Steve Bates is an artist and musician known for his work with post-rock ensemble Black Seas Ensemble, duos with Timothy Herzog and Sophie Trudeau of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, amongst others, as well as a series of digital-only sonic explorations on his own label, The Dim Coast. All The Things That Happen is his first full-length album for Constellation.
For this album, Bates pursued a more stripped down exploration of the noisier terrain of the cheap timbre and tonality of the much-loved Casio SK-1 keyboard sampler. These sounds were fed through a variety of electronics, effects, amps, cassettes recorders to shift into their current form heard on these tracks. Steve notes that all the tracks started off as ambient, "but I always kept reaching for more texture and noise." Getting reacquainted with the Casio SK-1 was the initial focus on developing the music here.
Processed and manipulated during the recording and mixing stages, these initial SK-1 sessions became the foundation of this body of music. Working within the rich world of experimental electronics, these tracks have a core melodicism to them and maybe even a melancholy, as distortion and overtones saturate and spray the music in various directions, while feeling whole and integrated as a body of sound. A fixture of Winnipeg's burgeoning anarcho-punk and social justice community in the 80s-90s, Bates played in hardcore and indie rock bands (XOXO, Bulletproof Nothing) while contemporaneously continuing to fiddle obsessively with the shortwave radio his father bought him as a child — sensibilities that continue to meld and inform his sound work to this day.
Bates founded the Send + Receive Festival in 1998, a crucial development in putting Winnipeg on the map for avant music and experimental sound art, which he helmed for seven years. Moving to Tiohti:áke/Montréal in 2005 he took on the Sound Coordinator position at Hexagram (Concordia University), released solo and duo work on ORAL_records and two albums with his Black Seas Ensemble on The Dim Coast, while pursuing myriad other 2 ongoing audio research, installation and collaborative projects. His exhibition and site-specific works have been presented throughout North America and Europe, Chile and Senegal.
RIYL: William Basinski, Wolf Eyes, Gas, Tim Hecker, Emeralds, Yellow Swans, Flying Saucer Attack.