Download: Wires Under Tension, “Mnemonics In Motion”


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

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 Met (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.

Download: [audio-1]

Q&A: Wires Under Tension’s Christopher Tignor

What is “Mnemonics In Motion” about?

It’s about six minutes. There are no words or literal narrative, just a musical one. If you try to listen to most instrumental music in the same way as a Bob Dylan song you’re going to miss out on what this sort of music really has to offer. Just kidding, it’s about girls that can’t say no and getting this party on.

What inspired it musically?

A dream about feral cats with a live funk/hip-hop/drone-rock soundtrack. The Bronx is teeming with thousands and thousands of stray, feral cats. Their cries fill the night and sound exactly like human babies.

How did you record this song, especially the digitally mutated string swirls?

I sampled some Bach-ish arpeggios l played on the violin using some software I made which mutates them accordingly. Theo made the initial drone by drumming on a microphone that fed another piece of homegrown software. We’re too cheap to buy any software so we either look for sponsorships or write our own. After that I played everything else I had lying around and brought in Phil Rodriguez on trumpet and Peter Hess on saxophones to get things big at the end. Then Jared Bell saved the song with some awesome clavinet and other keyboard parts.

What’s your favorite groove in any song of 2010?

Pusswhip Banggang’s “Kiss Me Once (Shame On You), Kiss Me Twice (Let’s Party)”

What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever played in New York City?

Our most memorable shows are at home. Come over anytime. Actually we’re working on moving the entire act over to holograph form now that our record has been licensed in Japan. That’s huge there.

What’s your favorite place to eat in the Bronx?

Santa Clarita on Willis Ave etween E. 139th and 138th St. First time I went there a fight broke out. The “Al Pastor” tacos are a delight!

Are you an emerging local band who has an upcoming 7″, MP3, or album? Are you not totally fucking terrible like 90% of the bands in this city? Then please send us an email at Links and YSIs only. No attachments please!