Bronx duo Wires Under Tension play a fluttering post-'90s post-rock churn without the introspection or meandering--in essence, they go in for the kill. Like Tortoise fueled by Hot 97, the cycling minimalist rhythms of violinist Christopher Tignor and drummer Theo Metz (both of YIMBY vets Slow Six) are more a suckerpunch than a slow boil, aiming straight for the chiming, resonant and anthemic in five-minute bites. The songs on their debut album, Light Science (due February 8 on Western Vinyl), explode with multi-layered walls of strings, Eyvind Kang-informed horn lines, and all sorts of digital love--all held down by the roiling and naked drumming of Metz. First taste "Mnemonics In Motion" is more music than two men should reasonably be able to make at once, Tignor's violins going through a gauntlet of funhouse mirrors while Metz holds down a devilishly funky groove. - The Village Voice
South Bronx duo Wires Under Tension have partnered with music software developers Ableton to bring the band's fans and technology's users a free Live Pack to ring in the New Year. Their "live pack" includes all the sounds, instruments and programming used to create their new remix "Bronx Science." Built from material from their forthcoming debut "Light Science," Ableton users can now tweak the track out for themselves. Using pitch shifted violins, fractured drum breaks, and pulsating electronic filters, they've invented a neo hip-hop landscape which celebrates the energy of their home turf. Named after the public high school, "Bronx Science" is a lesson in new-school instrumental alchemy with an addictive urban bounce.
Be on the lookout for the new Wires Under Tension mp3 created using the Ableton technology premiering soon. Tignor describes the experience: "The cold snap has arrived here in the Bronx. Feral cats huddle together for warmth beneath old Chevys. It was on such a winter's day that I began experimenting with the violin loops that I record live while playing the song "Wood, Metal, Bone" off the new Wires.Under.Tension record Light Science. This violin technique, known as bariolage, makes use of high-energy string crossings to create melodic arcs which convey the very essence of the instrument. That song gets a lot of practice because the technique is challenging, but more importantly, all that bowing is a great way to keep warm down here in my underground studio.
We're always looking to get the instrumentally idiomatic to speak in new tongues. By taking these samples and subjecting them to some automated transformations, a sort of neo hip-hop flavor fell out. Using drum samples taken off another track, "Mnemonics in Motion" played by Wires.Under.Tension's better half, Theo Metz, these fantastic, off-kilter hi-hat grooves arrived. The core sounds of the band then all found their way in: digitally extended glockenspiel melodies, punchy brass hits and even some overdriven clavinet. Theo and I were impressed at how the whole thing uncannily expressed the vibe of my newfound neighborhood and in a nod to the public high school of the same name, "Bronx Science" was born.
I've divided the song up into many finely grained scenes. In each scene name, you'll see the number of bars that I let each last before moving on. Of course, feel free to linger or hurry as you like or skip the script entirely.
So season's greetings and enjoy. Maybe take a break between meals to reinvent what you can do with strings, drums and the rest. You've earned it. And if living as a musician has taught me anything, it's that to keep pushing what excites you is to keep warm."