shine — or — Is Music Even Good?, it’ll showcase a massive amount of genres slipping and sliding all over each other to form the cohesive record.
He is one of those rare breeds that truly lives out the music. That’s who he is. Kind of like Ross [Gentry], Villages. Every time I talk to either of those guys, they are deep into it.
This record has been in the works for a year and a half, easy; maybe more. He would send me variations of the same material over and over, saying, ‘This one is it!’ And then a couple weeks later, different versions with different level mixes — just constantly obsessing over it. Made it a wild ride. I couldn’t believe it when the final final version was decided on.”
And, Hency adds, “A fun fact: The first Lazy Magnet tape was put out in 1994, so he’s been at it for almost 20 years, and he’s not ‘old.’”
Still a little befuddled about what to expect? So are we. This is one you’ll just have to see.