Sunday, October 05, 2008
Thinking back on it, I'm not exactly sure how or when I found out about San Serac, but I know I came across his Myspace page and I kept going back to hear his music, which is not something I do too often on Myspace.
I then sought out and bought his third CD, Professional, and found his music to be at an interesting intersection between David Bowie, disco, and electronic dance music. Thankfully, the album did not disappoint.
Nat Rabb works under the name San Serac, an artist who plays synthesizer, percussion, guitar, electronic saxophone, electronic drums, and sings. Rabb grew up in Baltimore and played in several post-punk bands including Candy Machine and INK. He now lives and works in the Boston area.
San Serac's music reveals his love of music of Roxy Music, Midnight Star, David Bowie, Maurice Fulton, Talking Heads, Shalamar, and Prince. The music touches on electronic funk, house, disco, garage, quiet storm, and freestyle. I love the fact that he's pushing the boundaries of what styles fit or belong together; not since Talking Heads' Remain in Light or Prince's Sign o' the Times have I listened to a record again and again and been rewarded each time. Frankly, I can't wait for San Serac's next release to see where he takes us next.
To date, San Serac has released three albums: Human Savagery is a Slippery Slope (2000), Ice Age (2004), and Professional (2006). He's currently working on his next release. San Serac has also remixed a number of other artists’ music, including Faunts, Misty Roses, My Favorite, Ova Looven, Shout Out Out Out Out, Tranzistors, Wilderness, and others. I've included a few of these remixes in the show. San Serac also toured with Junior Boys in 2007.
With Johnny Dark, San Serac has also released an album on September 23rd under the outfit Stereo Image and they will performing in Ontario, Canada in late October. Check their Myspace page for details. San Serac will also be touring in November and December 2008 in the US with Wilderness.
I met with San Serac in May in Somerville, Massachusetts to discuss:
* how he writes and records his albums—essentially all by himself
* what the gestation period is like for his own creations
* how the changes in the music business are effecting how he manages his own career
Photo: Drew Jarrett
Music featured in the show includes:
1) San Serac: Professional (Professional) (in preview)
2) San Serac: Fairlight (Professional)
3) San Serac: Love Tactics (Professional)
4) INK: Alger Hiss
5) INK: Real Life in the Deco
6) San Serac: Market Research (it's Time to Shop) (Ice Age)
7) San Serac: Astonishing Murders (Ice Age)
8) San Serac: What Price Revenge (Ice Age)
9) San Serac: Nihilistic Love (Professional)
10) San Serac: Sunlight in Electric Wires (Ice Age)
11) San Serac: You, Assassin (Ice Age)
12) San Serac: Tyrant (Professional)
13) San Serac: The Black Monolith (Professional)
14) San Serac: That Obscure Object of Desire (Professional)
15) San Serac: Command Shift Sexy (Professional)
16) Faunts: Instantly Dubbed (San Serac Mix)
17) Stereo Image: Dark Chapter (S/T)
18) Stereo Image: Exposure (S/T)
19) Stereo Image: Pack Moves (S/T)
20) Shout Out Out Out Out: In the End It's Your Friends (San Serac Mix)
21) Stereo Image: Red Nights (S/T)
22) Stereo Image: Your Collapsed State (S/T)
23) San Serac: Friends
San Serac recommends Maurice Fulton, Daft Punk, Faux Fox, Shout Out Out Out Out, and A Certain Ratio.